death by paper cut

{July 28, 2014}   Beyond the Sunny Island

Proverbially, Singapore is the sunny island set in the sea. However the sea and other islands of heritage beyond the shores of the sunny island are often neglected. Sentosa doesn’t really count in this context.

Singapore initially had more than 70 islands that are part of our sovereign nation. The number has changed over the years because of reclamation and the merging of islands to form larger land masses, and the creation of other artificial ones. Check out Wikipedia for the current list of islands.

I managed to have a closer look at two such land masses and learn a lot more about the past and present islands of Singapore through three ways. Firstly, by visiting the Pulau Balik exhibition – presently at the National Museum of Singapore to 10 August 2014 (it should be part of our Permanent Exhibits if you ask me). Secondly, by being the lucky few to have successfully registered for the Lighthouse Tour organised as a signature programme of Singapore Heritage Festival 2014. And thirdly, by kayaking to the southern islands with Kayakasia.

The housing estate where I have lived for nearly thirty years is situated very closely to the western coast of Singapore. So close that the three prominent smokestacks form the landmarks of the horizon from the apartment. When they burn at night, the orange fumes and gases emitted from the smokestacks look like the Eye of Sauron, just that there are three of them instead of one. Ruefully, they are called joss sticks in my family.

Blue Pandan Reservoir 1

Because Jurong Island is always in my periphery vision and sometimes, line of sight, coming along side it in a ferry enroute Sultan Shoal was highly interesting. Although to most others, this area must appear like a desolate industrial wasteland, which it is, it feels to me like an extension of my neighbourhood and a hop, skip and jump away from home, which it also is. Fascinating.

Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 16

Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 17 Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 20

Jurong Island was officially opened in 2000 after the merging of 7 islands to serve as a base for more than 90 petroleum, petrochemical, and specialty petrol companies. The largest island among the 7 was Pulau Ayer Chawan. The three smokestack are standing on what was Pulau Seraya. In fact, the road the running near the smokestacks is Seraya Avenue.

Cluster of islands that formed Jurong Island, and Jurong Island now.

NMS - Balik Pulau 23 Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 14

Just to the south-west of Jurong Island lies Sultan Shoal Lighthouse. Built in 1895, the Lighthouse is now unmanned and powered by solar energy.

Sultan Shoal Lighthouse

Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 23

The highlight of the Lighthouse Tour was visiting Raffles Lighthouse on Pulau Satumu which is 23 km south-west of Singapore. It it also Singapore’s southernmost island. At 10 days at a stretch, two people are stationed at Raffles Lighthouse to supervise its operations. Except for the lack of internet connection, Raffles Lighthouse is self-sufficient with electricity, running water and basic amenities.

Normally closed off to the public, access to Raffles Lighthouse is highly restricted. It was therefore a very rare opportunity made possible in this collaboration between NHB and MPA to allow people to set foot on Pulau Satumu and ascend the 90 steps to the beacon.

Raffles Lighthouse on Pulau Satumu

Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 31

Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 36

Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 54 Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 50

Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 58 Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 59

Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 52

It took only 10 to 15 minutes for a leisurely stroll along the circumference of the 1.3 hectare large Pulau Satumu. The waters were clean and clear. At the jetty, I spotted a parrotfish and a baby shark.

After spending one hour exploring Raffles Lighthouse and Pulau Satumu, we boarded the ferry that took us back to the mainland. In total, the Lighthouse Tour took about more than 5 hours because traveling to Pulau Satumu from Pasir Panjang Terminal took 2 hours including a detour to Sultan Shoal, and another 1.5 hours from Pulau Satumu to Marina South Pier.

The Lighthouse Tour ballooned for me an expanded perspective of Singapore’s reach. While we go about our busy lives on the mainland, it is humbling to cast an eye in the far distance and know that out there, unsung heroes are keeping watch of our waters and safely leading approaching vessels to our habours as they have done for almost 160 years. Being a seafaring merchant, I wonder if my grandfather’s vessel depended on the flashes from these lighthouses from time to time.

Singapore Heritage Festival - Lighthouse Tour 3

My grandfather’s recent resurfacing of his travel documents is as far back as family archives go. I would like to have these translated sometime soon. He also had a travel document in Dutch when Batam was a Dutch colony.

1939 Certificate of Registration, China 2

1941 Dutch Identification for Batam 2

On another occasion this June, I explored on kayak the cluster of islands just to the south of Sentosa. Starting from Siloso Beach on Sentosa, we kayaked south-east to St John’s Island, continued along the south shores of Lazarus Island, headed northwards to Kusu Island and Pulau Seringat before returning to Sentosa along the beach fronts.

Southern Islands with Kayakasia 1 (Annotated by Kenneth Pinto)

The cluster of islands then and now.

NMS - Balik Pulau 7 Southern Islands with Kayakasia 31 - Pink Lagoon at Seringat Island

St John’s Island, Lazarus Island and Pulau Seringat have been linked up by overland bridges and expanded in size. Singapore Island Cruise operates ferry services from Marina South Pier to St John’s Island daily. Lazarus Island, Seringat Island and the man-made pristine cove are accessible via the link bridges.

I was told that the man-made pristine cove is called Pink Lagoon, however, I have yet to find any official name of this cove. The infographic at the Balik Pulau exhibit calls it the “800-metre long swimming lagoon” with no specific name either.

You need to bring your own supplies because there are no vendors selling food or beverages. There is a toilet at the reception area which is a short walk from the beach that looks to be in booking-ready conditions, outfitted with air-conditioning too.

Southern Islands with Kayakasia 25 - Pink Lagoon at Seringat Island Southern Islands with Kayakasia 27 - Pink Lagoon at Seringat Island

Southern Islands with Kayakasia 30 - Pink Lagoon at Seringat Island Southern Islands with Kayakasia 29 - Pink Lagoon at Seringat Island

Southern Islands with Kayakasia 19 - Pink Lagoon at Seringat Island

Southern Islands with Kayakasia 32 Southern Islands with Kayakasia 23 - Pink Lagoon at Seringat Island

The clear waters and fine sand makes for a picturesque island getaway comparable with an exotic resort destination, which is the intended effect. A webpage on Pulau Seringat posted by Wild Singapore has consolidated news clippings about developments on this expanded island.

Some key highlights I extracted from the webpage:

2000 –  The plan was to offer visitors a Mediterranean resort-like setting only 17 minutes away by ferry, patterned after Italy’s renowned vacation spot, Capri.

2004 – Details later revealed included plans for a five-star 290-room hilltop hotel, a three-star 170-room beachfront hotel, 70 waterfront homes and 1,700 units of housing. There was even talk of a road from Sentosa to the islands, or a causeway, like the one linking the mainland and Jurong Island.

2006 – Thousands of cubic metres of sand were imported from Indonesia to make the beach. Another $120 million was spent to bring water, electricity, gas and telecommunication infrastructure from Sentosa to the islands. 5,000 lorry-loads of soil were brought in by barges, an entire coconut plantation in Malaysia was bought, about 1, 000 trees was trucked and shipped to the island. This was part of the $60 million worth of reclamation and infrastructure work on the southern islands of Pulau Seringat, Kias, St John’s, Lazarus, Kusu and Sisters’ islands. One idea is to develop the islands into a ‘premium resort’, a getaway for the rich.

2008 – A third integrated resort was being considered. It will be on a smaller and more luxurious scale than either of the two resorts. Most of the development will likely be on 30 ha of reclaimed land at Lazarus, Renget and Kias Islands. The total development site, comprising all seven Southern Islands, adds up to 115.6 ha – almost a quarter the size of Sentosa Island.

All this means is that in the pipeline, there will be more pollution and waste generated alongside the destruction of biodiversity and increase exclusivity for the rich. If further development takes place, I doubt the zero carbon-footprint means of visiting these islands via kayak will be allowed in the future.

Embarking on Kusu Island on a quiet Saturday

Southern Islands with Kayakasia 17 Southern Islands with Kayakasia 10 - Kusu Island

Southern Islands with Kayakasia 15 - Kusu Island Southern Islands with Kayakasia 12 - Kusu Island

Link Bridges

Southern Islands with Kayakasia 8

Southern Islands with Kayakasia 5

Looking back – Singapore’s city skyline from St John’s Island

Southern Islands with Kayakasia 6 - St John's Island

In most Singaporean students’ lexicon, MacRitchie is synonymous with the Cross Country. I did it both in secondary school and JC and did put my best foot forward, trudging through the treks towards the promise of unadulterated, thick and chilled milo straight from the milo van. Even the condensation on the green milo paper cups looked thirst-quenching.

At no point however, was the flora and fauna on our minds. Even now on my occasional brisk walk through the 11km yellow loop, I don’t come across many animals beside the impassive long-tailed macaques.

It was at a slow walk through the short Venus Loop led by Chloe Tan of the Toddy Cats that many of the shy critters were spotted.

Macritchie Reservoir Park 127 - Map

Many-lined Sun Skink

Love MacRitchie Walk at Venus Loop - Led by Chloe Tan 22

Malayan Colugo

Love MacRitchie Walk at Venus Loop - Led by Chloe Tan 28

Simpoh Air with seeds not yet eaten by birds or monkeys

Macritchie Reservoir Park 96


Macritchie Reservoir Park 126

Monitor Lizard

Macritchie Reservoir Park 127

Long-Tailed Macaques stretching out on the boardwalk

Macritchie Reservoir Park 124

Emerging new leaves

Macritchie Reservoir Park 104

Biodiversity is everywhere, we just need to bid our time to observe, listen and stop to smell the flowers.


I attended a MacRitchie Awareness Walk on 26 July 2014 led by stalwarts of Singapore’s green spaces Subaraj Rajathurai and others. The Spiderman of Singapore, Joseph Koh also come along and lent us his expertise and sharp eye for spiders.

The 7km route started from Lornie Road and ended at Venus Drive.

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 1 - Lornie Road to Venus Drive (7km)

The walk began with Serin, Subaraj’s son scooping up an Oriental Whip Snake for us to have a closer look. Although the Oriental Whip Snake appeared calm being passed on among the walk participants and safely returned to the nature reserve, I wouldn’t recommend randomly touching the wildlife especially without expert supervision.

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 8 - Oriental Whip Snake

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 12 - Oriental Whip Snake

The reflection of the morning sun upon the dewy grass makes the lawn wolf spider‘s lair easy to spot. In each sheet-web lies the solitary lawn wolf spider awaiting its prey such as grasshoppers to be caught in the gossamer.

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 23 - Wolf Spider

Here is a somewhat cross-section of lawn wolf spider’s sheet web spun around a shrub of nodding clubmoss.

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 25 - Wolf Spider

Other species of spiders spotted are the Argiope catenulata, a variant of the St. Andrew’s Cross spider…

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 30 - Argiope Catenulata

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 28 - Argiope Catenulata

and the Golden Orb Web Spider

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 31 - Golden Orb Web Spider

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 32 - Golden Orb Web Spider

Dragonflies, butterflies and moths were fluttering about too.

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 47 MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 46 MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 45

Indigo Dropwing Dragonfly

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 49 - Indigo Dropwing Dragonfly

Trumpet Tail Dragonfly

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 50 -  Trumpet Tail Dragonfly

To keep up to date with future walks, check out those organised or publicised at the Love Our MacRitchie Forest webpage.

MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 16 MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 38 MacRitchie Awareness Walk (26 July 2014) 40

{June 19, 2014}   The Aeta of the Philippines

The main destinations of this year’s YEP expedition were 2 Aeta villages (also known as sitio in the Philippines), one of which is in remote Alunan, Tarlac and the other closer to township is Maporac, Zambales. Other than these sites, side trips were made to Mt Pinatubo and the slums in Baseco, Manila.

The wide spectrum of experiences can be measured in several ways. One way could be by the number of places we put up for the night (tent, home-stay with the villagers in both Alunan and Maporac, a dormitory and a hostel). Another was by the number of people got to know. Yet another could be the different modes of transportation taken (airplane, coach, jeepney, van, four-by-four and bullock cart). And there was walking, lots and lots of walking especially between the villages in Tarlac because that is the most common way to get from one village to another in the hilly ranges of the highlands.

Tarlac 25 - Sitio Sitler

Zambales 2 - Journey to Marporac from Alunan

Tarlac 28 - Sitio Sitler Tarlac 86 - Sitio Alunan - Sweet Potato Farming

Tarlac 120 - Sitio Malabatay Tarlac 121 - Sitio Malabatay

Mostly nomadic and agrarian, the Aeta lived off the fertile land before the eruption of Mt Pinatubo in 1991. Until the eruption, they could get by in isolated areas without much contact with others in the lower regions.

However, the massive eruption changed everything because firstly, it wiped out half of the Aeta population we were told and secondly, the eruption has altered the landscape for a long time to come by making it no longer as arable as before.

ecogreen explains:

Aside from causing climate change by cooling temperatures around the world, volcano eruptions also cause havoc on the immediate vicinity where they are located. In 1991, Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines. Days before the massive explosion, water around Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga was undrinkable due to sulfur contamination. Ash obscured sunlight which damaged crops and killed farm animals.

Years after the explosion, lahar or mudflow composed of pyroclastic material and water during the rainy season, caused the displacement of thousands of residents.  Agriculture and farming was also at a standstill due to damage sustained by the eruption. What was once fertile and arable land became ash covered and deemed infertile destroying the livelihood of thousands of farmers around the region.

As such, the Aeta had to seek refuge in the lower regions. This inadvertently meant more intermingling with non-Aeta and an irreversible undoing of their quality of life. Although it has been 23 years since the eruption, the Aeta especially the olders ones who survived the eruption speak fondly of their former prosperity with prelapsarian wistfulness. Sitio Sitler for example, a small village in the highlands, had to relocate three times before they managed to settle where they are now.

For a first hand appreciation of the geographical and geological understanding the aftermath of Mt Pintatubo’s eruption, we made a trip to a crater that is now a tourist attraction. To understand how remote it is, this is how one would get there from Manila: a four-hour coach ride from Manila to the town of Santa Juliana, a transfer to a one-hour ride in a four-wheel drive from Santa Juliana to the start of the walking trek, and than a two and a half hour trek towards the crater. That trek to the crater is a mostly flat two-hour walk amongst rocky outcrop in the valley with no shelter and then another twenty to thirty-minute gradual ascend. We started our journey at 4am to reach the crater at 11am.

Mt Pintatubo is not extinct, but dormant. Hot springs in the surrounding area are still bubbling.

Mount Pinatubo 4 Mount Pinatubo 2

Mount Pinatubo 8 Mount Pinatubo 9

Mount Pinatubo 11

Mount Pinatubo 18 Mount Pinatubo 20

The Aeta in the lower regions are more racially diverse and modernised than those in the highlands because of the higher exposure to non-Aeta people, being connected to the power grid and being located closer to townships. Maporac, Zambales describes the former and Alunan, Tarlac the latter. This is not to say that one’s lifestyle is better than the other, it is just different with its own host of pros and cons.

The homestay experience in the villagers’ houses constructed mostly of bamboo was actually quite comfortable. The homes are neatly partitioned with the bedrooms (elevated platforms), kitchen and dining/living areas not unlike the kampongs of Singapore. The houses in Alunan, Tarlac are smaller, but more closely clustered around a civic area while the houses in Maporac, Zambales are more spread out, have a larger compound and sometimes their own outpost toilet and water-pump. 4 days were spent in Alunan and 7 days in Maporac. Maporac was where our core project site was; we helped to catalog their under-used community library and set up a new herbal garden.

Sitler, Tarlac (one-night stay enroute Alunan)

Tarlac 7 - Sitio Sitler Tarlac 5 - Sitio Sitler

Tarlac 15 - Sitio Sitler Tarlac 13 - Sitio Sitler

Tarlac 16 - Sitio Sitler Tarlac 12 - Sitio Sitler

Tarlac 11 - Sitio Sitler

Alunan, Tarlac (three-night homestay)

Tarlac 40 - Sitio Alunan

Tarlac 42 - Sitio Alunan Tarlac 39 - Sitio Alunan

Tarlac 78 - Sitio Alunan Tarlac 84 - Sitio Alunan

Maporac, Zambales (three-night homestay and four more nights at a dormitory located onsite)

Zambales 14 - Sitio Maporac Zambales 12 - Sitio Maporac

Zambales 16 - Sitio Maporac Zambales 18 - Sitio Maporac

Zambales 28 - Sitio Maporac

Being off the power gird, out of range of mobile reception and having limited water supply, the people at Alunan get on by being extremely ingenious and frugal. As city slickers, we did not know the first thing about surviving in such a setting. The Aeta however, showed us that the environment was not hostile, but a rich resource. They showed us how to make fire with bamboo, steam rice in bamboo and of course cook bamboo shoots.

Tarlac 49 - Sitio Alunan - Starting a Fire Tarlac 50 - Sitio Alunan - Starting a Fire

Tarlac 52 - Sitio Alunan - Starting a Fire Tarlac 54 - Sitio Alunan - Bamboo Rice

Tarlac 55 - Sitio Alunan - Bamboo Rice Tarlac 56 - Sitio Alunan - Bamboo Rice

Tarlac 57 - Sitio Alunan - Bamboo Rice

Tarlac 63 - Sitio Alunan - Food Preparation

With more amenities, the folks at Maporac had other resources but are still very in touch with making do with their natural environment. Almost the entire herbal garden was constructed from scratch within four days with bamboo obtained in the vicinity.

Zambales 85 - Maporac Community Garden

Zambales 93 - Maporac Community Garden Zambales 95 - Maporac Community Garden Zambales 94 - Maporac Community Garden

Zambales 102 - Maporac Community Garden Zambales 104 - Maporac Community Garden Zambales 108 - Maporac Community Garden

Zambales 117 - Maporac Community Garden Zambales 120 - Maporac Community Garden

Zambales 122 - Maporac Community Garden

Zambales 128 - Maporac Community Garden

Zambales 131 - Maporac Community Garden

Although the Aeta’s ancestral claim to the general domain is recognised by the government, there are areas that have been bought by developers and privatised for mining purposes such as parts of a river. Because it was the dryer midyear season when we were there in June, the water levels were low. However, the situation has been made worse as the water source is being diverted due to damming, mining and other developments. In fact, the underground wells of Maporac were depleted at certain times of the day during our visit.

Public awareness by activists has been raised to guard the Aeta against encroaching developers as can be seen from this publication in Tagalog.

Zambales 65 - Maporac Library Zambales 66 - Maporac Library

However, in the more remote rural villages such as in Tarlac where the Aeta are illiterate or might not even speak Tagalog, they are more susceptible to deception and exploitation. Arguable, they can lead sustainable lives with subsistence farming, but they are not spared the inflation of the wider economy when the cost of purchasing a buffalo has risen multiple-fold while the value of their cash crops continue to be depressed. In spite of the odds, the Aeta who spoke with us continue to be resilient and hopeful for their future. Humbling indeed.

Tarlac 10 - Sitio Sitler

{April 12, 2014}   Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Compared to the varied renovation experiences friends have told me about, I think my own experience was a relatively smooth sailing one. We were rather decisive with our furnishing and interior deco choices, the contractor’s quality control is up to par and the time frame was mostly adhered to. There was nothing I had to lose sleep over. More importantly, everyone was so supportive and practically threw things our way especially household appliances.

I’m constantly reminded that the end result is an accumulation of the labour of love of our friends and family and not just a personal project I can claim sole credit for.

Renovation 5 - Hacking

Renovation 25 Living - Progress

Renovation 16 - Balcony

Renovation 18 - Balcony

Renovation 19 - Kitchen

Renovation 20 - Kitchen

Renovation 21 - Dining

Renovation 22 - Dining

{March 23, 2014}   enbloc

enbloc: in a lump or block; as a body or whole; all together.

Enbloc is a household name in Singaporean heartland living characterised by HDB housing where more than 80% of residents call home. The contraction for Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), Enbloc signifies for many, a herculean and collective move of a sizable portion of an estate to a newly built one. Although the new location is usually not too far from the original site, it is in effect an exodus because of the sheer numbers moving at the same time.

According to HDB, Enbloc is part of the Government’s Estate Renewal Strategy for the older public housing estates. Under SERS, the residents involved are given an opportunity to move from their old flats to new and better flats with fresh 99-year leases, served by modern facilities and set in a familiar neighbourhood.

This also means that from generation to generation all residents are constantly on the move, scrambled like mahjong tiles, without physical structures as memory landmarks. That being said, the scheduled Enbloc for the place I’ve lived for 30 years was literally falling apart and was not a place I’ll be nostalgic about. Somehow because for three decades I mentally compartmentalised living in my former apartment separate from the surrounding neighbourhood – as if suspended in a non-address – I am unable to relate my growing up experience to a fond memory of a particular hawker uncle or provision shop aunty downstairs. Perhaps also because I did not attend school near where I lived, my residential address was mostly a place to rest at night. Childhood friendships were formed along school project deadlines and proximity of classrooms rather than along HDB corridors or around playgrounds.

Still, the process of moving out is worth observing because it is a unifying experience in the national discourse and for the family/HDB unit, it means a period of 4 to 5 years of anticipation from the point of Enbloc notice that incrementally leads up to the stock-taking of the personal inventories, speculation of flat selection (based on order of ballot) and pouring over copious amount of paperwork involving CPF, HDB, mortgage loans in addition to interior designing. Although the new allocated apartment will be in a better condition, it is always smaller in size so re-thinking how the limited space is used is a constant source of contention. Multiply this experience with the hundreds of households grappling with the same issues at the same time, the units estate never felt more familiar with each other. In the meantime, construction work for the new place trudged on.


The process started in 2007 when the affected portion of the neighbourhood were informed that their blocks have been selected for Enbloc. Two years later, we received a letter from HDB to select the flat of choice, depending on what is left by the time it came to our turn.

Enbloc Notice 2007

Documents (1) Waiting in Line

There are two things to look at while waiting for our turn with the HDB officer. Firstly, the listing of available units and secondly the architectural model on display. You can keep an eye out on the flat you want on the screen, but if it the listing changes from blue to yellow then it means it has been taken and you are left with the next viable option, not unlike booking seats for a movie.

Waiting in Line (1)

Teban Vista Model (5) Teban Vista 25 Teban Vista Model (7)

Although the new apartment was selected in 2009, it would not be until mid 2012 that the building was ready for occupancy. In the meantime, people started vacating in droves. By the start of 2012, the efforts to chuck stuff indiscriminately ramped up and everyday I would return home to a new array of pre-own kitsch splayed across the floors that would even obstruct passage ways. Ghetto-like conditions would continue till unit by unit was inspected, locked up and re-possessed by the government.

En Bloc - Moving Out of Old Block 26

En Bloc - Moving Out of Old Block 33 En Bloc - Moving Out of Old Block 21 En Bloc - Moving Out of Old Block 23

En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 11

En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 34 En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 36 En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 18

En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 1

En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 35 En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 2

En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 32 En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 23

En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 9 En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 3 En Bloc - Old Block's Trash 10

Fewer and fewer flats would light up at night that year and eventually, after all units were turned inside out, the blocks were first cordoned by gates and then fenced up all around. Perhaps it was a security measure to prevent unsavoury characters from loitering around, because truth be told, toppled over bottles of beer would be found near the ground floors not belonging to the residents or former residents of the block together with the smell of pee. Soon barbed wires, like the new creepers in town, would curl themselves snugly around these fences.

En Bloc - Moving Out of Old Block 30 En Bloc - Moving Out of Old Block 22 En Bloc - Moving Out of Old Block 31

En Bloc - Moving Out of Old Block 29 Teban Fenced Up 5

Teban Fenced Up 16 Teban Fenced Up 10 Teban Fenced Up 4

I am not quite sure what will happen to these flats. There is a theory that these units will be rented out for a period of time before demolition. And then there are also rumours that a condominium will be built over this site. Either way, the bus that takes me to the new relocated blocks will wind its way around these fences as a constant reminder of urban decay.

Teban Fenced Up 19

et cetera

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