Mar 24, 2012

The Old Jalan Kayu Post Office Demolished

Old Jalan Kayu Post Office

It was perhaps fate that the bus to my new workplace took me round the junction of Jalan Kayu and Yio Chu Kang Road and a quaint two storey colonial building came into view. My first impression was one of curiosity, what was this building and why it was sited so close to the filter road. I had initially assumed it to be an outpost of RAF Seletar fallen into disuse; it did not appear to be inhabited. Nearby is another unusual structure but taller, could these have belonged to the air base?

Mar 19, 2012

The First SIT Flats in Tiong Bahru

Blk 55 Tiong Bahru Road

When I got a little bored with Chinatown for my lunch, I ventured into Tiong Bahru; and it was then that I began to have a good look at the pre-war section of the estate. It was disconcerting at first, for at what is possibly Singapore's first UNESCO World Heritage Site (see the dream), streets run parallel and at right angles, and every corner of those art-deco buildings looks identical. I panicked when surrounded by these unfamiliar buildings in white: how was I to get back to Si Pai Por? Eventually I managed to find my way around the estate, thanks to the frequent makan session and little exploratory walk before heading back to work. There are so many things in this pre-war estate that we can talk about, other than "bird corner", "art-deco", "delicious food", "bomb shelter" and what have you. Where shall I start then?

Mar 12, 2012

2nd Shot: Reconstructing Tiong Bahru

Tiong Poh Road

Before I was posted to Si Pai Por, I could count the no. of times I visited the pre-war SIT estate of Tiong Bahru with my fingers. It was either a drive past along the main road or a food hunt - I remember Chwee Kuei - at its famous hawker center before it was rebuilt. I could not remember any of the Trust flats nor did I look out for them. All in my mind was the grave of Tan Tock Seng, which I used to associate with Tiong Bahru; my neck would be craning inside the car as it made it way around or out of the estate. Was my effort rewarded? I think so, for I remember catching a glimpse of a solitary grave on a hill beside the estate.

Mar 6, 2012

House of an Old Guard off Holland Road

50 Oei Tiong Ham Park Driveway

I accidentally stumbled onto this driveway with a wounded mushroom somewhere off Holland Road during one of my KTM railway explorations last year. Do you know the significance of the place? Clue: one of the Old Guards is living or used to live here. Today, there are reputedly four members from Singapore's first cabinet in 1959 still with us: one needs no introduction, he is the Primus inter pares; another was spotted at a recent Old Guard's passing; the third keeps a low profile; the last vanished without a trace. Who am I referring to?