Tag Archives: Singapore

Singapore’s National Day

Time is but an infinite passing of events. Time doesn’t stop, only life does. When life stops for 1 being, life for others continue until it is their time to end their existence. Time is just too in-depth a subject for this blog’s discussion but each time I hear or see something from my precious past, of sentimental significance, it still makes me reminisce and long to go back in time … an impossible feat.

A 30-yr old video re-surfaced, I see faces and places I remember from my younger days, on the land of birth and it simply makes me so homesick it triggers the urge to travel, a return to my birthplace while I still am able to. August 9th is Singapore’s National Day, the day we obtained Independence and became a Republic. Each time I watch this video, which was on Singapore’s television 30 years ago, it’s like a travel back in time through the time tunnel.

Also in this video is the Singapore Pledge which I recited every school-day for well over a decade of my life.

We, the citizens of Singapore,
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,
to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity
and progress for our nation.

Yes, I am now out of Singapore but I simply cannot get Singapore out of me ~ a span of time which time cannot erase.

(Americans & others ~ I do not mean to sound derogatory but please do not assume Singapore is part of China.  Yes, I’ve had people in Social Security and USPS simply adding the word “China” to my submission of written forms. *sigh* Just for information Singapore is further away from China’s closest point than Orlando is from Boston, a long way away … 3hrs 50 min flying time.)

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On This Little Street in Singapore …

The street where I lived … during my childhood… East Coast Road.It’s an old street with many old buildings retained but with new shops and businesses. It actually made me wonder what became of the old shops ~ books & comic stores, ice cream parlors & bakeries, laundries, mom&pop sundry stores, medical clinics …

As I walked on … “Aargh! It’s still there!” though closed for that day. Mum once told me that I got my 1st shot of cocktail here ~ BCG & 4-in-1 (whatever made up the ‘4‘ during that era is anyone’s guess) ~ yes, I survived.

Now run by Junior Kai

Each time I got sick, this is where I would end up and everytime I was here on that dreaded green flatbed, I would see Doc with a syringe in hand. I simply didn’t want to remember his name so I just called him Dr. Needle till I was 10 years old.

A more pleasant sight is the ever famous Red-House. For many years, it stood vacant, boarded up, sadly on a wavering status of whether to be conserved or not. Thankfully, it’s been restored but is now a bakery-nouveau of sort. I used to ride my bicycle here to get mum her bread & cakes and, yes, the aroma could actually trigger hunger so I learned to run this errand, twice a week, after lunch.

The old “Red House” Katong Bakery.

The Katong Red House Bakery has a fascinating history – it began with the 1925 ownership by a wealthy Muslim tradeswoman Hajjah Fatimah (Hajjah indicates completion of pilgrimage to Mecca). In 1931, a Jewish man named Jim Baker, started a Bakery (see the pun? 😀 ). Then came a Hainanese man, Mr Tan Siang Fuan, who took over, paying $600 as “coffee money”.  The Hainanese are famous in Singapore  for literally being Bartender, Baker & Chicken Rice Maker (see earlier post with Chicken Rice mentioned).

Every child had a hideaway then (not sure about now) and mine was right here in the back alley of the next street. Hey! we were cellphone-less & escaping from chores was considered cool.

Where I rode bicycles & played with dogs and chickens.

We attached nets wall-to-wall and played badminton and volleyball. I collected stale bread from Red House Bakery and would feed & talk to the roaming chickens and dogs. Yes, life was good living in harmony with different beings.

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Built by a Jewish Merchant in 1928

I walk the streets of Singapore, each time when I’m back, with a different feel these days. I try not to take anything for granted. So when I saw the David Elias Building, I stopped, I observed, I approached…

David Elias Building

Note the significant Star of David at the top and along its sides. Built by Mr Elias, a Jewish merchant, in 1928 to house his trading company it just emits vibes of history.  It stands at the the junction of 2 main roads indicating a prime location.

The tallest point of its façade.

With the intermingling of races & religions over the years, I think ownership and tenancy has played a significant role in little addition(s) to this conserved historical building. From my brief observation, it shows ~ very subtly. I wish I had a reason/excuse to explore its interior but alas … 😦

Little mirrors attached.

Mirrors outside a building, placed in strategic locations, are used to deflect “poison arrows” in Feng Shui… other buildings’ pointed corners, roof edges, broken walls, etc., so this indicates a Chinese Feng Shui believer owns/rents some or all of this building now.

Down on the ground level, what else can there be but a food shop/eatery for us Singaporean food lovers.

Dual purpose blinds – block sun’s rays & advertise.

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Walk All Over … From Different Perspectives

Sometimes people are just so rushed that they do not stop to take a 2nd look and appreciate things literally starring at them face on. Yes, I’m guilty of that when I’m rushing through, on errands.

In the past I would not have noticed but this time I stopped and I looked … busy people, wide pacing, street crossing …

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♫ Food, Glorious Food … minus little Oliver

“Oh how I do miss thee, when I am far away …
can never be substituted,
no matter what others say.” ~
Me, the food lover

It may look simply strange and “foreign” to many but being back in my gastronomical heaven, calories and dieting can wait.

Oh what joy…!!!

Yes, I took a break from social media. I decided to simply “lay low” and do some hardcore reading of good books from the library.

But yesterday evening I experienced so much joy & actually screamed my excitement, which I have not done for a long time, and thank goodness I do not have next-door neighbors.

A young 21 year old Singaporean actually beat the champion swimmer Mark Phelps at the Rio Olympics in the 100m Butterfly event. Yes, Joseph Schooling swam with his idol and actually beat him by nearly 1 second. schooling-phelps-dataIsn’t the above a telling photograph?

Swimming - Men's 100m Butterfly - Heats

Congratulations Joseph Schooling! May you have many, many happy years of competitive swimming ahead and as our Prime Minister saidYou made us very proud today”.

OK, my summer break is over. Children are back in school so it’s time for me to begin blogging again. 😉

It’s different on Sundays …

Singapore’s Wall Street ~ like any other all over the world ~ is a place of stress.  While on the streets, look at their faces, watch their walking paces, everyone is in a hurry.  Yes, been there, done that.

But on Sundays, it’s a whole different ballgame. A few will head back to the office for a short while to prepare for Monday, with no phone ringing, no colleague-chatter, plain peace. When done, without the usual crowd, the Singapore River and her shaded embankment actually exudes a peaceful karma.

The Fullerton Hotel ~ a business executive hotel.

The Fullerton Hotel ~ a business executive hotel.

Ample clean floor space for a private picnic.

Ample clean floor space for a private picnic.

Napping spot with no screaming kids, cellphone yammerers, loud music ...

Napping spot with no screaming kids, cellphone yammerers, loud music …

... and a mega hotspot ~ all yours.

… and a mega hotspot ~ all yours.

What better way to browse?

What better way to browse?

Singapore in 1987

There are times when I do sit back and reminisce, especially when I get postcards from friends I’ve known for decades. (We made a pact to keep in touch via Postcards many moons ago.)

I’m just putting on this link to share what Singapore was like in 1987.  All the children in the video are adults now, probably with children of their own, in school uniforms similar to what their parents once wore. (I’ve been asked many times if Singapore is part of China & do we speak English there. Well, it’s a tiny multi-racial island republic, 4 hours flying time to China’s closest airport and we all do learn British English in school.)

“We the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people …”
the Pledge that still means so much to me.

I guess I’m getting a bout of homesickness.