The last time I took the train in Singapore was in 2012 when D sent an SOS message asking me to pick him up from Changi Airport as his ATM card wasn’t working. I remember it took me almost an hour to get to him because of the multiple stops.
So all my subsequent trips to Singapore meant taking a cab or Grab to travel to and from Changi and the hotel.
Until I had some free time yesterday, about three hours to roam before checking out of the hotel and heading back home. I figured I’d go to the Singapore Botanical Garden, a good 5-km distance from my hotel. And I had three options:
- Walk – which I immediately scrapped as it won’t be a leisurely walk given the short time;
- Grab – which would cost me $13 per way; or,
- Train – this appealed the most as my hotel was right next to the Buena Vista station. It would only be 3 stops to the Botanical Garden and the roundtrip fare was way more affordable at $3.50.
So off I went, trying to blend in like a local as I discreetly (though frantically) looked around for signages. I was to take the orange line: C21 to C18 and vice versa.
I was so relieved to see that it was quite easy to navigate. The space in the train station was also big and everything was in order. Keep left to stand, and walk to the right when boarding the escalators.
The gap between trains didn’t also take long, and the train was spacious and clean.
As the train sped off to Botanical Garden my thoughts drifted back to home where I know the daily struggles of a Metro Manila commuter. I imagined I was an XMen and could transform the congested streets of Manila and lay out a vast network of underground rail system for the people, like this one in Singapore or the other Asian countries with efficient commute system like Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.