Saturday, 19 March 2016

A little Bird Street in old Singapore

Rochor Road now.
View of Rochor Road and surroundings from Rochor Centre (inset, below), which will soon be gone to make way for new developments. Pics taken 24 Feb 2016.

THANKS to blogger friend, Streetsing, I can now sleep knowing that a "bird street" in Singapore did exist. He checked with his elder brother and sis in law and they confirmed that it was near Sungei Road (which I initially thought was the bird street) -- but not Sungei Road. 

It was Rochor Road, where the old 7th Storey Hotel was, at the junction of Rochor Road and North Bridge Road. There was a stretch of old shophouses at the junction. Apparently, these shops (where some also sold Chinese tidbits like preserved prunes etc) later closed to become shops selling coffins. 

I don't remember the coffin shops though. Maybe I didn't go there very often as a kid -- only with my dad to look at the birds when I was really small.

Later on, I do remember passing by Rochor Canal (near Jalan Bersar side) in the bus when going to town, that the Canal was always filled with oranges around the 15th day of Chinese New Year (Chap Goh Meh). It was believed that unmarried maidens will meet with happiness if they float oranges down the river on this day. Now, did anyone remember this? 

And oh, one of my primary five teacher's favourite jokes was: "Throw you into the Rochor Canal then you know!" whenever we teased him about his girlfriend, who was teaching in the same school.


streetsing said...

I don't remember the floating oranges on Rochore canal only the floating logs destined for the sawmills further downstream, after the ice factory at Sungei road. In the past on my way to school, occasionally can see some ladies washing laundries on the canal. There were steps leading down to it :)

Lo Tien Yin said...

Yes, I do remember those logs floating along the river and I thought it would be nice if I could also walk on them like the loggers. But, I think it would be quite bad to fall into the waters in those days. If I remember correctly, the waters were murky and smelly!

streetsing said...

Indeed it was muddy and dirty in the past. Wonder whether you or anyone remember the toddy shop opposite the ice factory:)

Lo Tien Yin said...

Certainly remember the ice factory... but not really the toddy shop. Shall ask my brother. You've got a picture of the place? :)

streetsing said...

Unfortunately no photos, its long gone now:( However, I came across another blogger mentioning about toddy shops at Jalan Berseh which is near sungei road. I too vaguely recalled it was at a block of building that was once sort of a rubbish collecting centre. The one opposite the ice work I remember quite clearly though.