Thursday, 14 December 2006

The Return of Mr Chains

Readers of this blog may recall my earlier observations of life on the 111. This is the bus that I use to commute to work each morning.

Characters reveal themselves at this time of the morning before the rush of Orchard Road and the lure of glittering shops. One such identity is a man I have christened "Mr Chains"

His presence has been missing these past two weeks but this morning I noticed his slight build in a rear seat. It transpires that he has a hobby - collecting rubber bands.

A considerable part of his journey was spent winding bands of various hue around an old matchbox, no doubt with a mind to use these items at a later date.

He gets off in Tanglin Road, two stops before my own. Today he nearly lost his balance in doing so. Possibly as a result of his slight frame or more probably because as a result of the erratic and jerky driving which is the trademark of some of the less patient bus drivers of which there are a few.

Another person of interest on the same bus is an 'occcasional Indian' whom I knicknamed "The Boxer". A man of some stature with a puglist's nose of similar proportions. In the social strata of Singapore he appears a step down from 'Mr Chains'. That is one of the great things about public transport, you get to mix and mingle with real Singaporeans going about their daily business.

The heat has been oppressive these last two days. Being the rainy season usually this is broken each afternoon by a peal of thunder and a good downpour. However this had not happened for 48 hours - until last night. There was a torrential deluge that went on and off throughout the night.

The earlier morning is therefore doubly refreshing with the veil of humidity temporarily lifted. The groundstaff have been busy clearing up after the storm and the willow broom has given way to a motorised sweeper to cope with the amount of debris.

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