Sunday, October 11, 2009

Little India

At around 7.30pm, I dropped this passenger at Mustapha Centre, the only 24-hr shopping mall in Singapore at Syed Alwi Road, and just as quickly, an Indian couple immediately boarded my cab, carrying with them some shopping bags. "Please, Madras Hotel" 
"Okay" and I started driving very slowly weaving through the very crowded road with people, mostly Indian Nationals, waiting, individually as well as in groups with their shopping bags, luggages, and you name it, parked alongside the road, waving and even patting on taxis even though they may be occupied. 
This is 'Little India' with shophouses packed with goods overflowing onto pavements and numerous restaurants and coffee shops fully packed. This chaotic situation can be witnessed especially on weekends. Very slow moving traffic mingling with the hordes of equally slow moving human traffic. The whole surrounding area with its numerous side roads are thronged with Indian Nationals mostly from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The majority of them are foreign workers working everywhere in Singapore. During weekends, they stream into Little India to buy necessities, eat at their favourite restaurants and coffee shops or meet up with friends and relatives from their respective countries or simply just hang out together in groups all over the place occupying practically any visible empty space available anywhere in sight, till very late at night. 
Presently, with Deepavali coming on 17th October, the "Festival of Lights", Little India is already lighted up with colourful facades lining Serangoon Road and shophouses decorated in all its splendour with huge crowds overflowing all along both sides of the main road and with inevitable jams and very slow moving traffic, most taxis automatically shy away from this area for fear of getting stuck in the maze. 
Finally I arrived at Madras Hotel which is located at the start of Jalan Besar, opposite the popular Lavender Food Centre, another big eating place with many foodstalls lining up side by side. The fare was $9.60 for such a short journey and my passengers paid me $10/- and gestured to me to keep the change. "Thank you" I said and drove off and immediately found a parking lot just ahead. I stopped to rest and then went to look for my favourite "Goo Bak Kuay Teow soup" (beef noodle soup) which is very popular and good...........

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