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Saturday, 26 March 2016

Like my past never existed...

After making a comment at Frugal Daddy's blog, I all of sudden had a realisation.

If someone were to challenge me and verify my past, I would have a hard time proving my past existed!

My Hua Yi Primary School at Margaret Drive is gone.

So is my Gan Eng Seng School at Anson Road. Yes, its now relocated to Tiong Bahru, but when I visited it 2 years back to ask for a back copy of my 1983 yearbook, they don't have.

It felt like I never studied there... Lucky I still got my report book. Do our schools keep a record of their past students?

I also did some night classes at Stamford College. I think its a hotel now?

My first job was at Metro Orchard; its now replaced by DFS.

I also worked at Robinsons Centrepoint. Now replaced by Metro. The irony!

With IKEA, I had a wonderful time at the old grey and concrete Cable car tower. Now it's completely changed with blue glass and modernity!

My 1.5 years during National Service was at 9 RITC Taman Jurong Camp. Yup, gone again. Are there plans to relocate Nee Soon camp to make way for condos and HDB flats one day? If that day happens, there goes the final vestige of my NS... 

My current place at Tanglin Halt will be en-bloc and demolished in 5 years' time.... (Not that I am complaining!)

Glad the HDB blocks at Stirling Road where I grew up are still standing tall.

My maternal grandma's resting place at Mount Vernon is being "en-bloc" too.   

Now I finally understood why my mom felt lost when she goes to town once in a blue moon.

Hey yah ha!

We don't need to relocate or emigrate.

If we stay in Singapore long enough, we will find ourselves in a new country!

P.S.  Now I have a deeper understanding of the saying - no man steps into the same river twice...


  1. SMOL,

    Our past never existed except in our heart, isn't it?

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      If our past never existed, how can it be found in our hearts?

      Wow! Your Zen getting stronger. Soon you will surpass me in no time ;)

      Have you ever been in a reunion where all the participants recall an incident that happened in the past differently?

      Can our brains really tell the differences between a memory, dream, and fantasy?

      Anyway, glad big daddy has realised building a Singaporean core can be quite "empty" if we ended up as a new "foreign" country to those citizens as you have nicely put - with Singapore in their hearts.

  2. Hi SMOL

    There was once I jokingly told my ex colleagues that after 100 years, nobody will remember us. Then she corrected me that once you leave tge company for a while and soon you will be forgotten.

    Even if assuming places are the same within 100 years, often I heard ppl living in east say that the west is too far. Same for ppl living in the west. So, how many people have visited both east coast and west coast in depth? Extend that to coney island and lim chu kang. Who have covered both? Yet we complain slno places to go in Singapore and we spent hours travelling. Haha

    1. Frugal Daddy,

      Do we pay our respects to our great grandparents during Tomb Sweeping Day? 100 years is about right ;)

      Yup, that's why to explore Singapore, we need to make an effort.

      West Coast I've never visited until only 4 years ago. Took pictures and blogged about it. Have I been back ever since? No.

      Lim Chu Kang can't say in depth since I don't play golf or been a scout. But I've visited Sungei Buloh 20 years ago. Most recently was my visit to the Frog farm there ;)

      I think Lim Chu Kang is popular for cyclist during the weekends?

      Coney Island?

      Oh dear. I'm a Southern Singaporean!!!

      OK, must return the favour to Northern Singaporeans.

      Come visit Labrador Park ;)


    2. Shit. Coney Island ban fishing now!

      No good for fishermen. Give them back old Coney Island. LOL

    3. CW,

      It seems "fishing" is not on the approved list of activities to be encouraged or supported in Singapore ;)

      Jogging, walking, cycling very much approved going by the millions $ going into our park connectors.

      Maybe "fishing" is not considered family friendly?

      I won't join you at Hong Lim Park OK? I'm happy :)

      I'm a walker!

  3. Hi Jared,

    Thanks for the nostalgic post. If w/o you mentioning, I also almost forget that a big part of our past were memories now.

    That is the reason why I always like to go back to hawker places where I grow up to eat. Then u see the same hawker 20-30 yrs ago still doing the same things but have aged significantly. Even more nostalgic is when the hawker is now helping and his son/daughter is taking the lead in cooking now.

    Hawker when I grow up at Havelock Rd just below my house is gone. So today I like to go back to Beo Crescent to eat. I also stayed at ABC market and Toa Payoh before and still go back to eat regularly visiting hawkers who accompanied me for years in my childhood and adulthood.

    Anyway like u but not as many changes, my Pre-school is at Havelock road and Pri sch at Bukit Ho Swee, both gone now! Sec sch at Gan Eng Seng also reloc from Tanjong pagar to Tiong Bahru. BMT at Nee Soon no more!

    1. Rolf,

      You're welcomed ;)

      Beo Crescent. I remember the Coke or Fanta bottle painted on the HDB flat during our youth!

      Now that's a landmark!

      Ah! Your childhood area not far from Queenstown. We have common memories :)

  4. Not many things can withstand the test of time.

    Coincidentally, I made a trip to where I grew up. The HDB block is still around, and now they have lifts at every level. My primary school is a rather famous one nowadays, which explains why it is still standing strong at its old site. Walking around the neighbourhood, there is only one chinese medicinal store which has been there for all of 30-odd years, unchanged. Pretty amazing - the owner is still sitting at the exact same spot as I can recall in my memories!

    Many times, we do the things we do because we are after a piece of memory, or a feeling we once had. I enjoy 米粉 and 花生粥 not because I love the taste, but because it is my idea of an awesome weekend breakfast a long time ago.

    1. Kevin,

      I often marvelled and loved the neighbouring small towns I've visited.

      Often I would exclaim this and that is like Singapore in the 60s or 70s.

      As I tourist I enjoy. But at the back of my head, I also know if a placed never changed, it simply means there's little economic progress there... That's why the young adults of those places come to Singapore to work...

      Ah! Our comfort food from young... I miss my ice-packet!

  5. Hi Jared,
    the terrace house in yio chu kang where I had lots of fond memories in the 80's is still there, but cannot recognise it! the new owner renovated it to the extent that its entirely different from the original look. another storey had been added.
    the nearby park where I had a bad fall and suffered a deep cut on my forehead is still there but like the terrace house, lots of upgrading has been done.
    I still drive back there sometimes. the feeling of reviving old childhood memories is simply great!!!

    1. Eh?

      "Ang gong gong" penguin now prefers to be known as Violet flower king?

      I see you like the androgynous theme ;)

      The quaint one story bungalow clusters near Stirling Road have now been replaced by some monstrosities...

      Some rich people have no aesthetic tastes.

      I pity those architects who took on these jobs. Not something they would be proud to lend their names to the completed project.

      "Please don't say to others I'm your architect for this house!"

  6. hello SMOL,
    sometimes past are haunting so if we want to think on the bright side, it's good that they just fade away. :D

    1. Hey! I remember you!

      Welcome Ellaa!

      If people envy me for leaving the corporate world at 44, I'll refer them to your blog - you left at 29!!!

      You are right.

      If our past is not so "comfortable", we look forward to the future.

      Nostalgia once in a while is fine.

      But if we are always living in the good old days, that means the present has not been so kind to us...

      Looking at my bald head, pot bellied stomach, and wrinkled age spotted skin...

      When I was 18, I has a 27 inch waist, porcelain white skin, and a full head of hair with a natural wave at the front...

      OK, time to look for a lamp post and sing "Memory" from Cats tonight...

    2. hey SMOL, ya I was MIA for a while. Frankly, I didn't leave because I achieved my own FI, it was more of left-because-husband-support then start to try and reach FI. So nothing to be proud of :x

      Sometimes, maybe it could be our discontentment playing a fool out of us? :)

      I teach 2 years old children this song:
      Row row row your boat gently down the steam, merrily merrily merrily merrily life is but a Dream. . .

      日升日落 潮起潮涌 
      梦里有爱 何必怕人去楼空
      extracted from this song that seems too old for me and yet i know omg


    3. Ella,

      It does not matter HOW we achieved financial independence - just as long its legal ;)

      Hey! That's 老巫's song!

      Girl, you are definitely too young to have known this song! LOL!

      He is my generation ;)

      Stay sassy!

  7. Don't worry, Jared, about ever having a hard time proving your past existed!

    Just refer the doubters to science.

    According to current science you could not have dropped as you are right now straight out of the blue sky. Thus you must have had a past on this earth.

    Unless ... let's not go there.

    1. Andy,

      Who am I before the Big Bang?

      I'm made from star dusts, and its amongst the stars I shall return.

      I've always wondered...

      If a tree fell and there's no one to witness it, does it still make a sound?

      Similarly, if there's no men in the Universe to observe it, does Time exist?

      LOL! I guess I'm too free...

  8. hahaha, thats very funny, same here from my experience, everything was gone!

    in my view, not only you never exist in the pass (and future), you don't exist at the present as well!

    1. coconut,

      I find it amusing too ;)

      I have to agree with you scientifically speaking; and more scarily, my Zen background sides with you too...


      Did I just agreed with you?

  9. Hi SMOL,

    Sometimes even though things remained the same, we had changed and so the feeling is also gone. Or the person whom we used to go together with to that location had moved on, so even though the location remained, it comes with a sense of loss that something had changed.

    No man steps into the same river twice.
    The river never touched the same man twice.

    1. LP,

      Nice input from another angle!

      That kind of feeling of "loss" is even worse :(

      Things are just things.

      People are different.

      Even more melancholy when its me that's changed...


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