Sunday, 26 July 2015

A little street in Chinatown

The AG's Chambers, which is next to this giant hotel
Yesterday i walked away from the crowds in Chinatown to Eu Tong Sen  Street, then down to South Bridge Road. I never have a chance to randomly walk around Singapore... and i took my chance yesterday. So you won't see pictures of the Chineseness of Chinatown. Instead, you will see the city side of it. Here his a giant hotel which has come up in it.

Behind it, Hong Leong Complex.
The complexes were built in the 70s and 80s. They are mixed development in the middle of the business district of houses and shopping and food. And as such they are completely unaffordable for the people who now live in them, if they were to buy them now. However they are a government development and were completely affordable then. I think they are the stand out things which show that at one point, the government did work for the people, ALL the people.

Not a hall of mirrors, but a corridor of waterfeatures, frangipanis and pillars

You think it was built by giants

Maybe it was

Mosque street, so named because of the mosque
There are many religious buildings in Chinatown which are still being used for religion. This mosque is one of them. Furtherdown is a hindu temple. People come from all over the world to see three cultures and religions side by side, not ever thinking that this is special. This is the real Singapore miracle. We must never ever forget it.

Simple, beautiful lines of the mosque's architecture

Just across from the mosque, every whiskey from every corner of the globe

I take public transport every day. I like taking public transport. It is clean, and busy and i get to see all kinds of people. They throng all about.

After my walk in Chinatown, i went for a simple snack with a friend. We chatted about how crazy Singapore had become. Pockets of sanity are great, but yesterday i was feeling really miserable because of the agas in Marine Parade. Because the place was now a noisy mess. So far the really nice places i have been in are:-

The market in Ang Mo Kio
Chinatown - away from the crowds
Serangoon Road, Little India, the night market
Geylang Serai
Macritchie reservoir
The City Hall area

Not Gardens by the Bay
Not every goddamned shopping centre
Not Marina Bay Sands

What do the places i love have in common? They are places which people are allowed to get on with it. Places where the government does it job - provide running water, trash collection, the infrastructure - and people are just allowed to do their own thing. These places put people first - THAT it what they have in common. They have not improved anything - i mean they tried to improve Macritchie and that was actually NOT an improvement - apart from the outdoors showers - it's just like Marine Parade, they tried to improve and sanitise it and just improved the living daylights out of it. Just learn to leave the good bits alone!!! There is no need to go around improving things that do not need improvement!!!! You know most of the work in Singapore is done - because everything has been built on. The ONLY thing the government needs to do now is maintain it with some kind of sensitivity. Their question whenever they are about to 'improve' or 'upgrade' something should be: Will this contribute to the well-being of the people? If the answer is no, then just fucking leave it alone. Also, they need to ask, will it destroy the character of the place, will it destroy the thing which makes the place what it is? For a place like Marine Parade, it would have been the solitude and the breeze. For Macritchie it would be the smell of the rainforest and the peace and quiet. For Serangoon Road it would be the aliveness, the hustle and bustle, the toing and the froing. Just fucking keep a place clean, paint it up, clear the trash, keep the water going and then step back and leave people to it. There is no need to demolish the place and put a giant shopping centre in its place. And sometimes places SHOULD be hard to get to. Like Macritchie. Because that means very few people go to it and that means that it is looked after by its inaccessibility. It is not rocket science.

I am now covered in huge ugly welts because of the agas bites and am popping anti histamines. They really do help. Why do insects love eating me? I wasn't even expecting insects at the beach in Singapore.

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