View in HD [here].
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.
A sea of untouched artefacts are placed neatly around the shop. Many appear to be no longer medically sound for consumption, but you can see the touch of pride and discipline in their profession that is present. The pair have tried to keep things the way they have always been, even if business is slow, if any, and the counter once used to serve customers is now merely a storage drawer.
In the corner, a large roll of packing paper sits forgotten behind a pile of magazines, a hint of the old days when the pair would oft be busy packing concoctions for their customers. According to both Mr. Foos (who are incidentally, not related by blood), they still sell some of these quaint medical supplies to anyone who walks in and wants to buy them.
An old photo of the pair shot by another photographer who visited their shop some decades ago. When asked when it was taken, the elder Mr. Foo (one is 85, while the other, 75 years of age) said casually that it was ‘not very long ago, just in 1988’. I guess when you’ve seen your fair share of the years and lived through the Japanese Occupation, time is measured in a different scale. (I for one, wasn’t even born yet in 1988.)
Their house brand of prickly heat powder, which they say is their best seller, and in fact the only item we saw delivery men coming to pick up single cartons of. The bigger container sells for $5.50, and the small one for $4.00.
The pair today. Still dignified and proud of the 100-year history of the shop – even as they know that the history of this establishment, first set up by German pharmacists in 1916, will fade with them once their time here is done.
More pictures on our Flickr page here.
648 Geylang Road