Saturday, 6 July 2013

Sunday morning

While I often complain vociferously about working on a Sunday there are some things I like about it.

I like being slightly out of step with the rest of the working world. I like having a day off during the working week. I like that when I cycle into work on a Sunday morning the roads are quiet. I like the things I see.

I get up and, still half asleep, before I've even had my coffee, get on my bike to cycle into work. This is what I saw this morning on my way.

As I cycled up grimy Geylang road I saw the tail ends of last night. Sometimes I'll catch sight of a lady or notlady making a deal, people still drunk falling across the road. The numerous food stalls are already peopled.

Sitting along a pavement, cheek by jowl, was a row of construction workers, Chinese and Indian, waiting to be collected by one of the open backed trucks and taken to one of Singapore's never ending building sites. I'm not the only one who has to work today.

The next part of my route, past Kallang, through Lavender is motorway. I cross over the river and see people running alongside it, before the sun is fully up and the heat sets in. Marathons here start at night. I snake away from the motorway and come up into Bugis, past the golden onion domed mosque. During the week I'll sometimes catch sight of children on their way to the Madrasah the boys wearing small white caps, the girls in mini hijab and niqab.

The further I cycle away from Geylang the cleaner and brighter Singapore gets. I pass the famous Batman building. I used to think that this was the oldest sky scraper in Singapore, an original 1930's office block. It isn't. It was built in the 80's or 90's, a vanity project owned by a rich Malaysian business man, but still impressive.

The Batman building
I leave Bugis and cycle past Raffles hotel, past Chimes, once a church now a complex of (what else in Singapore) restaurants. I turn up towards the lush greenery of Fort Canning park passing beautiful old colonial buildings currently being gutted, turning into yet another mall leaving, only their beautiful fa├žades as a memory of the past.

Out of the tunnel I pass Dhoby Ghat, more malls, and Singapore is getting shinier and shinier with each push of the pedal. Up Somerset, the backside of Orchard, malls on either side of me. Past Grange Road and another breath of the past, a row of old Chinese shophouses, spruced into desirable residences. 

Up Orchard Boulevard and a surprising slice of greenery tucked away from the malls and condominiums that make up orchard, a canopy of green.

And I'm there. I lock up my bike and go and find a coffee to wake me up while I write my diary and prepare for my day.