This afternoon, after work, when I went for my regular brisk walking exercise at MacRitichie Reservoir with my buddy, Chun See, I saw some kids playing with something I used to do three-and-a-half decades ago.
Watching the kids laugh and squeal in excitement as they slid down the grassy slope in their carton boxes, my thoughts went back to those childhood days when I grew up in a kampong known as Tian Tor Long. Do you know where that was? I give you a hint – the name means Battery Factory in Hokkien.
Give up? It was a kampong located at the Princess Elizabeth Housing Estate, around the Hill View area, near to the Ever Ready Battery factory. The slope was just behind Princess Elizabeth Community Centre. It was around 1970, and I was about 10 years old at that time.
As the words of the Carpenters song go, “Those were such happy times, and not so long ago. How I wonder where they’d gone.”
Sadly, we had to move out to make way for progress in the 1980’s. We moved to a flat in Hill View Avenue, not far from where we grew up. Today the place is an open ground awaiting development.
“Looking back on how it was
In years gone by
And the good times that I had
Makes today seem rather sad
So much has changed.”
(Carpenters - Yesterday Once More)
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