Some things will not change...in life
Time will pass. Humans may change. It's 2009 and Singapore is home to the world's tallest observation wheel, first F1 Grand Prix that is held at night and first Asian Youth Olympics. Would you think it's possible 40 years ago? How many 40 years do we have in life to show concern for our loved ones when time keeps catching up with our immaturity and ignorance?
There are always some thing in life that will not change. In 1969, there was a hill to the left of the shop where children can climb and play hide and seek. In 2009, the hill has been flattened and a Multi Storey Car Park took its place. In 1969, residents in Queenstown would sell their farm produce in open space. In 2009, this open space was reclaimed and an HDB flat was built in its place. All the hawkers have shifted to the Mei Ling Street Market.
Blk 156-where hawkers will lay their farm produce in open space
Recalling the changes is Mdm Wang, who has seen many changes around her. This is the shop where many Mei Ling residents will recall fondly buying stationery and note pads for their school. This is the shop which inspires many local writers like Qian Hua to write short stories.
Good Afternoon Mdm Wang, It has been a long 40 years. How does Mei Ling Street look 40 years ago?
Yes, time has passed so quickly. My neighbour used to be a shop where they develop photograph films in the traditional way. There used to be Mei Chin primary and secondary school at the junction. Now, the photograph shop and the schools are no longer around. My neighbour is a family clinic while Global Indian School has moved into this precinct.
So, how did everything come about?
Fate, i would say. I was selling stationery 40 years ago a Beauty World. My husband and I bid for a store and we are allocated a place in Mei Ling Street.
Yeah, many things have changed in the past 40 years. In your opinion, what hasn't?
Mei Ling Street remains a place where people can find good food. The residents are friendly and place is convenient. My children will assist me in opening the store.
Final note... Mdm Wang's smile has left a deep impression on me. Her smile and friendliness has made me feel that some things in life does not need to be beautiful, fashionable or exotic. These are simple things in life, like the simple things she sells in the store. There may not be another 40 years for this shop. But it may well be a lifetime of recollections for many of us who did manage to interact with her.
The toy vending machine in the olden days...
The colour pencils that we buy for our Art classes in school
The Bookshop that serves Mei Ling residents for 4 decades exactly.
The comics, magazines and...ironing service?