bye, youth and imagination
It's been a while since I last took a day off work to spend with J. It's either age or the lack of imagination (or both) such that when we had a chance to spend the day together last Friday, we were both somewhat at a loss as to where next to explore.
After brunch at our favourite Killiney Road kopitiam, for want of somewhere to go, we started to wander along Killiney Road. J was in no mood to test the gurkha guard at Dublin road, hence we just continued walking - place one foot ahead of the other, feel the ground.
bye, Xiao Kang
After the row of shop houses, there were the gates of the condominiums - and a quiet driveway soon appeared, lined with cars parked illegally under the wise, dense shade of banyan trees.
Of course, the legendary Mitre Hotel! (flickr photos here)
There was graffiti all along the wall of the driveway, at the end of which the two-storey building stood, now truly abandoned. In February this year, the courts had ruled that the hotel should be sold. I've heard so much about the hotel: its bar, the Australian boarder who had lived there for 30 years, its ghost stories, a short documentary about the hotel The Mitre Spell had played at the 2007 Singapore Film Festival...
I was too spooked out. Only J dared to venture to the porch.
145 Killiney Road would be an address to boast about. In its place a few years later would no doubt be another block or two of private apartments for wealthy young Singaporeans and more expatriates. Another remote world on our small island.
bye, Nan Qiao
Somewhat saddened, we continued walking till we hit River Valley Road. From there, we went towards Mohamed Sultan Road. The doors to the pubs were closed, and even though their names have all changed - ah, the memories. Off Mohamed Sultan Road is the quiet Kim Yan Road. The low conserved shop houses there have been converted into homes and fancy offices. What did not survive was the original campus of the Nan Chiau Secondary School. All that remained were two gate posts.
Please, boys and girls, we did not build this island on sappy sentimentalism! Straighten your backs, dry your eyes, quit sighing and just move on.