Balestier

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There is nothing exciting about my childhood.

I did not grow up with wolves nor was I raised in a whorehouse.

But I cannot forget what it meant to grow up in a Balestier Road shophouse during the late 70s and 80s. Pretty much of who I am resides in a building that burnt down in 2000.

In fact, I didn not know our ancestral house was visited by arsonists until I saw my uncle on the front page of The New Paper. At that time I was not working in the paper full-time yet, so thankfully I did not have to cover the demise of my ex-home.

My mum was watching television and I showed her the front page. She said, “Is it?” and went back to watching her show. I agreed with her. Too many painful memories, too much history was embedded in that prewar building. In fact, I thought it was the right thing to forget 233A Balestier Road and move on with my life.

Today (Dec 2005) I regret being so foolish. Without documenting the last days of our home, we let history dissipate as developers moved in and built yet another condominium on the land. I guess it is time to write some chapters on that period of my life.

Part I : The Architecture

The longest house in Balestier Road contained more rooms than a modern mansion.

Part II : Haunted

The house was old and had its fair share of hauntings, of which I experienced a few.

Part III : The Neighbourhood.

We were surrounded by gambling dens, durian sellers, two famous temples, a python pit and even a martial arts school.

5 thoughts on “Balestier”

  1. Hah! I remember your old place and even your transvestite neighbour from across the street from when we were doing the victoria memorial hall model and traipsing around the shops buying nails, wood, hacksaws and crap like that! And your homo dog!! Hah! (sure explains a lot dude) :) Gosh, that really was a lifetime ago bro! Hope you’re keeping well!

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