Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.
At twelve, I lived in the suburbs along the East Coast of Singapore. Ah yes, the old houses designed by British architects who weighed the pros and cons of weather, humidity, flood level and all else learned in architecture schools ~ backyards included. (Is that a long sentence or what?!)
Solid concrete walls, concrete floors on brick stilts, clay tiled roofs and complete with power, water and TV aerials. The design was a bit of a half-&-half. Seven steps up from ground level and you reach your front patio, then into the living area. At the back, seven steps down from ground level and you hit a semi-basement which many used for pets’ room, bicycle storage and children’s (like me, yes, my) play and study area. We never had air-conditioners, lived with opened windows, high ceilings and ventilation openings in walls, yet never complained about the heat and humidity.
A picture speaks many words, so I’ve attached one which I took on my last visit to Singapore, of the next street of my home ground, which has been conserved.
Katong was then an area densely populated by Eurasians also known as Kristang and the Straits-Chinese, the Peranakan. These were the English speaking locals, the hybrids and I happen to be part of the latter. Why did they congregate there? Beats me … I was only twelve then.
Being siblingless, I was the queen of the house, or so I thought. I was allowed to have 2 cats, a cross-eyed dog and 2 chickens as pets and that made me feel like the ruler of a pet empire though I later learned that I was a pets’ janitor-in-training.
School was walking distance away and many classmates would spend time in my lower ground space, with envy, where adults were scarce. Ah yes, my smart parents gave me my ‘breathing space’ so that I would stay home rather than roam the neighborhood. Church was also walking distance away & Father Paul visited often for tea. The bus stop was a minute’s walk away but papa still wanted his rickety old car in front of the house. The whole neighborhood was like mini Peyton Place, everyone knew everyone and we all partied well past midnight on Christmas Eve, even children under 12.
Yes, that was a good and happy house being lived in during a happy pre-teen era.