30 November 2006

A Walk After The Talk


Immediately after Chun See's talk on "Blogging For Senior Citizens", I went home to pick up my family. We were eating out because it was our 17th wedding anniversary. We ate at an old nondescript eatery in Chinatown, Lee Tong Kee:


The eatery is famous for its sar hor fun.) Its prices are quite reasonable. A simple meal for the 4 of us costs less than $50, an amount which even a kiam siap (stingy) civil servant could afford. What's more, there's no "plus-plus" (service and GST charges). However, that amount does not include desserts or drinks.

After a very satisfying meal, we decided to have dessert at a very famous dessert shop nearby. Since we only heard of the shop before but had no idea where it was located, we asked some shopowners. The first one we asked actually pointed us in a wrong direction. While we went astray, we ran into this famous grilled sausages stall set up by Mr Erich Sollbock, an Austrian who was one of the 40 honourees of the Spirit Of Enterprise Awards in 2005.


We also visited the Chinatown Heritage Centre where we bought two old games:


The above photo shows the chatek which I paid $2.50 for. I used to make my own chatek for free. After my mother slaughtered a chicken (in the olden days before bird flu, this practice was common), I salvaged a few long wing feathers for making my own chatek. Of course, I left the colour of the feathers as au naturel, i.e. brown. I used to be able to kick the chatek more than 100 times at one go when I was a kid. Now, I am lucky if I can manage 5.


The above photo shows the $3.00 see sek (4-colour) cards which I used to see adults play when I was a kid. Up till now, I still don't know how the game is played.

After a short walk, there was still no sign of the dessert shop which we were looking for so I asked a second shopowner. He directed me to the shop just round the corner:


In our opinion, the desserts were not that fantastic but were passable. After my family had their desserts, they were unanimous that it was my just desserts to walk all the way back to Sago Street where the car was parked and drive it to Temple Street to pick them up. I had no choice but to oblige. Whilst taking a short cut via a backlane, I found out that food and childhood games were not all that Chinatown had to offer:



Too bad that the children missed an opportunity for an early lesson about the bird and the bees. (I have blogged about a 'not so traditional shop' in Chinatown before.) I conclude this post with a quote from an article in Today dated 27 Nov 2006, written by Mr William Lim, a 74 years old architect and thinker:

"Chinatown for example is culturally dead, it's a theme park and tourist trap today. The tourist board has had a hand in cleaning it up, and that's the point - you want the genuine chaos and excitement, not the tourist catering stores."
Chinatown has been cleaned up? Far from it. In my opinion, it is getting as sleazy as Joo Chiat, if not more. And these sleazy businesses may not be 'tourist catering stores'.

26 comments:

zen said...

Victor you are indeed a man of action, bring your family out to have a fine time, particularly the eating part. I do not think wife and children should really go for the high-end stuff (subjected to affordibility) to cherish what their husband or father does for them. It is the small things that count. I remember one of my distant relatives, a widow for that matter, always mentioned of her husband - "Ah Hock this...Ah Hock that..." Did the husband did big memorable things for her ? No, but he did simple things for the family like relieving the wife of housework burden, ferrying his children around in his bike and a host of others. What the wife liked best was he pillioned her to various parts of Malaysia in his bike. The most unfortunate happened - he died in a accident when a car crashed onto his motorcycle after his night work at a restaurant. If we can do big things for the family that would be better still, but do not under-rate the power of doing small things for the family. Family members are very observent people.

Chris said...

'fess up buddy. U sneaked into the SEX shop and bought some toys right? Don't bluff!

What happened in Chinatown is indeed sad. I grew up near Chinatown. Now, other then CNY period, the place is like a ghost town. The shops have become very commercialised, catering mainly to tourists. The place is just not what it used to be. BTW, SM Goh was heard lamenting on national tv last night that the gahmen was partly to blame for not naming some of our roads and streets after Singaporeans who have made what Singapore is today. He says things are about to change. So maybe we would have a road named in honour of our MM in time to come.... But me think they are barking up the wrong tree. U think the youngsters care about the road and street names? Why not incorporating history lessons (or do they call it National Education) with some of Singapore's well-known and well-loved leaders and philanthropists, instead? I don't remember having read any of Singpaore's great forefathers in School leh.

peter said...

Victor

Got the name of the street for this sar hor fun?

Chris
You sure you like to sit down and read of Singapore's forefathers????? You should guess who they would like to others to know.

Tan Wee Kiat said...

Thanks for sharing your 17th wedding anniversary outing with your readers. Reading it reminds this old man that he should take the wife out to dinner too; after all, she has tolerated all my idiosyncracies for (by the end of this month) 42 years.

Now to more mundane things. The address in the photo of the sex-shop signage shows that it is in, of all places, a street known as Temple Street (or the back lane of it). The temple here is the famous Sri Mariamman Temple, which has been honoured as a national monument. The next street to Temple Street is Mosque Street, named after the Jamae Mosque (Masjid Jamae).
What's the moral of all this? I don't know. If there is a moral, perhaps it is "live and let live" or is it "love and let live" or ....

Lam Chun See said...

Even more reason for seniors to blog and share their stories.

Talking about chicken dishes, have you guys tried the Ipoh nga choi kai (bean sprout chicken)?

Victor said...

Zen - Thanks for sharing that very touching and sad tragedy.

Chris - I swear that I didn't lah. I didn't even dare go near that shop - it looked so sleazy from the outside. Maybe you can buy some really interesting ones during your upcoming Australian trip. (But I doubt they carry your, er... I mean, Asian sizes.)

Peter - The address of the shop is 278 South Bridge Road (the stretch between the junctions with Smith Street and Sago Street). You should try it - cheap and good.

Wee Kiat - Yes, there are Mosque Street and Temple Street in that vicinity but you forgot to mention Pagoda Street. Do you know whether the name of this street has any religious significance or history behind it? Is the pagoda still around?

Chun See - What, no admonition for my blogging about sex again? I am indeed relieved. Or have you given up on me? BTW who is talking about chicken dishes here? You mean 'chicken sar hor fun' or do you mean 'chicken' in another sense? No, I haven't tried Ipoh nga choi kai. Is there a shop here where I can sample this dish or does your wife know how to cook it? If so, invite us leh.

Chris said...

Why Victor? You suffering from shrinkage or wat? That shop looked so lame leh.... Oklah, I'll risk my arms and legs juz so because you're my buddy. What you want me to buy? An inflatable doll issit? Say so lah ..... sigh. But you must pay for the airfreight charges hor. And promise to share the doll. ROTFL.

Oops... blogopoliceman, I'm juz kidding hor.

zen said...

Since Chun See is unable to divert Victor and Chris on their favourite topic sex, I may as well join in by asking the experts on their views on a quotation made by an American:

Men give love for sex
Women give sex for love

True or not ?

chuck said...

Hi Victor,
Hope you had a good annivasary.To me, Chinatown is just like another HDB Pasar Malam even with the CNY light up. My trip there is uaually to the hawker centre for the famous Claypot Chicken Rice. Yummy...
Now that the hawker centre is under renovations, I have not been there for quite some time.
I am suprised that it has changed quite a bit. I never know about the sex shop and massage services until I read your bolg. Maybe the authorities is trying very hard to promote it as a good tourist spot.

Victor said...

Zen - That saying is only partially true. Some men not only give love for sex, they also give money, and lots of it; while some women not only give sex for love, they also give up their lives too. Recent crime stories support this theory.

Chuck - Fret not about Chinatown Food Centre being closed for renovation. You should try this claypot rice stall in a coffeeshop at Blk 328 Clementi Ave 5 which is very popular and very yummy. It is very near Clementi MRT station (opposite side of Clementi Central). My blogo-god-daughter Elaine stays near there.

Chris said...

Men give love for sex
Women give sex for love


The above works on the premise that men, in order get sex, would shower love on the women (not necessarily their wives or gfs) they're with. As any SNAG would know, women need lots of loving in order to get into the act. They're quite unlike us men who are usually given to the "wang-bang-thankyou-madam" kinda mentality. Sorry, but most of us men are juz not that into the touchy feely thingy women are prone to.

Women, on the other hand, would give sex in order to hang on to the men they love, even if the love is one-sided. Many of us men are real "skunks", like it or not....

I'm no expert, Zen. But it's not that difficult to figure... Hee.

zen said...

They say all roads lead to Rome, and here again, many things lead to money. Many people like to blame money as evil for many things like: dirty money, black money, coffee money, and many others, but isn't money just a means of exchange and nothing else ? Actually it is the people who use money wrongly are to be blamed. People can use money for education and at the same time money can also be used to hire people to do evil. The bottom line is - do not blame money but the people who use money wrongly.

lamchunsee said...

Victor, my wife hates cooking.

I think there's a Nga choi kai in spore but I don't know where. Go to Flickr and search.

Clementi 328 claypot rice. I go to blk 328 very often becos my son goes to the aquarium there frequently. Tried the claypot rice once. Waited like crazy. Expensive and so so only. That will be the last time. I prefer the chicken rice at the adjacent Kopitiam next to Botak Jones ("damn good American Food" is the tag line - also tried once and last time). Long queue Fri nite at BJ we could not even find a seat to order our chicken rice.

zen said...

Do you know the history of Botak Jones foray into the heartland coffee shop ? Botak started in a AMK coffee shop, blk 608, a stone throw from my house, during last CNY. He was then so miserable with hardly any customers, really swating flies. I worried for him. His luck turned for the better when a reporter came to writeup for him and later on TV. This shows that Botak, an American with a muslim wife, is quite an expert in marketing. To be fair to him, there is value-for-money in his food - tender steak, fresh fish, good special salad, and others. The China national operated coffeeshop's hygenic condition is below average. During weekends you have to querce just to order, and the average waiting time is about 45 mins.(min) Young people love the food.

Chris said...

Ahhh... Food and Sex... We men should die happy.

LOL.

zen said...

Chris: You really have expensive tastes same like the former emperors of China, only to much lesser degree. Chun See and I saw the TV serial Chian Long, and in one episode, the emperor, quite old at that time, called for recruitment of more 'fei' (concubines). His aide Her Sen was quite shock of his majesty's decision and ask why ? why the need to? (aren't the present number of fei sufficient?)Chian Long replied: "The reason is simple. I want the country to know that I am still virile, strong and able to rule". So Chris: do you need to prove something ?

Lam Chun See said...

Looks like Gilbert's Block 13 has gone en block. Better take down the link.

Chris said...

Zen, I'm nothing like the Emperor lah. See what a title like "A walk after the talk" could transcend into food, and more curiously, sex?

There isn't the need for me to prove anything, lest of all to my fair lady. It's the older men like the Emperor, who always seeks to prove their virility. Maybe, you should direct this question to Victor, and maybe Chun See lor. LOL.

Victor said...

Chun See - Yes, I also noticed today that Blockshisan's link led me astray somewhere. I wonder if he has taken down his blog and if so, why he did it. What a waste! Maybe his blogsite was hacked into by someone?

I have replaced his link with that of possibly the oldest blogger in the world, Don. Also added ahlee/nasidagan's blogsite.

pinto said...

Thanks for that Victor. Sometimes, critics look at places cursorily, themselves guilty of ignoring what's in plain sight.

zen said...

Chris - When you mentioned food and sex in your comment, I instinctively know what is in your mind, hence the Chian Long story. I believe one night, if you are lucky enough, you may dream of being Chian Long himself and be happy. You may ask Victor to share your dream.

Victor said...

Pinto - Thanks. Your comments are even more abstract than Zen's (the philosopher).

Zen - I will never share a dream with Chris. Instead, I will dream my own dream.

zen said...

Victor - Let us 'suan' or gossip behind Chris's back since he is not around (joking). Apparently he judges a book by its cover, meaning that younger men rather than older ones are more virile. I think older fellows would beg to differ. Certainly Mr Murd...(from down-under)would not agree to such a statement. Another point Chris may like to share his dream with you because it is FOC whether you like it or not.

Chris said...

Zen, the internet knows no borders. It's the last frontier. You can run but you can't hide. So I'm watching you and Vic even though I'm in the other part of the globe.... hehehehehe... Seeya soon pals!

Victor said...

Chris, did you survive the Giant Drop and the Tower Of Terror? You really must try since the rides are FOC, in a sense, 'cos you can ride as many times as you like once you've paid for admission to Dreamworld. Come back can blog about it some more.

zen said...

Chris- You are great ! Instead of the internet following you, you are responding to it. No wonder Chun See said that you need a daily fix. Do not let your boss knows of your passion otherwise he may send work to you vide the internet although you are on holidays. You cannot hide from blogging because it has now become your shadow.