Sneaky Smiles On The Bus

We were wedged in between a grumpy-faced Chinese lady and a dark Malay worker with downcast eyes, bumping along from one side of Singapore to another.

I had Miss M clasped in my lap, worried an extra-strong bump or a sudden brake would send her flying out a window. Miss M was oblivious to the dangers. She had a bus to conquer.

She flung out one arm, placing her tiny baby hand proprietarily on the grumpy-faced lady’s arm. “Sorry,” I said, wincing, and removed Miss M’s hand. “It’s ok,” said the lady, who’d lost her grumpy look.

Miss M flung out her arm again, to be greeted by a wide grandmotherly smile. Miss M smiled back, toothlessly delighted.

“Eeeyaaaaah,” she cried, a baby-echo of the karate-chop cry made famous in hundreds of c-grade movies. She flung out her other arm, capturing the Malay worker. He looked up at the small hand on his arm, lifted his eyes higher to Miss M’s face, and a slow shy smile appeared. MIss M returned the smile with an impish one of her own.

She spent a few minutes basking in the glow of her newly smiling bus companions, turning her head from side to side, enjoying the grandmotherly smile, then the sneaky shy smile.

With her new slaves completely under her spell, Miss M looked around for more smiles. All three people on the seat across from us were grinning. A few strap-hangers were also looking on with warm smiles.

Miss M laughed in triumph. And soon we were at our stop.
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9 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, and never got around to going home again. Now wrangling a cross-cultural relationship and two third culture kids.


  1. Karen says:

    It’s official! I’m hooked. I love your blog and am happy to see that it’s still possible to have a life after having babies. And, oh my, what a life you’re having..!

    • Life after a baby is certainly less free but it’s possible to have fun. I’m really looking forward to the next year, now the baby is more portable (not needing multiple naps, sterilised bottles and special mushed up baby food).

      I’m looking forward to learning about your 2011 adventures too!

      (P.S. The cycling through Cambodia and trekking around Sapa was pre-baby. Stay tuned for post-baby adventures.)

  2. […] Beautiful Post Sneaky Smiles On The Bus – New to blogging, new to Singapore, new to motherhood, I wrote this post early on, […]

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