Our Sunday morning ritual goes something like this.
After breakfast, we leave the house. If you ask Ashwin where he is going, he will tell you: Bus okkachi… Train okkachi… Ommo train okkachi.
We walk hand in hand to the bus stop and wait for the bus to Clementi. At this stage, he will tug at my handbag and go "Card.. Card.. Card.." I have to hand over the ezlink card to him. Once the bus arrives, he will go to the driver and say "Hi.. Gomoing Diver Uncle". Considering that it is common practise to pretend that the driver simply doesn't exist, I'm sure the driver's day is totally made. He will then sit in the bus wearing an all-important expression on his face. (Look, I'm sitting in the bus! I'm THAT important!). At every stop, he will check with me, (aachi?) and give a running commentary (Uncle bye poi, paati bye poi). If anyone in the bus sneezes or coughs, he has to imitate them as well.
At our stop, he will wave bye to the driver, tap the card once again and get off. We then walk hand in hand to the MRT station, take the escallator on the way where he strains on his toes to hold on to the hand rail. Once at the MRT station, he will run to the ticket gate and tap the card to make the door oppun. If it is already open, he will wait until it is closed to tap the card - HE has to make it open.
We then take the train to Jurong east. In the train, he once again wears his all-important expression as he sits. If someone smiles at him, he will return a shy smile and look down. In jurong east, we get off the train and Ashwin will ask "ommore train?" We then take the connecting train to Bukit Batok. His commentary continues - door kosh pa irukka, baby okkachi …
In bukit batok (where we live), we leave the train and head home.
Before leaving home, Ashwin will take some coins from the coin box by the door and keep it in his pocket. In bukit batok MRT, there are usually some people soliciting donations and he will drop the coin in the box in exchange for the sticker. He will press the button at the road crossing and wait for the green man so that we can cross the road. Watching shadows, asking to be carried, acting like a baby, touching the cars and bikes on the way keep us busy until we get home.
Our entire journey takes about 1 hour but Ashwin will talk about it with pleasure all day. His last sentence before dropping asleep last night was "Diver Uncle Gomoing Solli irukka… Bye solli irukka".
Life is a journey of simple pleasures. Ashwin has taught me that and I hope I don't forget it anytime soon.