Tag Archive | Newton Circus

Bad day turned good…

I had expected last Thursday to be a bad day, because I had to deliver a pack of  glyconutrients or eight essential sugars ( Handout – Polly’s Glyconutrient Recipe ) to a long time acquaintance.

You would have thought that since I was making a gift of the glyco to the recipient, not charging the person, the person would at least be sensitive enough to let me choose the place and timing for me to deliver the stuff.

I said I could “deliver to your home”, which is one straight road up from mine. Or I could deliver to your spouse’s office which is even nearer to my home. You just tell me when is a good time.

But no; recipient insisted on giving me a time and place: “Meet me there any time in the morning on Thursday and I’ll buy you a coffee,” adding, “they serve very good coffee.”

I should have said “who cares?’ but I tend to be more civilised with acquaintances, even long time ones.

So I said “Great” even as I mentally thought nasty thoughts, about being invited for coffee and all it implies as I had said in a comment to this blogger’s post.

 Then lo and behold, Thursday morning saw the skies open and piss down (just like today, also a Thursday!) as though the heavens were feeling as grumps as moi — just as I was heading out to make that delivery and have that “very good coffee”.

My mood was foul to say the least, especially when glyco’s recipient texted to say recipient would be delayed. Mood got more foul when I saw the first hour parking charge for the place with the very good coffee.


I didn’t need that.

Then a light bulb lit up in my head, like one of those comic strips.  Why bother to park? Why bother to have coffee for that matter? Why risk being stranded in the place with very good coffee and expensive parking because of the heavy rain?

So I texted recipient to say I didn’t have time for coffee; meet me at the drop off point and I’d pass you the glyco. Which exchange duly took place and I freed myself from a tiresome meet up.

With no appointments, I was free to check out Orchard Central like I had wanted to do for ever so long. Then moosied to the Kwan Im Hood Cho Temple in Waterloo Street, had a couple of no-brand watches repaired at Win’s (my fav watch shop) at Bencoolen Plaza and then had a leisurely solo lunch at Create Healthy Lifestyle.

I did everything so leisurely that by the time I reached the temple the skies had cleared and no drop of rain fell on my parade.

It felt so good to reassert my agenda rather than let others shape it to suit theirs!

But what made it a very good day was suddenly spotting that poor old tramp about whom I’ve written here, here and here.

I had almost reached home when I spotted that familiar figure — in ragged clothes carrying a plastic Sheng Shiong bag — stumbling painfully along the unforgiving pavement outside the Shell petrol station near the post office on Bukit Timah Road just be4 Newton Circus.

So, Ashton who had written extensively to me about this old man is right. A said he had been running into the old man, even though I haven’t seen him for so many months that I thought he had gone to a better place than the hard uncaring pavements which he had been tramping up and down so aimlessly and for so long!

I almost did a jig but as I was driving I refrained. I also could not swing over to him, given the heavy traffic going towards Newton Circus and the equally fast flowing traffic zipping up the flyover!

But I was determined to let him have some $ so that he would have at least a couple of good meals.

I did my calculations. Judging by the way he was limping and stumbling, he won’t be making tracks with any speed.

So I made my way up Bukit Timah Road; doubled back to Dunearn Road-Newton Circus/Bukit Timah Road and then a U-turn at the post office to head back north; branched off first into Clemenceau Avenue North and Newton Hawker Centre (on assumption he might have gone there to look for scraps to eat) but no luck; another U-turn to Newton Circus and then into Scotts Road (because that’s where Ashton said he had seen the old tramp). Again nothing.

But instead of heading towards Orchard Road I made yet one more U turn and then tracked back up Bukit Timah Road in the direction of Johor.

And then as they say in old American detective stories such as Perry Mason, I hit pay-dirt! 😆

The old tramp was limping his way determinedly to heavens nowhere — and conveniently he was just outside the construction entrance of something or other to do with the MRT next to Guoccoland’s super luxe development.

So, I stopped, hazard lights flashing, wound down the left-hand side window and handed him enough $ for at least three meals.

The old tramp just mumbled incoherently and stuffed away the note. To the amused gaze of three foreign workers standing right there.

The thought crossed my mind — most likely unfairly — that they might rip the note from the old man. I hope not. But I had to be on my way and couldn’t stop to ensure no harm happened to this very unfortunate soul who pounds SG’s side walk that many outside the island believe is paved with gold! 😦

Thus I ended my day in a very self-satisfied mood. Confirming my belief that what we do seemingly for others’ benefits is really for our own. 🙄


New GSF or Great S’pore Flood

With the heavy downpour this morning causing the most visible damage to the high profile and very famous crossroads of  Scotts Road and Orchard Road, many a doomsayer and climate/environment buff was quick to claim that we ain’t seen nothing yet, because of all the harm that us careless humans have done to Mother Earth.

This was exactly what a greenie claimed to me gleefully in an email after I 4warded her an album of photos sent to me by the indefatigable Narayanan, known affectionately as Raju, showing the mess from the flood waters.

“U ain’t seen nothing YET…,” my greenie pal declared. “U should have been there last Sat at EArth Day, Climate Change conference to listen to Prof/Dr Art Ong Jumsai (NASAA scientist and founder of Sathya Sai school in Thailand) and seen his SLIDES…”

I’m no doomsday prophet and have no intention to let Greenie get away with it, since I do remember at least two other occasions when Singapore seemed to be under The Deluge.

Once was a long time ago, belonging in Once Upon a Time land, when Singapore was newly independent and part of my family was living in Rangoon Road and the other part in a flat directly behind in Starlight Road. (To show how long ago, both properties have since been demolished to make way for new buildings!)

The second time I saw an equivalent of today’s  flash flood was when I was living behind  Lucky Plaza, in Kim Sia Court, in the early 1980s and certainly be4 September 1983 when I  moved out.

I remember that flood particularly well. My car was trapped in the swirling flood waters because I was silly enough to try to make it through Orchard Road after coming down Jalan Jintan and Nutmeg Road. Those were the days when I was such an eager beaver employee who die-die must get to work, come hell or high water!

I failed to make it through Orchard Road. Instead, my tiny Honda Civic bobbed about like a little canoe in the waters once I hit Orchard Road, sailing right past Fitzpatricks Supermarket (where Tong Building now is) and then slowly floated across the road into the Mandarin Hotel’s street-level carpark.

I had help for the final lap, as kids and adults eagerly waded into the waters to help steer my car out of the waters onto firmer ground. And no, they didn’t hang around waiting to be rewarded. They were pure Samaritans who after ensuring I was safe, waded back into the waters to help other motorists similarly caught.

Of course, after that my car was never the same again and was sold off soon.

When I shared this story with my Greenie friend, it triggered one from the recesses of her memory.

“Ha! ha!, ” she replied. “That must have been quite traumatic …like when I tried to 
follow a bus when Newton circus was completely flooded…and my car  floated up andI had to swim out of the window..to be rescued by my laughing husband in his car in outer lane!”

There Greenie, today’s flood has little or nothing to do with climate change. Singapore does have the occasional memorable flash floods. First world country or no. So, let’s not do a rain dance about it.

Instead enjoy the experience and remember to reassure rather than alarm others when the next flood floors us all of a sudden.

Meanwhile, keep today’s event fresh in mind with this Youtube reminder, even though the flood water has subsided and the cleaning has been done! When the next flood occurs, be blase. Been there; done that!

civil defence knight rescues fair lady in the flood? Pix courtesy of Raju's pal