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The Familiar Face, The Familiar Place..

By my queenstown on Thursday, December 31, 2009 with 1 comment

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?

Category: People



Anonymous said...
May 9, 2012 at 5:20 PM

The owner of Long Hui Store is run by my primary school's classmate's parents. I was born and lived in Queenstown since 1973. I studied in Mei Chin Primary School(long gone and now taken over by an indian international school). I grew up all my life in Queenstown, until I got married and shifted to Sengkang in 2008. Mine, that's a real 35 years! My parents live at blk 168A and I was born in my uncle's house at blk 173(long gone since 2006). I've many memories living in Queenstown. I have seen the Old Alexandra Road round about and the kampong surrounding that round about, saw the building of Alexandra Village, the old Alexandra Fire Station, the old HDB flats opposite blk 160 next to the railway line, the old falts where the Queens Condo lies and also my favourite old style bread shop, the old Mei Chin Market where my mum does her marketing(She still goes there today), the old PAP where I used to attend at blk 174, the provision shops, Bak Kua Shop below Blk 173, the old bread shop at blk 174, I used to jog and walk to the Queenstown swimming pool where the new HDB now resides next to Queenstown MRT station, and when APB brewery was still around my dad used to bring me to the railway line to watch the trains passby(next to the former SAFRA and IKEA building), and visits to Alexandra Hospital Scoccer field (behind the hospital's main building), and the old Long Kang near the railway line where me and my primary schools mates used to catch fish. Not forgeting the old Margret Drive where I remember the old Tai Chong Shopping Center, the HDB's around it, the 3 cinemas, hawker center, bowling center, NTUC supermarket, and the old market next to the main road. Mine, time has passby and my beautiful memories of the old Queenstown still lives in me! Now many changes have faded the old Queenstown, but my fond memories of my childhood, teenage, and my twenties still lives vividly in my mind. My dad has passed away since 1997 and my mum still lives at Blk 168A.

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