I had a late start. Ok a really late start! Grabbed a sub, caught the MRT and I was on my way. The sky grumbles, here and there. But my excitement cannot be dampened. I reach Changi Village. Changi is really sleepy. And the sea – grey and murky. This place is nowhere close to what I had in mind. I notice a sign that says ‘Coastal Walk’ and indicates a stretch of beach. So I decide to check it out. 30 minutes, and a kilometre of sweaty walk later, still no sign of my dream. I realized I had grossly mistaken that Changi would be like ECP.
Sleepy sidewalk in Changi Village
What to do now? After a quick coke (the village may be sleepy, still expensive), I decide to get on the bus and try and get to the ECP. On the way, we pass the Changi chapel. On an impulse, I get down. There’s no way I am coming back here – May as well take a look. Plus, there was a cafe attached!
Outside the changi chapel
Just as I get done with the chapel, the sky that has been ominously threatening with its growls and grumbles, decides to unburden itself. So, I sack in the cafe. Now my stomach is rumbling – but the menu is pricey. I order mushroom soup. What I really really crave is endless cups of coffee. Coffee that is strong and not milky. And doesn’t cost 4 sing a cup. I want my Kopi. Still, the cafe is quiet, and I manage to turn a few pages. And chat up with this westerner guy who comes and asks me where I was from. Apparently, he is right now based near Pune and travels to North East very frequently. A vague thought is hovering as we talk - I should get his contact or something like that. But I don’t. The rain stops. The cafe is pretty and all. But there is no feel. So I leave.
Stranded in the Bark Cafe
ECP? May rain again. I don’t want to go to Starbucks. My bus comes – I get on. The bus feels closed. I feel restless. The day feels pointless. I see a signboard for ECP. On an impulse I get down. I am in Bedok. Looks like a residential area. I just want to walk. Few more cafes have come in sight. All serve cappuccinos, Irish coffees, lattes and others I can’t remember. Not a sign of the simple, honest Kopi. I walk further. Ahhh – a Chinese food mall, with graphic designs of all possible meats in the world. My hopes rise a little bit. I run through the menu. And there it is – coffee, Hong Kong style and coffee , China style. I don’t know which one it is. But I say Kopi and she seems to understand. And then I look for something vegetarian. I want plain toast – but she can’t seem to grasp toast with butter by the side (as inferred from her breaking into a song-like squeaky Chinese). She asks if I want Kaya. I don’t know what that is, so I am dragged to the kitchen and shown Kaya :). Yes, a plate of Kaya toast and Kopi for me. All for a buck and ninety.
Kopi and Kaya Toast
There is Chinese music playing behind me and radio jockey talking in between. All slide into the background as I sip the coffee. And bite into the toast. And finally, finally settle to flip a few pages of ‘The Hours’ in soul deep contentment.
A random day, broken only by the monotony of my attempts in photography.
Me in Tang Tea House
Tang Tea House