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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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Espresso Shots

rainy days and sundays

“bzzzzzzzzzz!” it was the carpenter bee. black and rotund and a little hazy as it whirred about and dashed against the blooms of the bright yellow trumpet flower. “oh, up early today i see!” exclaimed the lavender mauvely, it was the nearest to the blues it could get. “let it be… let it be…! let it beeeee…” replied the carpenter bee, it had a thing for punning. no one ever said a bee couldn’t, after all. lavender rolled its spikes,…

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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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Espresso Shots

sunday tale

“i think,” said the frog, frowning wisely, “you start feeling freedom once you have lost something…” it paused and gazed up at the sun moodily, then added a final word with an air of authority, “forever.” the lavender swayed as it laughed, a throaty provocative sort of laugh, “a loss, really? of what? or of whom? and why should loss make you feel free?” who’d have thought the slender spike of pale mauve flowers with those soft, intricately detailed, delicate…

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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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