K-pop star fell in love with S'pore during MRT breakdown
Mad. Upset. Anxious to get home.
You would expect that of people who were affected by the MRT breakdown on Tuesday (July 7) evening.
But one K-pop star will tell you a different story.
Former member of boy band U-KISS, Alexander Lee Eusebio (Xander), encountered the unexpected during his long journey home on Tuesday.
U-KISS (Xander, third from right) performing in Singapore at Bedok Reservoir Park in 2010. PHOTO: ASHLEY MAK
Having finished dinner in Outram, Xander was headed for his aunt's house in the Dempsey area.
The Hong Kong-born Korean-Macanese singer-host, who has been living in Korea for the last seven years, first realised something was amiss when every cab that passed him was hired.
Xander, who was in Singapore for a holiday, is also signed to local actress Michelle Chong's artist management agency, Left Profile.
So what does one do when the MRT breaks down, when one doesn't have data roaming and can't access the Internet?
He couldn't walk home, it was simply too far.
After wandering around and walking past three bus stops, he decided to ask for help.
Xander, 26, told The New Paper: "The MRT breakdown in Singapore has shown me a different side to Singaporeans that I didn't see during my last few visits here.
"People here are so nice.
"You would expect everyone to be in a bad mood because it was late and everyone was still stuck outside, but instead they were very kind.
"The two men that I asked at the bus-stop, about which buses I could take home, took out their phones and started helping me search bus routes online.
"In the end, with their help, I decided to take a Bus 142 that was headed to Orchard Road."
After getting on the bus, Xander realised that he didn't know how much to pay for bus fare.
So he asked the bus driver but the driver did even better.
Said Xander: "With a hand gesture, he told me to just go inside the bus.
"He gave me a free bus ride.
"I felt really thankful."
On his Instagram post about this bus uncle, that has since garnered over 9,000 likes, Xander wrote about his kindness.
"I don't care whether it is right or wrong for him to do so (to give me a free bus ride), but my heart felt so WARM.
"It is NOT about the money but his action.
"This uncle knew the situation about transportation shortage and was trying to help fix the situation.
"Isn't this just so PLEASANT?"
When Xander arrived at Orchard Road and finally got to a cab queue, there were still many people in the queue.
But once again, he struck up conversations with the people beside him and he said that everyone had an enjoyable time talking about being stuck in the same situation (MRT breakdown).
In the end, he got home past midnight but stayed up to regale his aunt with tales of kind Singaporeans.
The day after he posted about the kindness he had encountered in Singapore on what was supposedly a rather harrowing night, local blogger Xiaxue tweeted about his post.
Xander said that he didn't know Xiaxue personally but because of her tweet, many people had read his post and commented that they really liked his story.
Having visited Singapore in the past as part of U-KISS, Xander said that this current trip was his best one.
This time round, he also got to watch his cousin's Basic Military Training (BMT) graduation which he said was an eye-opener.
One thing that further sweetened his visit was that he had hit the jackpot by being here for durian season.
The avid durian lover, who counts the golden phoenix and cat mountain king varieties as his favourite, had indulged greatly in the king of fruit.
Xander, who was at the airport today (July 9) waiting for his flight back to Seoul, said that he's now enchanted with the people of Singapore.
The star of Chong's movie 3 Peas In A Pod (2013) is looking forward to when he next works here.
Xander did not hesitate when asked if he would want to live here after the kindness that he had witnessed.
He said: "I do."