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The Lady Behind the Bonsai Plants

By my queenstown on Sunday, December 27, 2009 with 0 comments

Along the western end of Stirling Road are stretches of terrace houses built during the colonial period. Located at the "backyard" of Queenstown, these houses are surrounded by tall, stout trees, that appears to be as old as the houses there.

Colonial Houses with Tall Familiar HDB Flats at the background

Mdm Zhu and Me

Today, My friend Jasper and I met Mdm Zhu along our trail. Spoken with distinct Mandarin, I've mistaken her for being a Chinese national! She has stayed in Queenstown for 6-7 years and had previously resided in Delta and Havelock Road. She was married with two grown up children. As there are increasing number of younger families moving into this estate, I've understood her concerns regarding the need to promote a cohesive environment and her love for nature through a short interview.

Why did you decide to move to this colonial house 6 years ago?
It is a quiet and resembles the communal living in the past. It is just like kampung! There are many facilities such as the swimming pool and MRT stations nearby. However, it is sad that Queenstown is remarked as a "old district" and the shopping plazas along Margaret Drive had been demolished to make way for new developments.

Do you think that these houses ought to be preserved?
Certainly! These houses are symbols of our legacies from the colonial period. We have to preserve Singapore's identity, kampung spirit and the tranquility of living in the small town. I have serious concerns whether developments in the area will make Queenstown lose its identity.

I've noticed many new occupants among the colonial houses. Do you know them?
I've spoken to a few of my neighbours. Most of the new occupants are young married couples and they are pretty private people who preferred not to interact with the older residents here. However, there are still some helpful ones around.

Wow there are many bonsai plants and medicinal herbs in front of your house! Do you grow them?
Yups! I love nature and want to be as close to nature as possible. I've a mango tree and various traditional herbs that are able to "cleanse" the system.

What are other areas of improvements do you wish to see in this district?
There is a lack of recreational facilities. The sports complex is old and dilapidated. The cinema and bowling centres are closed. It will be nice if there are more facilities to attract more people to visit in this area and it will be more convenient for the residents. Moreover, the linear park connecting the traffic light (along Commonwealth Avenue) to my flat is dim litted and the park used to have a table tennis court when my family can indulge in the game of table tennis. Hopefully, there will be more recreational activities for old folks like us!

Final Note... the colonial houses do allow me step into the past when neighbours can interact with each other over a short fence. These brick tiled roofs are increasingly replaced by steel, glass and other fanciful structures as I made my way out of the colonial houses. Perhaps, development has caught upon some of the residents living in this area. In my opinion, these houses ought to be preserved for as long as possible.

The Small Versions of Bonsai Plants

The Large Version of Bonsai Plants!
I saw Mangoes hanging somewhere! Did You?

The former location of a table tennis table Mdm Zhu fondly remembers

Category: People



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