SHE used to eat breakfast with her sister an hour before she opened her Woodlands shop to sell artificial flowers.
But Madam Teo Puay Hua doesn't do that anymore.
Since the escape of Jemaah Islamiah terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari two weeks ago, there have been massive jams near the Woodlands checkpoint because of increased security.
As a result, Madam Teo's sister now takes a lot more time to get from her Bukit Gombak flat to the shop, which faces Woodlands Point.
So Madam Teo, who lives a five-minute walk from her shop, doesn't bother anymore.
But breakfast aside, Madam Teo, 54, said her business has been badly affected.
She said the Causeway jams have scared off customers from the Woodlands Centre area, causing her profits to drop by half.
Salesman Lim Jun Hong from a handphone shop nearby told a similar tale. He said jams werestill forming yesterday, soon after 5pm.
Some bus commuters also choose to get off the buses early, and walk the rest of the way.
'Rather than get stuck in the bus for an hour, I just walk. About 10 minutes and I'm there,' said national serviceman Anand K Arumugam, 22, who alighted two bus stops early to walk to Woodlands.
Motorcyclist Lee Chuni Guay, 39, a carpenter, has also taken to walking.
He said: 'I had to ride on the pavements but it's hard because there are too many people, so now I would rather walk.
'Never mind the 15 minutes' walk from Marsiling MRT. It's better than getting stuck in traffic.'
The crunch forms at the short stretch of road that runs alongside Woodlands Town Garden. It is a three-lane stretch that cars on Woodlands Centre Road use to get to the Causeway.
What worsens the situation is that some cars and buses are trying to keep right to get onto the roundabout, while other vehicles are trying to keep left to get onto the road leading to the Causeway.
Buses ferrying workers to Malaysia also try to squeeze onto this road from a carpark at Woodlands Centre to the Causeway.
They then compete for space with SBS and SMRT buses enroute to the roundabout.
Said Madam Teo: 'Early last week, the heavy rains made business worse. But these few days, it hasn't been raining and the jams seem to have gotten better. Business has picked up slightly but people are still staying away.'
The jams have affected not only shopkeepers.
A resident who lives in a unit above the shops complained of the constant honking from buses and lorries at night.
DIFFICULT TO SLEEP
Said housewife Haslinda Ahmad, 36: 'It has been difficult for us to sleep because of the noisy engine sounds from the buses and the horns of the lorries. This can go on till past midnight sometimes.'
As evening approached, The New Paper observed a number of passengers getting off at the Woodlands Town Garden bus stop instead of waiting for the buses to get to the roundabout nearer Woodlands Checkpoint.
Some had walked from as far as Marsiling MRT station.
On the other side of the road, lorries were turning into the lanes leading to the checkpoint, a few at atime.
Traffic wardens told them to stop and wait as they waved cars through.
Some lorry drivers got out in protest and were heard yelling expletives at the wardens.
Still, nothing changed.
So they turned off their engines and got out to chat with each other.
Lorry driver Megah Swaran, 35, who was delivering paper to a factory in Kuala Lumpur, said he had noticed a pattern - that the lorries would be stopped at about 4.30pm and cars would be let through.
He was trying to beat the time but his lorry got stuck with just two others in front of him.
Shrugging, he said: 'It's bad luck. I was already here for two hours about 200m back.
'My company knows about this bad situation. Now, I have to make sure I can drive past the Johor immigration by 11pm.
'If not I'll be waiting till morning.'