June 30, 2011

Last train out of Tanjong Pagar

It's Day 4 of school and it rained today, so the girls could wear their new raincoats. Yellow for Gigi and pink for Nat!

On Day 2, they both cried before entering class but were fine once they entered. On Day 3, Nat started crying at home and didn't want to go to school. I asked her why and sort of got the impression that it was because Gigi had made new friends and she hadn't.

This morning, she was super clingy and wanted to be carried all the way. But what's helped so far is that they've had 2 birthday celebrations already for their classmates so they are realizing school can be fun.

On another note, today is a significant day as it marks the end of an era, as the last train pulled out from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the Malaysian government handed the land back to Singapore in a landmark land-swop deal.

Having grown up and lived next to the station practically all my life (except for 4 yrs in AMK), I was sad to see it go. Will miss the horns in the wee hours of the morning and the ability to go to JB on a whim, as well as the chappati. On Monday I queued almost 45 mins for chappati and keema, not knowing it was the actual last day for the stall.

Since we live so near, I couldn't pass on the opportunity to bid farewell to the KTM trains and station and made my way down at 10plus to hook up with mummy and co. It was super crowded though and I got caught up in the excitement as the Sultan of Johor had just arrived.

Tried to tip-toe to catch a glimpse of him and eventually followed the crowds into the station and managed to get pictures of his head! There were so many photographers and bystanders, everyone was snapping away like crazy.

I just kept walking into the platform, trying to find a pocket of space and I did, only to be pushed to the back as the Sultan walked past.

The train was a fancier one, it wasn't carrying actual passengers, mainly KTM staff and journalists. Some carriages arrived to be joined to it and people climbed in to take photos, there was hardly any security.

As the anticipation built, the crowds surged forward especially when the Sultan boarded the train, he was going to drive it to JB for sentimental reasons. I was right in front of the train when the moment of its departure arrived. People cheered whenever the horn sounded and as it slowly pulled away from the platform, people waved and shouted out well-wishes.

Silly old me shed a couple of tears as the train cruised past and then just like that, it was over.

I hopped onto the tracks and searched for mummy, and we helped take photos of each other. Stole a piece of rock from the tracks, other people were laying their hands on any souvenir they could find i.e. cactus plans, broken poster frames, old magazines!

All too soon, security guards started chasing people out, had to vacate by midnight so that Singapore could officially take over. I wonder what they will convert the station to? My guess is a hotel, only time will tell...

No comments: