The MRT Series – Aljunied (EW9)

A wealthy man with the same family name once owned large tracts of land in this area. And being a philantropist, the communities benefited from the family’s generosity. Today not only is the station named after him, but roads too.

And just like Paya Lebar and Eunos, one can easily find lots of small traditional cafes and restaurants too. If you are looking for shop houses from the post art deco era, then come to the areas around these last few stations to see them before they are redeveloped some day.

←Paya Lebar (NS8)

→Kallang (EW10)

Part of the MRT series here.

The MRT Series – Paya Lebar (EW8)

Now one might associate Paya Lebar with an airport and that would be correct. Only that it is an airport for the military these days, having seen its last civilian passenger in 1981. Now the area around the station as been transformed, with malls that surround it as if a bunch of toughs cornering a little kid. But walk a little away and you will see the transition. See the aerial views to believe it.

Did you know the words “Paya” and “Lebar” means ‘swamp’ and ‘wide’? First cleared in the early 1950s for the building of the airport, it has not looked back since. Of course some who live here might complain about the noise from the jets returning from training sorties. But that’s the price to pay for living in a historic district!

←Eunos (EW7)

→Aljunied (EW9)

Part of the MRT series here.

Happy 53rd Birthday!

In our little red dot, getting close to being 55 years of age was considered to be a very important milestone. For those who are not aware (our dear non red dotter audience that is), being 55 entitles a red dotter to pull money out of his/her retirement account. Whatever is left in there after a whole life of paying for the mortgage and who knows what else. Plus some restrictions here and there… not the scope of this post though.

We’ve heard many stories though not necessarily representative, of folks who plan extensively on how they will “manage” the monies they can get out of the retirement account. Some dream of stopping work and traveling the world. Others want to use the money to help their kids… you get the picture no?

So now that the country itself is close to 55, are the same symptoms manifesting themselves albeit at the national level? Are there folks out there who eye the national reserves for use? Remember, someone said (ancient Greek we think) democracies start to fail when the electorate vote for themselves monies from state coffers.

Heheh… but today is a national day of celebrations, so let’s not ‘pour cold water’ – local expression for dampening the mood. As our little island looks back over these last 5+ decades, there is much more to thank than to complain. Nothing’s ever perfect and having lived in a few other countries helped us adjust to that reality.

Remember to put on your red and white today and wear it proud!

The MRT Series – Eunos (EW7)

The station of this post was named in honor of Mr Muhammad Eunos bin Abdullah, prominent journalist and later municipal councillor from 1924. Did you notice that the station’s architecture? Specifically the roof. Now you should have noticed a couple of stations along the North-South line have the same.

What design style do you think it is?

Kampung Melayu, which once sprawled 670 hectares has today become a sprawling new town area around this station. From this station one can walk over to nearby Serai market, though we did not feature it this time. Because one only needs to walk around the streets adjoining the station and find many small cafes and restaurants.

Yes! It is one of the stations from which one can set off on a culinary adventure. Have you tried it?

←Kembangan (EW6)

→Paya Lebar (EW8)

Part of the MRT series here.

The MRT Series – Kembangan (EW6)

Like Bedok, this stretch was along the coast in the distant past. And there was a kampong (ie village) of the same name too if one is to believe. As with many all over the island, these were removed in the name of development, or progress.

But in its place we still see vestiges of old shop houses from an era where high rise meant no more than 3 floors… It’s a sparse mix of old and new, private and public housing.  A melange that is not unlike what one should expect from the little red dot.

One thing is; can’t be sure if Wiki is correct that Kembangan means ‘expansion’… and Google translate did not seem to work. Perhaps the word flowering was one of the potential results as we hovered over the translation… Any takers to correct us?

Bedok (EW5)

→Eunos (EW7)

Part of the MRT series here.

The MRT Series – Bedok (EW5)

Welcome to Bedok! Do you think the name of this new town of our little red dot came from the Malay word for Bedoh (“drum’) or Biduk (‘small boat’)? A few posts ago, you might have recalled about how the red cliffs of Tanah Merah were a navigational marker for voyagers from hundreds of years past. So it should not surprise you that this place was once by the sea.

But then as modernity requires, land was reclaimed from the sea and today the Bedok where the station and neighbourhood is – is no longer near the sea. Today one can roam about a intensely built up town. Enjoy a cuppa of local kopi and buy some fruits. Gems in daily life!

←Changi Airport (CG2)

→Kembangan (EW6)

Part of the MRT series here.