Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wander and wonder...

Pic from FB

Since I arrived to Singapore almost a year ago, I have found myself in the unique position of feeling at home but in unfamiliar territory.  Other than the area where I live in, all other places have made me feel like a tourist.  Too often, I couldn't find my bearing and didn't know which way to go.  I wandered around but didn't get lost.  I enjoyed it.  Getting lost, I mean.  

However, I am slowly beginning to recognise more landmarks and roads.  Even now, it's still like being in a foreign land.  Well, I am in a foreign land.  Having lived all of my life in Kuala Lumpur where I know most of the roads and lanes, it has been a strange feeling to not know where I am and whether I should go left or right.  While it was disconcerting at the beginning, I have learnt to embrace this uncertainty. 

There is something to be said about being anonymous in a crowd.  I know many like to be known and enjoy being famous but going around incognito gives one a feeling of being 'free'.  I don't really know how to explain this and maybe there isn't any need to. 

Anyway, the one thing that I've appreciated about Singapore is the excellent transport service.  With a little map, one can move around without any difficulty.  

I live almost in the middle of all the MRT lines, between the Braddell (Red Line) and Caldecott (Yellow Line) Stations.  So I have the option to pick whichever will afford me the shortest route.  

Pic from here
Stephen has taught me that getting from one destination to another (via one MRT line) is not necessarily the fastest route.  Now I know  that it may be faster to go from point A to point B and then to point C.   Travel time can be cut in half.  Well, he's a seasoned traveller both here and overseas.  Me?  I've lived almost all my life in one city and I had a car for the last 30 years!  I am learning, though.

The advantage of living in the heart of Singapore is the convenience of getting anywhere so easily. Technically, I live in Toa Payoh but physically, I am nearer to the Braddell station.  This only means that  I am just four stations (8 minutes) away from the hustle and bustle of the famous Orchard Road.  If I ever miss the noise and crowd, I can get my fix easily.  Actually I don't even have to travel so far because just one station (2 minutes) away and I can get everything I want or need at Toa Payoh.
Pic from Wikipedia (Red area shows Toa Payoh)

I didn't realise that I have enjoyed wandering around.  When I first arrived to Singapore, I put it on my bucket list that I would visit each station, at least once, and go do a walkabout.  I believe that there are over a hundred stations (MRT and LRT).  I haven't yet been to all of them.  There is just too much to do and see.  It's still on my list of things to finish in 2013.  

Pic from Wikipedia
Meanwhile, I wander and I wonder.  


  1. I know what you're saying here, girl! Having a good system of transportation means a lot. CanNOT say the same for KL, where you're glued to your car, and a jam, if you want to go anywhere.

    I was impressed with Singapore's MRT when I visited in the late 80s. I'm sure it's gotten even better than I remember now!

    1. It's easy to move around when there's a good system that works. Especially for people like me who wander about when I have nothing to do. It's good to know that with a "hop, skip and a jump", I can be back home quickly.

      I didn't realise just how much I depend on the transport system until recently. It's wonderful to be able to go about freely.

  2. I know exactly what you mean!! I was so scared that I had to rely on public transport for the duration of my stay here. Plus...with everything being in German! I had post-its of my home street and work street stuck to my handphone for the first 2 weeks!

    While I can't say that I am used to using the public transport already, I have improved. With help from Google Maps and the public transport system route network map, I have found my way to certain places on my own. :-)My colleague from the US told me it took her 2 years to get used to the network, so I guess I'm doing alright so far!

    Of course having an excellent public transport system is vital! Heck, I don't even know how to use the public transport back home!

    1. I deleted the duplicates. :)

      I guess it's easy only when there exists a good transport system. I know that in some countries, there isn't and unless you have a car, you're stuck where you are.

      Glad that you understood what I meant. :)

  3. Our long chat session is a memory to cherish. Looking forward to Close Encounter the Third Time!

    1. When you next wander down south, wonder not about another close encounter! It'll happen! :)