Before being replaced by the EZ-Link card system in 2002, commuters used to insert farecards into special machines to pay for their fares on public transport. These farecards can be topped up at specific stations located across Singapore.
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One of those things I miss in my era
I was really shocked when I saw this listing because I just found one of these in my mum’s long-forgotten cabinet a few days ago. Like the others, it seriously brought back many fond memories of my childhood.
I love to take the public transport when I was young (and definitely when it was less crowded) and I would always ask my mum to let me slot the farecard into the really cute red machine. I was too short for it and my parents would always carry me to do it. It was so fun back then. First, the red slot machine really looked like a huge toy to me and second you got to press those cute little blue buttons at the side. Finally, a receipt will come out after a “cek cek” sound. All these processes just amused me at that time. To add on to the fun, the cards come in so many different designs!
I was really sad when they replaced the whole system. No doubt the new system is more efficient and saves time but I guess some things are just irreplaceable. And does anyone know if there are any of those red machines on sale?
Faded memories of the past
Oh wow, these cards are ancient. When I saw the picture in the little thumbnail I had to pause for a moment to think about what the card was like in the past before it came to me. Thinking about these cards made me think about the advertisement discouraging piracy in the cinema, with the extreme case of the father keeping little ticket stubs from old movies while the child asks, "what is a movie theatre?"
Similar to that scene, I'm faced with similar emotions with the loss of something from my childhood. What used to be has been replaced and renewed by something else that is sleeker, better, and more advanced. With that, we forget the past.
With the failings of the normal human mind, when will I actually remember the things that I've forgotten, the memories that I've lost, and the impressions that have faded?
Gone with the days
I perched, precariously, on my short stubby fit in vain to fit my farecard into the farecard machine of bus 85. The bus uncle moved off, and the bus jerked, almost causing me to lose my balance. Fortunately, my mum was close at hand to catch me and she did it for me instead. This was the year 1999, and 5 year old me was on the way to school on Hougang. I had absolutely no idea that the Farecard system, which I took for granted everyday, was soon to a thing of the past.
I have very fond memories of the farecard. I remembered that one of my first hobbies was collecting them, as they came in different designs. The merlion farecard was really my favourite, as it was hand-drawn but looked really real, a stroke of artistic genius indeed!
In this age of convenience, technology has eclipsed the humble farecard. It was decided that it simply wasn't worth the trouble inserting a farecard into the machine and pressing the appropriate ticket in the name of efficiency, both in boarding and the hassle of operating the machine. However, if you look positively, it was quite fun to see the displayed lists of prices and deciding where you want to go. After all, having machines calculate your fares for you can get quite tedious and boring after a while!
Its time I asked my mum if she knew the whereabouts of an old farecard. Oh, the nostalgia!