48 Singaporean Seconds: Every bus ticket tells a special story
Singapore celebrates its 48th birthday on Aug 9, and to tie in with this,The Straits Times Photo Desk has put together 48 Singaporean Seconds, an audio-visual tribute to Singaporeans who have made this little red dot their home.
We are releasing their stories and videos in the next few weeks.
For our second instalment, we speak to bus enthusiast Benjamin Chua.
Benjamin Chua, 22, National serviceman
Mr Benjamin Chua loves buses and can talk about them all day. Rattling off bus service numbers and their routes is "basic knowledge", he says.
Ninety per cent of his Facebook updates involve buses, and one of his obsessions include collecting ticket stubs. He has been picking them off the validator after other people paid for their trips but did not take the tickets.
To him, collecting tickets is akin to keeping a memory as it contains all the details of the ride.
"Every ticket is special to me. Every ticket has a different meaning to it, a different route, timing, model. Keeping the stubs allows me to think back on how I enjoyed the different rides," he says.
Without missing a beat, he can tell you that bus 141 goes from Geylang to Toa Payoh, 165 goes from Hougang to Clementi, and 975 from Bukit Panjang to Lim Chu Kang.
He has special fondness for one service - "31 goes from Toa Payoh to my grandma's house, which is a special place to me".
His favourite route, however, is the scenic and rustic one taken by service 143 which winds through Orchard, Chinatown, Harbourfront Centre and places he likes such as Haw Par Villa, West Coast and Jurong East.
He enjoys sitting on the upper deck of a double decker admiring the festive light-up during Christmas as the bus passes through the Orchard Road street belt.
He also loves shooting the breeze with folks from all backgrounds, from tourists to the elderly, who go shopping at Chinatown during Chinese New Year.
- Photos and videos by The Straits Times Picture Desk