Singapore is one big construction site.
Which is nothing new, really, except these days there seems to be a whole lot more tearing-down and building-up going on. Really, a whole lot more.
The row of single-storey cottages behind the mall we most often frequent (half are morphing into two or three storey blocks on a tiny footprint of land), at friend’s houses, at mum’s place.
I feel like I am surrounded by construction sites. The noise of piling and drilling is never far. The kids don’t seem to notice it, perhaps they are used to it.
The giant zinc-roofed house behind my place, which gave off a kampong vibe, just got razed.
KK loves it: It’s good for civil engineers like me, he says.
One of my favourite things to do is to just walk up and down the street where my folk’s place is, to see houses.
I took in the evolution, ooh-ing at the four-storey monolith with the lift (pictured above with the neighbour), the pretty glass-walled mansion which replaced an old friend’s house, but most of all just appreciating the old folks. The vintage houses.
Not shophouses, which now enjoy a sort of mass appeal, but the sort of boxy straight-forward houses which were first built on that street, with the curly iron grilles and folding front doors.
The kids are well aware of my preferences. I think they are quite sick of my going on and on about the vintage beauty at the end of the street sitting right on top of a hill, which gets the best of the evening breezes. It’s got the wind, the view, the mosaic tiles, the old-style air vents. They know it’s my dream house.
They also know the most pristine old house on the street is the one on the left in this picture:
The grills - which are matched from window to balcony door to main gate - are not rusty and it almost looks new, kudos to the very elderly owners.
I really hope, if these houses ever change hands, it goes to young people who think like me.
If not, at least these houses will be remembered here.