I sat and people watched. That cross-point in East Coast/Joo Chiat Junction… those roads which I must have crossed thousands (yes, plural) of times in my life. The Chocolate shop across the road was once a very famous Hainanese Chicken Rice cum Coffee Shop owned by the Phang family. They lived above the store. Wee Nah, the third out of 5 daughters was a classmate of mine.
The left window on the 3rd level used to be the girls’ bedroom cum homework-room and there I used to be at age 11 or 12 doing my mathematics homework with Wee Nah.
Where I sit to have my beer was once a perpetually busy corner coffee shop and right behind me used to be the famous Char Kway Teow (fried rice noodles) stall. The store is now a global-beer pub. Pubs seem to be everywhere in Katong – are people now drinking so much beer?
Shophouses are now all glassed up and air-conditioned. The buildings’ profiles are still the same yet so different. The interracial couples walking by make up over 50% of pedestrians while in my dating days, my date & I would stick out ~ like 0.01%!
I think I will come back to this exact point every 5 years (if destiny allows) to feel if not see the changes to the area.
I walked these streets as a child;
I now sit here as a returnee-of-sort…
I feel so local,
yet I know I am now not.