Thursday, October 31, 2013

자라던 어린시절 동네

The blue-red flag of North Korea fluttered feebly on a flag pole inside a compound where a huge 3-storey house stood. Parked at the porch was a glossy black European full-size luxury sedan that oozed opulence. The splendid ambassador's abode betrays nothing of a hermit kingdom with rampant report of starvation (or is it a figment of the foreign media's imagination?).

The once middle-class neighbourhood I grew up in has gone high-class. Not only does it attracts diplomat, it draws in high net worth expatriates who make their home there. The neighbourhood exudes an old world charm. The streets are adorned by rows of beautifully restored peranakan-style houses. Carefully tended tropical blossoms such as frangipani and bougainvilla on the "five-foot way" added a touch of greenery and class.

The mom-and-pop provision stores which used to sell sweet flavoured "ice bag" to sweaty school kids were long gone. From afar, a caucasian lady was busy tending her potted plants outside a house which was once a provision store. The school I attended has stopped existing. There is nothing left to tell a story of my childhood except an empty piece of land. I am dislocated with the present as much as I am a stranger in my past.

Sun-loving frangipani

"Five-foot way" - five-feet wide walkway in front of old shophouses

Wild Water Plum has a sweet fragrance similar to Jasmine. The wetter it gets, the more it blooms.