Saturday, 21 February 2015

Stepping Out in Singapore

Exactly a week ago, we were in Singapore.  Our dear host Jailani took us for a tosay and teh tarik breakfast at Tek Kah - a must-stopover for us whenever we cross the Causeway to Temasek.  We were given a special treat - a Saturday morning car ride to MacRitchie Reservoir.

I've always remembered MacRitchie as a venue for P. Ramlee's movies.  This video was taken from the 1957  'Bujang Lapok'.

 It was also where we were taken by our Guide Captain to undergo the Trekking test -  to earn our Second Class Badge.
My very own Second Class badge.

 Miss Lam would lay out the trail of sticks and stones and leaves for us to translate into directions for our route through  the Reservoir's forest.

Here's a 1961 map of Singapore - the red arrow points to MacRitchie Reservoir.

This map was extracted from Collins-Longman's World Atlas for Malaya - part of my Secondary School's Geography Textbooks .

Jai had a surprise for us.  He took us for a walk around the northern periphery of the reservoir - something we could only dream about all those years when we went for hikes at this most popular 'water feature' .  I do take off my hat to the Singapore authorities.  They are certainly short of land space and natural greenery.  But they do so much with the little they've got.  Furthermore, with a population of 5.5 million within a land area of 718.3 sq km which means a population density of 7,615 per sq km - they have done a remarkable job in training their  citizens to be proud of their country, by keeping the environment clean and tidy.   All I can say is "Wake up Malaysia!!"

On that walk of nearly an hour - we have these to 'show and tell'.
A trefoil of three rubber seeds in a pod.
To think; when Ridley brought these seeds to Singapore for trial-planting, it marked - for the Malay Peninsula - the beginning of an industry and an economy that brought wealth and development (for some - mainly non-natives) and chaos and lopsidedness to the Malays who were left on the fringe.  It was a boom for some and bust for others.

As we were walking on the wooden platform along the edge of the reservoir, we heard this very slight movement of water.  We turned and this was what awaited us!

All in all. we observed 3-4 terrapins in the water and just at the edge there was a little notice informing members of the public not to release their unwanted terrapins in the Reservoir!

We have a similar problem up here.    Where we live in KL a number of  domesticated cats have been 'released' in our neighbourhood - leaving us and our neighbours who care for cats with more strays to look after.

Whenever we get to Singapore, Jai will always be available to help us  get to Pusara Abadi at Yio Chu Kang Road to  'menziarah'  the graves of my father and brother.  This time, we also visited the grave of Jai's mother - arwah  Macik Alimah who passed away 3 months ago.

Al -Fatihah to the three beloved.

You see, going back to Singapore is very much like visiting an abode where the furniture is being moved about ever so often.

Up to 2008, this was my father's grave .........

........ and my brother's at Pusara Aman.

As of 2009, this is what we ziarah....
My sister and family at Pusara Abadi.
....... downsizing of the previous plots at Pusara Aman.
Eight to a plot - if the families claim the remains.

I cannot resist saying this again - Wake up Malaysia and Malaysians!   Do you know how fortunate you are? You all have a choice in the size and location of a piece of Malaysia for your dear departed!

Dear Jai,   remember this at our Oxford Avenue house in Leicester 1995?

And you have now become our host at your house since 2005(?).
Irene and the two septuagenarians, 2015.

Finally here's a beautiful song for three beautiful people in Singapore - Jai, Irene and Lely.  This is my favourite concerto, it's so sweet and longing - just how I feel about the ones who have left me forever - in Batu Pahat and Singapore.

                                 Martin Frost playing Mozart's Clarinet Concerto Part 2


anak si-hamid said...

Dear Kalsom,

Thank you for the comment which I will not publish because it has your e-mail address.

I'm writing this at 8 am Monday and will write to you as soon as we get back from our weekly visit to the hospital.

See you later, alligator !!! (remember tha line from Bill Haley?)

Saujana said...

Beautiful music exquisite performance brought tears to my eyes recalling my grandma and parents .... thanks ma'am

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Saujana. I'm so pleased you feel the same way I do.

" If music be the food of love, play on".