Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Prayed already?

God of Wealth Temple at Sembawang on the 1st day of Lunar New Year. Picture taken in February 2013.

I HAVE a great interest in temples. When I was very small, my dad would take me to the Toa Pek Kong temple at Yio Chu Kang Road (near Plantation Ave, towards the 5th mile of Upper Seramgoon Road) after our visits to the nursery. He loved to visit the nursery and look at all the potted plans. Even if he didn't buy any, he loved to chat with the gardeners and the boss, to get some tips on growing plants and making them flower. Anyway, if we had some time, we would drop by at the Toa Pek Kong temple. I don't remember my dad offering any joss sticks or praying at the altar. But the temple's caretaker, a very skinny old woman, would always ask "Pray already or not yet?" when we made our way out. My dad would always give her a coin or two and said "Prayed already".

I am going to take a picture of the Toa Pek Kong temple at Balestier Road, to post it here. It's a big temple with the popular durian stalls outside. There must be many Toa Pek Kong temples in Singapore still, although the small one, oft visited by my dad and me is long gone. I used to see it still, till at least the early 70s, when I took the bus home from school (the 72 bus).

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