#reclaimingsg is our series about all things related to our memories of and how we feel about Singapore. We are not so ready to “archive” yet, hence the word “reclaim”.
What’s so special about an old place? Is it nostalgia for the sake of nostalgia? Or is it a form of hanging on to something to prevent it being gone?
No doubt, watching the film, Old Romances (directed by Royston Tan, Eva Tang and Vitric Thng), touched something in us. There was a gentle ache for some of the things past, which somehow feel more in tune with the Singapore we want and remember, than the one that we live in now. And more than just reminisce, and to archive them before they are gone, we wonder if there is a way to make the “memories” last longer. We think that the most visceral way of reclaiming the memories is to visit old places and live the moment again. Even if the place will be gone tomorrow, we have tried to ensure that the moment lives on longer, is remembered for a longer time to come.
#reclaimingsg is a hashtag for all things related to our memories of and how we feel about SG. We prefer the word “reclaim” because it feels less passive; we are not so ready to “archive” yet.
The pictures above are of Lee Wah Coffee Shop. It is by now gone. Back in December, @wallflour was there and warned of its closing. It is rather near our place, but it is not a place we have heard of before. We went, and ordered bak chor mee and laksa. And chee cheong fun. We liked the laksa very much, enough for us to stop saying we only want Katong laksa (we have special feelings for Katong and its laksa).
We are shy people, but managed to ask some of the stall-holders where they were moving to. I hope it made the uncles happy that two young women (as it appeared to them) whom they have never seen before would want to know where they were going to.
Maybe some do think that we are nostalgic for the sake of being so, but when everything has been torn down and rebuilt, what do you have to cling on to except physical things like mosaic tiles, old electrical fittings, and a hand-dryer from 20 years ago?
Balestier Road is the place of many new condominiums. I wonder what amenities they will have, or will these people along Balestier and its many Jalans all go to United Square/ Novena Square/ Square 2 (why is everything a damned Square here) for their needs?
It was raining that day, and we walked out of the coffee shop with an umbrella overhead. We passed by Spring Mansions, and without the need to announce it, we both walked into the estate. There were lots of discarded furniture. There was an old car parked there, and some bikes, and then it was all movers’ vans.
We peered at the enbloc notices stuck around the place, and we walked upstairs. Doors were unlocked; Siew almost went into one of the units but thought she saw squatters. After we and they are gone, this is going to be S$1,500 per square feet land.
This is Singapore, where buildings and memories are erased every once in a while, and in the name of progress, everyone has to move on.