death by paper cut

{October 29, 2008}   mild child of the 80’s

about a month or so back, the geek and i watch the documentary, diminishing memories I & II, at the arts house. unlike conventional documentaries that prices objectivity, eng yee peng’s documents her journey towards coming to terms with the demolition of her home and neighbourhood at Lim Chu Kang. it was only after the sequeal that she managed to let go of the demise of her childhood. if you do not manage to catch the screening with a Q&A session with the director, you can always place an order for the first installment either in english or in chinese. i bought myself a copy of the english version.

with the sacred cow of land scarcity in singapore, vast spaces of land that do not generate high economic growth or serve an urgent need is seldom left alone. personal sentiments and conservation takes a back seat while Progress forges ahead because the rhetoric says, “we have no choice”.

i remembered having a picture taken at a pig farm when i was young, too young to register the visit in my mind. the pig farm was owned by my mother’s cousin. i thought it was at lim chu kang, but it turned out to have been located at sin ming.

that’s me being carried

fortunately for me, in a fast changing place like singapore, i’ve never really agongised over the loss of a personal landmark perhaps because the public spaces that i’ve claimed to be mine still exist and these mostly takes the form of educational institutions instead of common spaces like neighbourhood playgrounds. i don’t think i’ve ever “played” if play constitutes mucking around common corridors.

i did however play in very structured time and spaces, such as a family outings or games organised by the nursery and kindergarten.

by the time i hit primary school, time became even more structured when the Time Table rolled out. the time table extended beyond the classroom since i was enrolled in piano classes albeit a short time and was constantly attending remedial classes for mathematics and chinese in school and then chinese tuition at home for 12 years from P2 to J2. both of which subjects i’ve tolerated just for the examinations and then retained nothing there after.

restricted as it might sound, i did enjoy my childhood nonetheless especially since watching television programmes (BBC was all the rage) and family holidays overseas enabled my world view to be projected beyond the confines of singapore and into the great Outside There.

i believe that on the social dimension, we go through life as a velcro tape. we don’t usually choose before hand the people we come in contact with, but those who gravitate towards us and then stick around, (like velcro), well stick around for a long time or cross paths when we least expect it.

a random guy sitting next to me at the lecture theater in JC heard my name called out and recognised me from kindergarten – we used to walk home together. the roommate assigned to me in NIE remembers me from kindergarten too and we even have photos to show that we were performing side by side at the gradauation concert.

right now, my 3 year old niece is participating in the full dress rehearsal for her year end concert in the same kindergarten i was enrolled in 22 years ago. as a child of the 00’s in a middle income family, my childhood pretty much describes hers but her has even more windows with further projection into the great Outside There.

me and my moncchichi (80’s toy)

chinese new year (the most traditional looking thing ever placed on me)


Nice traditional outfit! =P

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