Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Changi Point revisited

Changi beach on New Year/s Eve, late afternoon. Weather (though the sky was overcast)  was perfect for a leisurely walk.No crowds here, except for one or two couples, and a few family outings. The crowds were at the Village food centre, long queue at the nasi lemak store, the outermost stall facing the row of shops. The other one was still setting up. Chicken wings not fried yet :)
CHANGI Point is very different from the one I knew as a child  where there were lots of canvas deck chairs for you to sit as you drink your Green Spot (or Sinalco?) and gaze out to sea.  However, it is not too different from my teenage memories. Especially the bus terminus which has been at the exact spot since time immemorial. And if I am not wrong, the same pavement stones skirting one end of the terminus!The shops have retained their flavours too.

There was a  fishery station or something by the Primary Production Deparatment which is now gone from the spot. The link bridge is still there. The waters are much cleaner than what I remember. The beach  as well. The new (new to me, but has been around for some time) boardwalk is great!

The old jetty has of course, been spruced up years ago. You can catch a boat to Pulau Ubin, and if you have your passport with you, to Pengerang for seafood :)

I still like Changi and prefer it to the East Coast Park (though of course, East Coast Park is very nice too.) In my childhood days, the beach at Bedok was a great contender to Changi, as I remember we could walk far out into the sea during low tide and stand among its corals and watch tiny waves lapping by our feet. There were nice beaches at Pasir Ris and Pasir Panjang too, but the beach we visited most during my childhood was Changi Point.

Postnote: A little trivia on the area, which I got from the NetOriginally called Tanjung Rusa in the 1600s, the name was later changed to Tanjung Changi two centuries later. The area was a low-lying mangrove swamp and the name Changi most likely came from changi ular, a climbing shrub, or from a tree called chengai. Even as late as the 1900s, tigers came to Changi Hill to deliver their cubs. This hill was totally flattened to provide the soil for reclamation that created the land on which Changi Airport is built.

Nice  stone benches instead of those old canvas deck chairs of my childhood. I vote Changi as the No. 1 beach in Singapore.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Wet, wet, wet

Snowy scene through the window of bus 143. Actually it was just rain lashing at the window pane. I was lucky enough to get the seat by the window.
Even Chinatown, which was not dolled up for Christmas, gets a Christmasy feel because of the rain. I don;t know whose face was reflected on the top right hand corner of the window pane.. Probably the girl behind my seat? Didn't see it till now. Interesting...
T'WAS a very wet Boxing Day. But if you are not getting off the bus, it is a great way to see the Christmas sights along Orchard Road. So I sat tight... Didn't want to get my socks and shoes wet, you know :)

The Saturday after Boxing Day wasn't so rainy, but there was front page news of the flood in Malaysia. The young counter girl at Cold Storage where I bought my papers, pointed at the picture on the page and exclaimed, "Oh no, it's flooded now. That's my hometown!". She was very worried but mastered a smile for me when she gave me the change.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

T'was the week before Christmas: A lobster's adventure

T'WAS the week before Christmas that the little lobster decided to escape from the tyranny of the catfish. It scampered all the way from the tank to the bathroom whereby a blood curdling scream was heard.

"Ma'am! Ma'am! Big scorpion!" Maria screamed. frantically looking for the Bygone.

The "big scorpion" was gingerly lifted by its claw and released back into the tank.

A little while later, the family decided to check on the lobster again, but couldn't find it anywhere, not even under the conch shell where it usually resided, out of harm's way.

A bit of red stuff was sticking out from the catfish's mouth. Its stomach was peculiarly shaped too, sort of bloated and pointy at places.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Nice long walk and Capitol revisited

Two chi lins
 guarding the roof top of a building at South Bridge Road. The faithful lions, custodians of the past, haave weathered all sorts of elements -- and gathering storm clouds are sup, sup sui (minor obstacles in Cantonese.)

And another one on the next building.
TOOK a walk  from Chinatown to Raffles City. I owe myself a treat after working so hard for the year, so I took a few days off.

After passing rows and rows of my favourite shophouses, I eventually reached Stamford Road.

 I haven't seen the old Capitol for some time. But it was different from what I saw in 2013 The entire building has been given a white wash.

And I noticed something else which I have completely missed before, even when it was still a cinema.

Capitol, dressed in snowy white. Pic: 22 Dec 2014.
Yes those old lamp posts! I am not sure they are originals of the era the building was erected (it was completed in 1930) but they were sure different from the modern ones across Stamford Road, at the SMU side.
See the lamp post with the really big round bulb? And yes, this building, Stamford House (1904), has those nice green balustrades like those of Raffles Hotel.
The bus stop was exactly where I remember it, even when I was a kid. There was a restaurant behind this bus stop selling Ipoh hor fun. I think it had wooden swing doors nut I can't remember its name.
Do you remember the shops along this corridor towards Capitol? Swee Lee Music used to be there. And through the eras, was there a dentist there too? And the Singapore Dispensary?

Monday, 15 December 2014

Those old bus rides again

Clack, clack, clack, ticket please....
DO you remember how you rolled up your bus tickets and stuck them between the metal strip and the wooden back of the seat in front of you? Your ticket stub won't be the only one stuck there. Other bored passengers may decide to scratch stuffs like "I. T. A. L. Y." on the wooden back. Some may doze off only to be woken up by the bus conductor rattling his ticket puncher on the back of your seat or the metal railing to signal either bus stopping or bus moving. (I was reminded of this by fellow blogger, Street Scenes of Singapore.)

Or it could be the bus inspector who wanted to wake you up and inspect your ticket. You would then wake up and show him your ticket. Inspector then said you have not paid enough fare. You then explained that you have overslept and missed your bus stop... and hurriedly alight at the next bus stop.