Come with me on an adventure, will you? In our current apartment we have a Nespresso machine which is super fancy and luxurious but there’s a catch: You can only purchase the required Nespresso pods at a Nespresso store. We plowed through the first three pods in a matter of minutes and were having to leave the apartment to get a cup of coffee which goes against everything I stand for when it comes to the morning, i.e. I don’t want to get dressed and face the day until I’ve had coffee.
So it was that I found myself going on an adventure to the nearest Nespresso store. It wasn’t terribly far away and walking is an option but it was just far enough away that I knew by the time I got there I would be drenched in sweat so I decided to take the bus. Being a suburban girl, mass transit isn’t my strong suite but I had multiple apps on my phone to guide me and I felt confident I could navigate there and back easily. I put my big girl panties on and made my way to the bus stop.
In general the buses aren’t too crowded and it’s the cheapest way to get around town. Also, as I’m sure you have heard, they’re clean and quiet. I knew exactly where to go in order to get to the mall and it was a quick ride. I confidently alighted and moved less confidently through the mall (the malls here are insane but that’s a story for another day) eventually finding the Nespresso store.
After making my purchase I browsed around the mall and after a bite to eat decided it was time to go home. I pulled up my app and started studying the various buses that I could take to get home. This is where things took a turn. My app was telling me to traverse a particularly impossible road and at one point I found myself stuck on a curb as a million cars pulled into a parking garage. I’m not sure what the term for “stupid white woman” is in Singapore but I was it. As car after car came around the corner I avoided eye contact with any of the drivers, pretending to study the road and my phone in an attempt to look like I meant to be there. It occurred to me later that I was precariously balanced on a curb all while mumbling to myself with frizzed out hair and I’m sure a panicked look on my face and I was not fooling anyone.
To be clear, the app was actually telling me the right thing to do but I was assuming I knew best and made my own map in my head. Also, I’m still confused as to which way is north, south, east, or west (as if I ever really knew). Anyway, now I decide I’m just going to go back the way I came and update the app when I get closer to another bus stop and hope that it tells me which bus to get on. Which is what I did. I found another bus stop, updated the app, and promptly hopped a bus headed for home.
I made myself comfortable towards the back of the bus and compared the bus stops that my app was listing to the bus stops we were actually hitting. They didn’t match. As the city center grew more distant with every mile and we began passing places that I had never seen before I knew I was on the wrong bus. With that said, I continued to reassure myself that eventually the bus would start heading back towards town. I also had visions of being the last one on the bus after hours of riding around, such was my desire to be right.
As you can see in Exhibit A and its carefully crafted symbols, I managed to get miles and miles away before deciding I was not going to be getting home any time soon. It was at the black “no-no” sign that I got off the bus and called a Grab, which is the Singapore equivalent to Uber. I should mention that the black “no-no” sign in no way indicates this was a bad place to be. It just wasn’t where I needed to be.
I texted Marcus to guess where I was so when he said “I don’t know, where?” I could say “I have no fucking clue” but he didn’t play along and actually continued to guess where I was which is fair…considering I’m a kept wife and all I could have been anywhere having the time of my life. Anyway, a million mile bus fare and S$17 Grab later and I had a very nice tour of the east coast of Singapore. It had a more suburban feel with fewer high rises and more “landed houses.” Eventually I would like to explore out that way but maybe with more of an itinerary.
For anyone exploring Singapore and wishing for an app to help you along your way: MyTransport.SG, SG NextBus, Citymapper, Grab, and good ol’ fashion Google Maps are all solid choices.