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road to singapore

road to singapore

punggol peripatetics

punggol apparently means “hurling sticks at the branches of fruit trees to bring them down to the ground” in malay. it also may refer to a wholesale market for fruits and vegetables. i had never heard of this area in the northeast of singapore till one day someone spoke of the wonderful seafood you get out there. a couple of years later, i heard punggol mentioned in the prime minister’s national day speech, seemed it was going to be developed…

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road to singapore

a meeting in mandai

mandai has such a pretty sound and it usually means the zoo to me. but we were not going to go there, we decided, we’d just start out at some point on mandai road and walk around upper seletar reservoir, singapore’s oldest freshwater lake (i don’t like the word catchment) and then follow the road, see where we land up. aj, my really understanding personal trainer to whom i can happily say i hate the word gym unless he means…

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road to singapore

two walks in katong

once, the sea used to come right up to katong, and wealthy merchants and traders had their mansions along the coast. there are several big houses here still, but the sea has been pushed back, by almost a mile i think. i first came to katong – a suburb in the east – with a colleague, to buy cheap perfumes at katong shopping centre. everything changes in singapore, all the time, but happily, the shopping centre with its deep blue…

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road to singapore

with basement, attic, and swimming pool on nassim

the house was beautiful. through the trees and the railings, beyond the shrubs and plants in the garden, i could see intricate white plaster work on grey. pillars, walls, portico… i couldn’t get a look at the entire house, but whatever was visible had such an air of a gracious time, also it was so very pretty. i’d never seen something like it, the white work was fine and intricate, elegant on the grey background. looked like someone took great…

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road to singapore

the call of the big road… jalan besar

i don’t know what exactly is art, but if it’s something that makes you stop, stare, feel a strange attraction and look at a thing differently, then this was definitely art. it made me want to go close, touch the thing. on lavender street that day, the sun blazing, traffic going by at its usual weekday pace, i couldn’t look away from that burst of colours and intriguing shapes. what was it? what was it doing here? shouldn’t it be…

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road to singapore

a surprise in queenstown : road to singapore

had we not been trying our best to avoid the cemetery, we’d never have found it. the rain had been heavy, it was never quite gone the entire day. aj and i set out to walk around seven in the evening, light was falling fast. the traffic was thick and noisy along queensway, the first left from my place. to avoid it, we crossed the road, walked a little along commonwealth avenue, then took an unfamiliar path going in the…

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road to singapore

time travel off hyderabad road

why is hyderabad road called hyderabad road? i couldn’t crack the puzzle. once upon a time, long long ago, that insanely rich man called the nizam of hyderabad may have owned property here… or he may not have. there is some mention of this in a newspaper – the hindu, published in india – from many years ago (net digs can bring up all sorts of things). anyway, i am not at all sure as to why the name of…

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road to singapore

what’s that in the water… kranji way

have you ever stood at a beautiful spot, bright, calm, and scenic, feathery clouds drifting in a clear blue sky, waters rippling by, the green of the grass pure and lush, and then felt it all go absolutely eerie? can’t say exactly at what point it hit me, but as i looked at the lone man fishing out there, and my eyes followed the even waters of the johor straits all the way to malaysia on the other side, as…

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road to singapore

reindeer on orchard road

the lights are up. they’ve been up for a while now. it’s almost december and this is orchard road. how could the lights not be glittering along the 2.2 kilometres sacred to serious shoppers everywhere. i gaze around at the blue and white reindeer swinging overhead, christmas trees twinkle in green, gold, cobalt blue, red, tiffany blue. fairy lights sway from the tall angsana trees near paragon. it’s almost 7.30pm on a thursday evening, traffic is getting clogged, people run…

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road to singapore

a cemetery in kranji : road to singapore

a feeling i guess doesn’t lie. nor does grass gently rolling down the slope; nor do flowers by silent stones, nor stones standing in rows, saying things that i hope i heard. there was a watchfulness about the sky… as if it wanted to know something. for some reason, i wanted to go to the war cemetery at kranji around remembrance day this year. i say for some reason because i’ve never been too aware of the second world war…

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