Another day, another jam

What can you do when you are stuck in a bus for more than
an hour each day, but listen to the banter of strangers? Today it seems the only two people who are talking on the bus are colleagues, expatriates from another country, comparing their previous jobs, previous lives. That was before they stood in a public bus in Singapore, identical in their pin-striped shirts. They compare experiences, talk about their kids, about going to other countries after this brief sojourn to the Far East. Lots of nodding. They talk about going “someplace else” because Singapore is too expensive. I have no place else to go except where this bus is going. The bus stops-starts past the old railway station. It is disused now, but stands as a shadow of what had been, since the separation, a foreign land in the heart of our own. People hold their umbrellas at an angle before they step on board, trying to maximize the amount of shelter the PVC can afford. A lady stands in between the two men, and all I hear now is the sound of sturdy tires over the highway. To my left, a misty port, the massive cranes, sentinels. We enter a tunnel, one of those engineering feats. To build it, men of great vision and knowhow sat in meetings after meetings, proposing, sourcing, budgeting, proposing. It gives me a headache thinking about it.

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