Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The not so usual Faber
I thought it would be my usual 5km run until I got lost in Singapore. Hmmm… is that possible in the city state? Maybe the better word is disoriented.
Last night, I took a different route. I wanted to escape this urban jungle. So I decided to run along the Sungei Ulu Pandan Canal via the Ulu Pandan Park Connector. The next 30 minutes was stunning as I was surrounded by huge vegetation and floras. Singapore being one of the most densely populated cities in the world relies on high rise apartments and condominiums to fit its 5 million inhabitants.
As I enjoyed running along the canal, darkness became more evident. It was not the usual heavily lit roads I am so used to run around. I passed thru the railway path that soon will be history since the government decided to shut down this portion of the track. Shrubberies and flowers unfolded one by one. Vegetation of all shapes and sizes filled my sight. Over the other side of the canal, bushes and floras abound. As the concrete walls and buildings disappeared slowly, I was surprised for a brief period in time that I saw only trees and plant life. It was quite surreal.
The dilemma started after about 3km into my run, as I halted at a dead end. I thought I could make a big loop back to where I began. I contemplated swimming across the canal or jumping thru the gap to reach the AYE (Ayer Rajah Expressway). At the end, I withdrew that plan.
I turned my head to the right only to find out that there is no visible bridge to cross to the other side of the canal. On the left, there seemed to be a track around the forested area, but I didn’t feel adventurous enough that night to go wandering thru the woods and past the bushes. So I made a U-turn and a quick right turn onto a small street. I ended up in Faber Heights, one of the small alleys connected thru the canal. The succeeding streets that unfolded bewildered me.
“I’ve not been here before” I told myself. As I ran around, I saw Faber Heights. As I ran further, I stumble upon Faber Grove. After a quick left turn, I ended up in Faber Walk. At that point, I had a feeling of being in a maze. True enough, after few more blocks, I terminated in Faber Heights again! The combination of waning strength plus an impending dehydration made me a bit disorientated. Perhaps, seeing too many Faber street in a short period of time was the risk factor.
Determined to find my bearing and at the same time being stubborn not to choose the easy way out, I continued my run only to end up in Faber Drive. I don't know about your own experience, but grounding on mine, normally, a street with a name “drive” ordinarily connotes a long road. Often it is also the main road. My hopes went up that I will find my shortcut. It was short-lived as I saw another Faber, this time Faber Terrace, and what confused me further is that as I passed a street named Faber Terrace, I ended up in the next corner only to find out that it is the same street.
After circling around for several more minutes, I saw Faber Valley, a bar in the community. I wanted to buy a drink, but I realized that I only have a key in my pocket. No money, no debit card, no ez-link, nothing. My throat was at its breaking point.
I ended up in a dead end yet again. This time I find myself at AYE. As I went down the slope, I felt I was going further away and that’s when I decided to go back. As soon as made a U-turn, I saw a small path that looks very promising. I took that road by the small canal and ended up....guess where... in a cul-de-sac of Faber Terrace.
As I frantically look for an exit, I went back to Faber Drive, passing thru Faber Crescent, Faber Green, Faber Avenue only to culminate in Faber Drive for the third time! Faber, Faber, Faber nonstop….
As it would be easiest just to trace back where I came from, I thought that there would be an end to all this Faber, a short cut perhaps. Something I had been waiting for. Unfortunately, there was none in sight.
So then I re-started my journey at Faber Road, until I finally saw a non-Faber street… I’ve never been so happy to see a Jalan road. Actually Jalan means road in Malay. I usually take Jalan for granted because I live near one.
There I was, standing at the corner of Faber Road and Jalan Lempeng. I told myself, finally, this is my redemption, my ticket out of here, a way home… So I run and run some more as far as I could from Faber…..
At this point, after several ups and down, I felt things are falling into places. I felt peaceful. While traversing along Jalan Lempeng I was so happy to see that the next road is not a Faber. As I move closer, the street name stunned me....It was Lempeng Drive….flashes of Lempeng Green, Lempeng Road, Lempeng Grove, Lempeng Avenue, Lempeng Walk, Lempeng Crescent quickly went thru my mind....Lempeng, Lempeng, Lempeng. Not again!
By the way, did I mention that I passed across Faber Park?