Singapore Adventure

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Morning Commute
by venitha

Underground at Novena station, commuters stir lethargically, hungover from yesterday's public holiday. Yishun Arrived flashes boldly in red, enthusiastically tempting riders out to the sticks with seats-to-spare. The crowd, however, has made its choice, and the station tilts toward Marina Bay 2 Minutes, stubbornly insisting on downtown Singapore and standing-room-only.

A gorgeous Indian woman draped in a lavish silk salwar kameez primps and preens in the station's reflective doors, fluffs her long thick black hair, and jangles silver ankle bracelets.

A balding yet hard-manned expat in a pink striped business shirt and too too tight jeans moves his backpack to his front, lost in tunes delivered via ubiquitous white earbuds.

A prim and proper girl in a crisp white blouse, pointed shoes worthy of the , and a French twist so severe it's giving me a headache peers blindly through smart glasses and clutches Prozac Nation to her chest.

A scantily-clad Chinese girl - Hey! Isn't that her in that slimming ad? - with softly flowing bleached-brown curls digs through her Louis Vuitton bag, teeters on stiletto heels, and yawns extravagantly, covering her mouth with a hand careful not to muss her glossy lips.

An aging Singaporean businessman with a bad dye job, high-waisted pants, and sweat-stained armpits grips a tattered briefcase and peers with narrowed eyes at the free Today newspaper.

A freckled American expat in shorts and a plain white t-shirt slings her bag over one shoulder, tucks frizzy red hair behind one ear, and surreptitiously watches Singapore's morning commute.