The Yummi Chiffon place has closed down. Have I been in the central business district so long that I have outlived the cafés and restaurants that continue to open and close over these past three years?
So has the Jollibean two shops down. The only thing that is left on that row at Tanjong Pagar MRT Xchange is a newly-renovated POLAR Express, bright and shining with its clear display of chicken pies and cartoon-designed cakes.
Would I no longer see the snaking queues at 9.20am, and the hurried commotion of coffee ladies making and taking orders for the legion of office workers ready (or not so ready) to start their morning? Would I no longer smell the aroma of local coffee in air-conditioning, and see the contrasts of orange paper cups against the store’s bright green walls?
I remember the first time I bought my coffee from Yummi Chiffon. Not understanding their double queue system, I studied the actions of other customers. I wrote “KST” in thick black marker on the plastic cover, placed it at the front of the queue and went back to my spot at the back.
That was the first and last time I bought my coffee from Yummi Chiffon. I liked their coffee quality, their efficient service and their steady clientele. But I never liked the idea of waiting in a queue, though the sight of it is a comforting familiarity every weekday morning.
Ride the escalators to the top, make a sharp turn to the left, there it will be. The snaking queue, made up of well-heeled ladies in little black dresses, languidly playing with their smartphones while waiting. When their coffees are ready they pick up the cup by its plastic holder, the weight of it held only by their index and middle fingers.
Change, here it comes again. When will it ever stop? It’s bad news for a “no surprises” person like me. But thank God I’m soldiering on, living in the present, enjoying one day at a time. In a world awash with change, I’m glad to have an anchor, a solid rock upon which to build my life, wrote one Patrick Morely about reading the Bible.
Change is neither good nor bad – just inevitable. See you tomorrow, Tanjong Pagar.