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Revisiting the East

August 6, 2009

Since I proudly consider myself a 1990s Katong Kia (My parents and both extended families grew up there. Plus when I was growing up, I lived in the row of shophouses on Ceylon Road, a stone’s throw from the heat of the authentic Katong Laksa feud. And this part amazes people further – my mode of transport to nursery was – fo’ serious – the trishaw, which I took with Popo to Kinderland everyday), I have always felt a distinct homeliness and familiarity associated with the east side of Singapore.

Today, I realised that there are still parts of the east that I haven’t memorised, even though I spent a good 14 or so years commuting in that little coast-side zone of Singapore. My friend very sweetly took off from army today and we decided to be a little adventurous and wander into the nooks and crannies of Tampines.

After my internship in STB, I have realised how much stuff in Singapore there is to do in so many areas that we negate just because it doesn’t occur to us. The heartlands are awesome, everyone should go there! (No, this is not blatant advertising for tourism receipts. Really.) I didn’t really manage to venture into the heartland HDB blocks per se, but I brought along my trusty 8 Days from weeks ago which featured stuff to do in Tampines and so we followed that!

Actually we were too busy talking to even pay attention to the shops. But Uniqlo (which I went there for, thinking it’s like MUJI ++)  is sorrily underwhelming – it’s like a slightly better Giordano. Same kind of shirts, with equally bad slogans. Like they completely ripped off Columbia University (like, no kidding. down to the slogan.). And Ohio State. I was quite appalled. But, hey, at the extent of sounding politically-incorrect – it’s Japanese. They rip off almost everything! So, kids, if you don’t want to travel all the way to New York City to get the real deal Columbia t-shirt, you can really just head to Uniqlo and people will be none the wiser.

It’s like, “Yeah, I go to Columbia University, the Tampines branch. Cool anot?”

That said, there are some passable shirts and likeable basics at reasonable prices so it’s worth a look-see, for the novelty, anyway. Anyway, on my way home from the MRT, I received a clever text from another friend whom I am supposed to go Tampines with on a separate occasion:

*LEGALSERVICE-REMINDER* Dear Mdm/Ms. Sim, this is an automated reminder that you have ONE(1) scheduled Tampines adventure from 10/8-17/8 inclusv. Failure to comply w/in inclusv period may lead to tortious action. *LEGALSERVICE-REMINDER*

I initially saw the “*”s and thought “Oh man, one of those turdass annoying ‘Spend $50 dollars in a single receipt at Wisma Atria and get 5 bonus points’ messages!” I’m glad I didn’t delete it immediately without opening it because it’s so delightfully clever (or maybe I’m easily impressed, but that’s good anyway – makes life more enjoyable) ! I am definitely taking the friend up on the offer but maybe I’ll hatch a more exciting plan for our daytime getaway – it’ll be a surprise. (;

In any case, I showed my dad this video of 2 Korean girls going completely insane in a staged Karaoke room and now he’s addicted to it. I bemoan the fact that the first thing he said after “Hi darling, Papa’s home!” is “Girl ah, Papa wants to watch the crazy Korean video again.”

It’s very entertaining but I find that it gets tired after you’ve watched it 15 times consecutively – unless you’re my dad. He still cracks up everytime, without fail: “The san (skinny) one, the san one – is very funny! Wah! So funny! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

“。。。I think we established that on the 3rd time we watched this, pa.”

Judge for yourself!:

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2009 2:11 pm

    umm frankly the sogan is weird.

  2. August 8, 2009 1:41 am

    Wah si 1960s Katong kia, leh… how? Grew up in St Patrick’s Road. 😀

  3. August 8, 2009 3:23 pm

    @Jiesheng: It’s like a crown. I think it’s pretty!
    @~autolycus: Haha my mum grew up in Ceylon Road in the 70s too. She knew the original Laksa dude. John Lee (Dick’s brother) wrote a song about Katong, you should take a listen. It’s awesome!

    • August 11, 2009 5:24 pm

      Dick Lee is my fourth cousin once removed. That is, his great-grandfather Tan Keong Ann and my great-great-grandfather Tan Keong Keng were brothers. Heh. His first cousins are Lim Kay Siu and Lim Kay Tong, among others. The whole story can be found in the huge family tree in ‘Goh Keng Swee: A Portrait’.

      My maternal grandparents lived at Ceylon Road for a while, in the 1980s.

      • ohzdils permalink
        September 30, 2009 2:39 am

        Ok whoa, i know this is incredibly delayed but apparently I’m related to Dick Lee too. I think my grandmother and his mother are cousins… O_O

  4. August 9, 2009 4:23 pm

    Ohwell don’t know i you find such shirts related to UK unis. I love my own uni and un society t-Shirt in any case.

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