I have a penchant for old treasures, which was why I have really enjoyed myself at our previous visit to Treasure Dragon Trading in Chinatown. Unfortunately, it has closed down the last time I walked by the area late last year. Despite so, I have still managed to get my fix on these oldies at Thieves’ Market also known as the flea market at Sungei Road.
Tucked inconspicuously along Geylang Road, Medical Office is an antique little pharmacy that appears to be an anachronism stuck in time. We talked to the two proprietors, two eloquent and elderly gentlemen who spoke in the deliberate, kindly sort of way that only the wisdom of their generation offers.
When Lizzy first told me that we should check out this joss paper making shop further down the road from our office, I was quite taken aback by the choice of subject.
Me: “A what?”
Lizzy: “Oh… you know, a shop that make those paper houses that they burn for the dead.”
(Lizzy grew up in an environment that was not the least bit ‘pantang’ [superstitious], so excuse her casual references to the subject.)
Being an Eastie my whole life (save for the holidays which I spent in my grandmother’s old Tiong Bahru SIT flat that I should’ve appreciated more when I had the chance to), my heart looks back fondly on the places I used to know as a child.
The market at Bedok South opposite my alma matter, TJC, is one of them. As a child, my mother did her weekend shopping in the wet market here, and we would always have brunch at the adjoining hawker center with it’s cheap 50 cent ‘hei bai’ of soya bean and grass jelly, $2 yong tau foo, bak chor mee and char kuay teow.
We were collecting footage for our Home video and came across this bunch of chessplayers at Toa Payoh Lorong 1. Initial concerns that they would be as unfriendly as the Chinatown bunch were soon dispelled as they joked and laughed around our cameras.