Stars, they really are just like us when it comes to taking the bus. And by that we mean, they fall in love, bump into famous people and collect bus tickets with lucky numbers.
‘I stopped taking the bus after I got my driving license in the ’90s. I don’t own an EZ Link card now, but I should get a Senior Citizen Concession Card with the benefits when I hit 60 (laughs). Before I was an actress, I used to live in Aljunied and I worked as a production clerk in the Alexandra area. I’d have to take a bus for over an hour and walk another half an hour to get to work. Some fellow passengers I met every day became friends, and we’d notice if anybody in our ‘group’ was not there in the morning. We also collected bus tickets with ‘lucky’ numbers, like four consecutive eights. I was so happy when I got a ticket like that! When I was younger, there was a guy who alighted at the same stop as I did and tried to chat me up. I was so scared that I ran away. People didn’t have mobile phones back then, so I guess that was the only way he could approach a girl (laughs).”
“My dad worked as a private minibus driver before he retired. In primary school, I used to tag along with him, and got to know many interesting people. There was an auntie who doted on me and always bought me gifts. I met celebs too. I saw Chew Chor Meng and I remember telling my dad on the bus, “Chu Ming means ‘very popular’ in Teochew.” Chu Ming da-ge heard and turned around to ask, “Mei mei, are you gossiping about me?” (Laughs) I have a Suzuki car endorsement and so I drive their car now, but I still take public transport with my friends on weekends. Parking in town drives me crazy! And if I need to mull over things, I’d take a long bus ride to nowhere. I remember failing my ‘A’ levels and taking a bus all the way from Kovan to Harbourfront. The long journey calmed me down. But I always kena my EZ-Link card running out of value. There was once I forgot my wallet, and a kind bus driver let me ride for free and even gave me $2 (laughs).”
“Actually, I just took the bus two weeks ago (laughs). I didn’t drive that day so I did my first Instagram Live video when I was on the bus ’cos it’s been a while since I last took it. The ride was about 20 minutes, which was the same amount of time it would take me to get home on an Uber. Other than the driver, there was only one other person on the bus with me, so it was like we had our own space. I was so excited! (Laughs)”
“My fondest memory of taking the bus was when I was in JC. I met my first boyfriend on the bus. We were from the same JC. We took the same bus to school in the morning, and I had a crush on him. I had a bet with another friend of mine, who had a crush on another guy, to see who had the courage to go up to the guy we liked and speak to him. Eventually, we both did. I can’t remember what I said to him back then. But we ended up dating for five years. I still take the bus occasionally now. I don’t drive. So usually, my dad ferries me around. Commuters on buses and MRTs are usually too busy using their phones or daydreaming so I’ve never been bothered by anyone.”
“In the past, when we took buses, we’d get a bus ticket, and there’d be four digits on the bottom right-hand corner of the ticket. It was rumoured that if we added up the digits and the total number was 13, we’d have bad luck. Whenever that happened, I would tear the ticket up and throw it away. However, if the digits added up to 21, we’d have good luck and we could make a wish. I remember I was in junior college then, and I’d always wish for good grades in school. Some of my wishes did come true! (Laughs)”
“My best memory of taking a bus was definitely when I was in secondary school. There’s this bus that I always took to and from school and there was this girl whom I had a really big crush on, and she would take the same bus. I’d wait for her outside the school, or I’d wake up really early to catch her taking the bus, and I’d sit at the back row and just watch her. It sounds a bit creepy and stalkerish but we’re actually friends now. We became good friends in poly. I did confess that I liked her when I was 19, but it didn’t go too well for me back then! (Laughs)”
Catch Buses: Dawn to Dusk on June 6 (Tue) and June 13, Ch 5, 9.30pm to learn more about our bus transport system.