Monday, November 08, 2010

The Longest Distance

Had to meet B for breakfast one particular Sunday in our neighbourhood--3km away from my flat. Decided that walking would be faster than taking the bus, which involves changing from one feeder bus to another.

I plastered myself with sunscreen before I embarked on the walk under the morning sun. The walk, intially meant to be a mode of transport from Point A to Point B, turned out to be a destination itself. It was an excursion for me to this older part of the neighbourhood to which I was born in before I relocated to somewhere else.
(An elavated respite area amidst the growth--photo on the left)

It was a joy to walk pass the old flats with ground units, those with a short staircase leading to the front door as well as the back door, which is very unusal for public flats. Each family has their own way of utilitzing the area in front of their units. Some would plant a "jungle" of potted plants, some would start an "outdoor cafe" with chairs and tables, some would open a bird park with caged birds....I chanced upon a small fenced area of garden with vegetables and plants which was the fruit of a gardening club of the residents in the area. And the wet market which I was to meet B, was bustling with people and life. Stark contrast to the sterilized shopping malls. Hygiene level too, I must say.
(Not the flower but the ripened fruit of a yam plant--photo 2)

This is just at the backyard of where I live and yet, has been undiscovered by me. And it has been so near, yet so far.

After our breakfast, we went for a nature "trail". Unknown to me, there is a mangrove swamp right in the middle of our neighbourhood. Away from the concrete jungle, we stepped into thick growth which was presented in a very Singapore way--planned and organized. The "nature" was relocated, sieved and remodelled to fit around the paths and carparks for humans. Nature, lacking of "humanity" will not be fit for us I am afraid.

(treading on the bridge to take in the mangrove swamp--photo 3)

Arriving at the end of the "nature" area is the coast where one could catch a glimpse of Malaysia. The skyline of Malaysia, or the Johor state to be exact, has been growing vertically and steadily for the last ten years. Could still remember those days when we enjoy to make day trips across the causeway to Johor to eat till our fill, taking full advantage of the weak currency and the price of living in Johor. The most classic of all was me crossing the straits to spend my afternoon at a starbucks.

There used to be a jetty here. Now, this coastal part has been given a facelift and has been recently converted into a recreational area--after 30 years.