Regardless of how old we get, we are often amused by the little things we come across that reminds us of our past. We recall how innocent and simple we were and we appreciate that period we call childhood. Everyone has their own life experiences and with different spaces, people have labelled them into different places. Being a self-proclaimed child at heart , with the help of looking through my childhood photos, I listed my own set of places that I can never forget and here are ten places in Singapore, that I think, are places that everyone will experience during their too.
1) The place with the animals.
Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park or Underwater World, enough said. There will always be that one place where young children get their first encounter with animals, wild or tame. I recall going for field trips that brought us to a quail farm and the zoo. Friends and animals, what more fun can a child ask for?
2) The place where we played with lanterns.
The mid autumn festival was always something I would look forward to because I get to watch my older cousins play with candles and sparkles. ‘Playing with fire’, as we called it, was one of those moments you ever had as a child and when you felt omnipotent because you were old enough to actually light a lighter. It was the playground behind my grandmothers’ block in Hillview that I hold these memories. What about you?
3) East coast and west coast beaches; or whichever beach your family went to for a picnic, stroll or cycle.
I vividly remember that I would collect seashells and draw random things in the wet sand. Wonder where my collection is right now. I recall the all time favourite giant net pyramid, where we would race each other to climb to the top.
4) The playground.
The kind with the sand. Everyone had a favourite playground. I had a playground outside my primary school and I would always hang out after school just to play crocodile, blind mice or catching and also ice and fire with my friends. If we were monkeys, the playground was the cage. Playgrounds these days are ‘cleaner’ and ‘more hygienic’ but one thing is for sure, the playground holds memories that are hard to forget.
5) The mama shop is a place that was almost like heaven for a small child back then.
There was the 20-cents card dispenser and I would collect so many of those Street Fighter Cards and Digimon Cards. Not to mention the unlimited amount of tidbits you could get with 50-cents or one-dollar. Those were the days when you could survive on cup noodles and 10-cents ice pops in that funky smelling shop.
6) The place we went for extra classes.
As a child, we were somehow enrolled for random classes like tuition, wushu or piano classes. Everyone probably has a place that they can recall that they enjoyed (or maybe hated) going to for classes. It might have been art class, swimming class or even ballet class.
7) The place where we always met our grandparents.
It might have been at there place, or a common restaurant that the family always held gatherings at. Wherever it may be, there would have been that one place where your grandparents resided which would always live in your memory. These older estates will always have a special place in Singapore.
8) The Pasar Malam.
Remember those red tents and noisy nights near your neighbourhood? We would always ask for popcorn or cotton candy, things which my parents hated to give me or else I would get all hyperactive. The food at the pasar malam were heavenly. From the white kueh tu tu to the sticky mua chee, everything was so good.
9) Random Singaporean landmarks.
Then there are those places in Singapore that you probably went as a child with your parents which you can remember very well. Yet these places are not the same as it use to be anymore. Haw Par Villa is that place for me. Some other landmarks that I can recall also include Fort Siloso in Sentosa, Botanical Gardens, McRitchie Reservoir and Little Guilin.
10) Primary School.
We might have hated studying or we might have disliked the really fierce teachers who would cane us if we got our work wrong. But the truth is, when we think of our childhood, there will be a glimpse of our primary school in the background. We celebrated, teachers day, children’s day, ACES days, sports day and basically all other days you can ever think of. The bookshop, the canteen, the dentist and the ‘forbidden place’ called the staff room; these are all places that form so many fond memories of your childhood.
I started this article wanting to list down exact places but soon realise that everyone sees a space differently yet the feeling we share is the same. Did you take a trip down memory lane just by looking at these pictures and reading this article?