July 27, 2011

clubs and associations at BPR

This is Bukit Pasoh Road on a Saturday afternoon, quiet and peaceful ...

This building is at the end of BPR next to New Bridge Road. I don't know what club this is. Anyone knows?

Tung On Wui Koon

Gao clan association

Yee clan association

If you are tired of walking, you can take a drink and snack at this cafe. If you like old-style type coffee-shop, you can go over to the road parallel to BPR - Keong Siak Road.

This looks like a place of religious worship ...

This is Siong Leng Musical Association, the Nan Yin enthusiasts.

July 24, 2011

I am Cai Shen Ye.

I have a long-time friend who treats me as if I were his Cai Shen Ye. We do not contact each other often. But when we do, one question he invariably asks is " Any number?"

You see, once I gave him a 4D number and he got a sum of money from it. He also said that whenever I accompanied him to the casinos when we were in Macau, he always won some money in the end.


Do you look at the obituaries in the papers everyday? I don't; I just don't have this habit. I also don't look at things like job vacancies or houses for sale.

I was chatting with another long-time friend. He told me that a principal of our former secondary school had died. I said I didn't know because I don't look at the obituaries. He said he looks at them everyday to see whether anyone he knows has died. At first I thought it sounded a bit weird but later I thought it is really nothing weird. Probably he has been doing this for a long time and it has become a habit.

We are slaves to our habits whether they are gambling, exercising or some daily activities.

There is a blog called Singapore Obituaries. The picture above is taken from it.

July 21, 2011


Do you know what these are?

They are nose pads of your spectacles. If these pads are damaged or lost, you can go to a spectacle shop to try to get them replaced, no need to buy a new spectacle frame. This pair cost me $2.

What do you think I was doing with the egg?

I was trying out TIP 3 to see if it works or not.

July 18, 2011

CO project

Once in a long while someone who intends to do a project on Chinese or Cantonese opera in Singapore would stumble upon this site and ask for assistance. It is a wide area and there are several sub-topics. I don't have the knowledge or experience to be of help. Sometimes I refer them to more knowledgeable people who are authorities in this field like Joanna Wong (in first picture), Chua Soo Pong (in second picture) .......

If I decide to do such a project,
this is probably what I would do:

1. Go to the libraries and bookshops to look for books that are available. (Actually there are already quite a number of such books.)

2. Go to the performance venues like theatres, community centres and street opera sites, befriend and chat up some old folks to get information. Some of them might also have old souvenir magazines or posters at their homes.

3. Get in touch with people in charge of opera groups or associations and arrange meetings with them to find out about the histories of their organizations. Prepare questions to ask them.

4. Interview some well-known local artistes to get their views.

5. Do a search and visit the sites related to Chinese opera in Singapore.

July 15, 2011

Puduraya Bus Station .....

A few days ago there was a report about the Puduraya Bus Station in Kuala Lumpur having a new look. Suddenly I felt a tinge of nostalgia and longed to visit the Bus Station again. Somehow it evokes memories of KL and its surroundings. Another place in KL I would like to visit again is its Chinatown.

I have taken buses from the Puduraya Station to Ipoh, to Cameron Highland, to Genting and to Singapore.

I would also like to visit Penang and Ipoh again.

However, I am not too passionate about conserving old buildings, old cemeteries or other old places. My view is the Country's needs come first or if it is too costly to upkeep an old place that has not much significance in our history, then it has to go.

I think many of you know that once upon a time there was a Happy World Amusement Park. It was one of my favourite haunts when I was a teenager. If I had a Magic Lamp, I would ask the genie in it to bring back Happy World again with everything in it as it were in those days including its three cinemas. Well, just bring it back for a few days, let us nostalgic folks relive our memories and then make it disappear.

July 12, 2011

opera photos

A few 'old' unedited photos in their original large size. Did you watch any of the shows or do you still remember the artistes?

A street opera show at Sims Drive ...

An artiste at an autograph session ...

Artistes of the Nanning Cantonese Opera Troupe ...

The Guangdong Cantonese Opera Second Troupe ...

July 09, 2011

president and fasting

We have three persons who want to be the next President of Singapore. It could happen that the elected president gets less than 50% of the votes. I hope he will get more than 50%. It would not look good if, say, only 40% of Singaporeans supported him. I think the most important things are his personality, temperament and qualities and not whether he is 50%, 75% or 100% independent.

May the candidate with the right qualities suited for the job be elected.

Recently I went for a blood test at a polyclinic. Before that, fasting was required - about 10 hours. You can only drink plain water. However, I fasted longer than that, about 16 hours. The laboratory technician who took my blood said that fasting too long was not recommended as it could affect the accuracy of the results.
I did not see the doctor that day so I had no chance to ask her.

Does anyone know if this is correct?

July 06, 2011

old stars

Seeing photos of old stars makes you feel nostalgic ... how time has flown and a reminder you are not that young anymore ...

These two I think you all know who they are ...

These were the 'big ten' stars during the golden era of Cantonese movies. How many of them you know? The photographer didn't seem to notice that one face was blocked by the person sitting in front.

Here are the answers:

後排: 鳳凰女、新馬師曾、曹達華、梁醒波,南紅

前排: 林鳳、任劍輝、白露明、白茵、丁瑩

July 04, 2011

train journeys

In recent weeks there were plenty of news, articles and blog posts about our rail transport history and the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. Usually it is when some part of our heritage is going to fade into history that people get interested. Some of these people who thronged the TPRS in the past week have never been there before or have never taken a train before.

When I was a child I had a fascination for ships and trains. They were modes of transport across great oceans and vast continents. To me, they were associated with adventure and faraway land and strange people. Globalization and the convenience of air travel has somewhat diminished such fantasy.

In the past I have travelled quite a number of times on trains. If you are adventurous and have more time to spare, travelling by train is a good way to see life in another country. There is always the excitement and expectation when the train stops at the smaller stations along the way.

My first train trip was from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. I think it took about 6 hours.

My longest train journey was from Singapore to Bangkok.

It started at about 1.30pm at TPRS in Singapore and ended at about 8am, the third day, at Hua Lamphong Central Railway Station in Bangkok (above picture). It included two nights on the train. Actually the whole journey was made up of 4 parts .....

1. Singapore to KL, afternoon train

2. KL to Butterworth, night train

3. Butterworth to Haadyai, morning train. (At that time, the train from Butterworth stopped at Padang Besar and we had to transfer to Thai train to proceed to Haadyai. You also passed through Thai immigrations here and your passport stamped.)

4. Haadyai to Bangkok, afternoon train

Between 1 and 2 and between 3 and 4, there were more than 2 hours to spare. So we had ample time for dinner at KL and lunch at Haadyai. However, between 2 and 3 there were only minutes to spare.

If you spend the night on the train it is better to travel second class. A second class ticket includes a sleeping berth with a mattress, pillow and blanket. You could still catch some sleep even with the rattling and rumbling. If you travel in a third class carriage you will have to sit throughout the night. I doubt you could sleep. And it could be very cold.

July 01, 2011

Opera at Hougang

I have never been to this place before. That night I decided to go and take a look. It was at Hougang Avenue 5. I think this site is not suitable for Chinese opera shows.

The small stage was just about a metre or two from the end of a block of flats. The ground floor is void. The corner flat at level 2 was the nearest to the stage. The occupants could enjoy listening to the show from start to finish without leaving their flat or they would be annoyed by the loud music and singing for about 3 hours, depending whether they like Cantonese opera or not.

I heard that during a night show in a previous year there were complaints and the show had to stop before it could end. It seems that at that time there were 2 shows - one customary one to ask the gods for blessing, followed by The Patriotic Princess which is a long opera.

It was the last night and there was a dinner with more than a dozen tables. There were also auctions of auspicious things. So about 90% of the place was used for these activities.

As a result, people watching the opera show were confined to the small area in front of the stage. And several metres from the stage were trees blocking the view of the stage.

The leading sheng and dan were 任丹楓 and 紫令秋.

The show ended at about 10.40pm.

This is 任丹楓 as 沉香 .....

沉香大戰二郎神 .....

團圓 .....

By the way, the sheng and dan have a site here: http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/pm-co/