Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some things never change (8) – HDB Laundry

Judging from the photos that I have received from my foreign friends, visitors to sunny Singapore seem to be fascinated by the rows and rows of laundry hanging from our HDB flats. Below are three such photos from the mid-1960s.

Photo No.1 is from Geoffrey Pain. Photos No. 2 and 3 are from Mike Robbins. The rest are mine – taken recently.





I guess, with our numerous high-rise apartments and ample sunshine, this is the most practical way to dry our clothes. I wonder how people living in similar high-rise apartments in temperate countries dry their laundry. Drying machines?



By the way, can you identify the buildings in the old photos? I have no idea.




23 comments:

qizhi said...

Just my random guess for where the old flats might have been:

1. Toa Payoh
2. Queenstown? (If you look at the Police SOC quarters in Queensway, their balconies are exactly the same!)
3. Redhill Road

--andy-- said...

uniquely Singapore (not for Condo residents), wonder whether any other countries (Malaysia?) hang their clothes outside too haha

peter said...

Top/first photo - Selegie House

Anonymous said...

I recall the bamboo chick blinds fixed at the balconies to prevent rain from coming in. Some were colorful.

Andy Young* said...

Wow takes strong arms to put gala load out in the sun.

One slip and 30 floors down. Killer litter!

Lam Chun See said...

Peter. If picture no.1 is Selegie House, it's still there isn't it. Then can do a 'second shot'.

Lam Chun See said...

The bamboo stick (tecko) is another thing that has not changed over the years actually.

Zen said...

Superstitious gamblers whether young or old certainly do not like walking under these 'un flags' with dripping water over their head, while on their way to buy toto or 4/d tickets.

Ang Sar Lee said...

Selegie House is still there but it has been 'upgraded'. Looks a bit different now.

iPhone Apps Developer said...

Haha some things never change .. whenever I walking along HDB flats I will walk with eyes wide open :P

Zen said...

Some of my friends like to take short-cut to carparks by walking below kitchen windows of hdb flats. I caution them not to do so. They may find empty bottles or flying objects landing on their heads - better be safe than sorry.

Andrew said...

Nowadays the smaller compact hdb encourages you to hang your clothes indoors or use the dryer of a washing machine if you have one.

I still prefer the smell of sun dried clothes. :D

Anonymous said...

In other temperate countries people hang their clothes in their balconies. HDBs do not have balconies, I guess this is the reason clothes are hanged in this way.

iphone screen replacement said...

It's looking very funny. Everybody needs to wear clothes and where there are places that people lived, you can see clothes hanging from HDB flats.

Keith said...

As a young boy, I stayed in a 2 room rental flat at 'Ang Shua' Redhill. During raining and windy days (and very windy those days), I had a lot of fun and difficulty keeping those bamboo curtains in place.

peter said...

This reminds me of an incident in my school (maybe 1970) when we had flag raising ceremony in the morning. After the school anthem was sung, a string of "Green, Black, White" panties unfolded in front of the schoolbuilding. Till this day nobody knows who were the culprits.

Keith said...

Peter may remember this school song which contains this phrase :
"We'll do our best whatever task, and keep our panties (oops, I mean colors) flying."

Icemoon said...

What's the significance of the colors (green, black, white)? Some flag colors?

Zen said...

When coming to hanging of clothes singaporeans are ingenious. It is even common for us to wash and hang our clothes in hotel bath room.(to save on laundry money!).

Dogcom said...

Sadly with growing affluence more and more people are now using dryers. Actually being in the tropics, having sunny days most of the time it is just practical to dry our clothes outside. Besides it save electricity.

peter said...

Icemoon
school colours

Singapore Man Of Leisure said...

Nothing beats the smell of sun-dried clothes the natural way!

I am using dryers here in Europe; it's not the same....

Jay Yip said...

The first photo from 03.05.2011 should be Kampong Arang. The weird structure on top of the building just protruding from the right side of the big tree is most probably at Fort Road/ Tanjong Rhu.