Once upon a time, before modernisation, Queenstown was a swamp, hills, cemeteries and villages. High-rising living flats debuted in Queenstown as fourteen-storey apartment flats at Forfar Heights or "chap si lau chu" in hokkien. These houses are located along Tanglin Halt and Commonwealth Close. Named after a Scottish town, Royal Burgh of Forfar, the childhood town of the present Queen Elizabeth's mother.
Today, 40-storey blocks replaced the Forfar Heights along Strathmore Avenue. At the peak of this gigantic structure, a breathtaking landscape weaves through the city skyline and enables one to indulge in reminiscence of the days where residents have to share their kitchens and toilets in a communal environment. As I take the lift up the beautifully built structures, a teasing pain wheezes at my ears. I know I am approaching massive height. As the lift doors glide through the gaps, a panoramic view awaits me. I was dumbstruck by what I see. Am I taller than "Bukit Merah?". I can see IKEA and the brand new BMW showroom in the foreground and those hanging cranes and tankers in the background. Deep in my mind, I know I do not have to suffer the heat and mosquito bites living in attap houses with porous shelter. For a moment, I am in heaven. And this is queenstown-forfar heights, strathmore avenue.