Saturday, March 05, 2011

Singapore's last Kampong -- Kampong Lorong Buangkok

Many Singaporeans lament about how boring our little island is. However, if you were to ditch technology, urbanisation and engineered landscape for a moment, you would soon find that there are lots of little surprises all over the island waiting to be unearthed.

One little surprise would be our very own last surviving kampong located on mainland Singapore. I used to think that in our highly modernised country, we could only see kampongs in Pulau Ubin. Never had I expected to be able to catch a glimpse of Kampong Lorong Buangkok before it lost its battle to modernisation.

Singaporean blogger blisschic of timelessbeauty did a rather informative and beautiful write up on this post of hers here. I don't wish to leech from her by copying and pasting information here from her post so do click on the link to find out more about the history of the kampong. I really love reading her beautifully crafted words and artistic photos. Her blog always gives me inspirations for interesting and photo-worthy places to check out in Singapore and I often find myself living vicariously through her words and pictures.

For more artistic photos of the kampong, click here.

Let us all transport back to the 60s...

The sky was overcast that day. By the time we alighted at the bus stop that led to the kampong, the drizzle had transformed into sheets of rain pelting down hard onto the ground.

We chatted at the bus stop while zanne tested out the DSLR which she borrowed from her friend.

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When the rain lightened, we made our way to the kampong.

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Finally we saw the sign that led to a land quite forgotten by the modern world.

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It started raining heavily once more and we could do nothing but seek shelter at 17A house's front porch.

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The whole place looked really deserted with doors and windows closed as most of the residents were huddled indoors sheltered from the rain. It was a real pity as I was looking forward to making acquaintance with some of them. I only talked to a lady, probably around my age, who was chopping watermelons with her dad, asking her for the location of the olden swing. She told me that the swing belonged to one of the residents and is not a public property of the kampong. She also cautioned me about the dogs located there. We did not get to see the swing in the end. We spied a few sleepy dogs though.


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Evan and her friend was dressed according to the kampong theme. They looked like they belonged in that era.

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A forgotten ball in the rain reminiscent of this forgotten place in the heart of high-rise HDB flats and posh private estates.

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Evidence of modernisation comes in the form of the government's warning to floods, a makeshift bicycle basket from Dynamo liquid detergent and an advertisement on the back of a taxi for a PI agency.

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The kampong "kids"... I think the most kampong thing I did was to jump into a puddle of not-so-muddy rain water to wash the sand and grime off my slippers and feet.

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The above photo denotes the end of our kampong exploration. I would love to go there once more when it isn't raining. Hopefully, I would be able to talk to some of the residents there and take a photo of the olden swing as well.

By the time we finished our exploration, the rain stopped. Evan and her friend headed for somewhere nearer their homes while the pri school gang hopped onto the bus that would lead us north.

It was jq's birthday that day and we bought snacks and a mini cake, intending to surprise him at the kampong. Alas, the rain thwarted our plans so we had to find another venue.

We made an impulsive decision to alight from the bus to go to Bottle Tree Park for a "picnic".

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xtina tried to distract jq, zanne got ready behind the camera while I tried to prepare the cake to surprise him.

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There was seriously something wrong with my face that day. All my friends were commenting that I looked quite ugly in all the photos that day. I myself thought that I looked quite ugly. At that time, kh was overseas. I sent to him some of the photos over MSN and he had to agree too. Is it my hair? My eyes? My face getting fatter? My features look squeezed into the middle of my face.

Here are some of the better ones. The rest are hidden in my folders never to be seen by anyone else except the attendees that day.
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Zanne wanted all our individual photos so she took multiple shots of me since all my photos turned out ugly. We chronicled the above photos as:
1. Jo trying to look forlorn but ugly. Even xtina's candid shot achieved the beautiful forlorn look.
2. Jo tried very hard to look sexy applying lipbalm but xtina looked au naturel and once again beautiful.
3. Jo looks like jo only when her face is covered.

BTW, all of us agreed that xtina looked so much more beautiful bald and that she should continue keeping her hair that way.

I must say that I look the most normal in the self-taken shot below.

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zanne looks so cool here.

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After that, we went to Wendy's to grab some drinks and little bites while waiting for gera and jq's friend to join us.

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Gera was very amused at all my ugly shots.

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normal people do normal things

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abnormal people do abnormal things

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gera's "dig nose" imitation was the best!

From Kampong Lorong Buangkok to Bottle Tree Park to Wendy's, Zanne still could not get a good picture of me and she tucked the DSLR away for good.


Here's ending my post with lots of ugly-jo photos.

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25 comments:

  1. hey you, thanks for your lovely comment. i'm still flattered by these nice words and i'm amazed by your writing style. your blog is definitely different from others and the depth you're going into each topic you're writing about!
    i'm following you and hope you return some time to my blog! :)
    love xxx

    http://pulcinellata.blogspot.com/

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  2. Hi :-)
    Honestly, I don't know what you mean?! You don't look ugly at all, you're beautiful :-) & I'm not saying that only to make you feel better! It's the truth! You should see me on some of my photos *lol* I can look beyond ugly (without trying hard at all *gg*).

    I wish I could come to see kampong, too. It seems to be a lovely place (I also read the post on timeless beauty), toobad it rained when you visited. It makes me really sad to hear that lovely, special places like this one disappear because of re-development (what a nice for such an ugly process). It seems to be the same in all countries all over the world. Nature & old houses vanish just to be replaced by some ugly oh so modern buildings *ugh* Lots of animals have already disappeared because they don't find a place to live anymore & then people are wondering why there are so many natural disasters lihe hurricanes & such. It's because we ruin the earth!

    Oh well, now I've gotten a little bit too serious & angry :-o

    On a happier note: I wish you a wonderful weekend :-) xo

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  3. Great photos! It looked like a lot of fun!! It's funny how much fun you can have if you ditch the electronics.

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  4. What are you talking about Jo? I think you look very pretty in all the photos (except maybe the one where you are all pretending to be picking noses lol)!

    I guess it's because most Singaporeans live on the island, so they feel it is not interesting, but I have always wanted to visit. It looks like a beautiful country. That's really refreshing that you all got to visit a kampong. When I visited China for the first time when I was a kid, my mom took us to visit a relative, who lived in a village. It's like a completely different world when you are used to living the city life! That was the first time I ever saw chickens too lol

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  5. oooh i'd give anything to travel to singapore any day. it's one of the fastest growing cities. and you have such lovely friends to be around.
    im new to your blog, im now following.

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  6. Thanks for commenting! ^^

    Wowiee you create beautiful pictures o: very alive!
    And also happy birthday to your friend :) and oomg you are not ugly!
    You look very cute and nice ^^

    Happy weekend xx

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  7. ATW,

    I too, am flattered by your words. Thank you so much for the lovely comment. It always makes my day when I know people do take the time to read my words even though my posts are so lengthy at times.

    Oh and thanx for following! Will definitely drop by your interesting blog more often too!

    ~~~~

    Tabatha,

    I’ve a good mind to address you by your first name. LoLz... Oh I cheated. I put up the best of the uglies. The really ugly ones (“ones” meaning about 20+ photos are stashed in folders unseen by all)

    There are more authentic and rustic looking kampongs in Malaysia and other Asian countries. In fact that last kampong in Singapore looks quite modern for a kampong due to their brightly and colourfully painted exterior. However of course when compared to all other buildings in Singapore, there is a stark contrast.

    I agree with you about the clearing of forest for urbanisation and killing many animals in the process. It’s due to all these that creates the changes in our climate and hence natural disasters happen so frequently. I’m doing my part to save the environment too. I try to practise the 3Rs and also not be too wasteful. I may not be 100% environmentalist but I believe that we can each contribute a little.

    Hope you have a great weekend too!

    ~~~~

    Nicole✗✗,

    I totally agree with you! Yet, i find it impossible to ditch the internet. LoLz. I simply have to try to switch on my laptop once a day even after a whole work day of staring into my computer screen to clear my emails and notifications.

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    Rinny,

    Which country were you originally from? China? I think the villages in China would be a lot more fun! The last kampong we have here is a huge contrast to our urban landscape but it still looks pretty modern as compared to most other villages in the world. I bet you must have had lots of fun! My hubby who is only a year older than me stayed with his relatives at their farm in Singapore before when he was 3-4 years old! I can’t believe he had the privilege to! I thought many were already demolished at that time. He experienced picking vegetables, chicken eggs, collecting water from the well etc. So lucky!

    ~~~~

    ching,

    Thank you for your comment. I love it when new people visit me with a link to their page coz then I get to discover new blogs. I clicked your profile. You’re from Philippines right? It’s quite near to Singapore. You can come over for a short trip during your holidays. It’s a small place so you would be able to cover it within a few days. I’ll go explore your blog more in time to come. Thanx for following! Which one is your follower profile though? I can’t seem to locate it.

    ~~~~

    Ice Pandora,

    Aww... you’re so sweet. Thank you!

    Attached msg from tagboard:
    4 Mar 11, 05:03
    Ice Pandora: Love the pictures ^^
    Mar 11, 00:58
    Jo to Ice Pandora: Hi, thanx for leaving a footprint here!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love visiting places like that--from villages to ancient campsites. It's fun to imagine living there in the past.

    There was something in the kampong food or water or air that made all of you hallucinate. Ugly Jo? I don't see her in any of the pictures.

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  9. Rick you're back from your short hiatus! How have you been? Yes I'm always a past person rather than a future. I just wonder about living their lives.

    Oh I cheated. I put up the best of the uglies. The really ugly ones (“ones” meaning about 20+ photos are stashed in folders unseen by all) =D

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  10. yep i'm from the Philippines but I'm currently in Scotland to study/work. one of our airlines in the Philippines always have promos about travel trips to SG. someday i just have to go... you guys always have the best concerts too.haha

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  11. oh i forgot to mention, my Google Connect follow button is on the very bottom of the blog. or if you prefer bloglovin', it's on the right sidebar. :)

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  12. Thank you for the sweet comment!! Love it. I agree, Kim K's song is awful. The first 30 seconds is literally the whole song on repeat. She shouldn't be singing. Have a great weekend! ; )

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  13. WHO LAMENTS ABOUT HOW BORING SINGAPORE IS? I've never heard such a thing! Singapore is never boring. Actually I was going through my old university friend's pictures (he lives in singapore) and thought of you. Feel special.

    Everything here looks so pretty. You looked like you were crying when you were putting on lipbalm hahaha.

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  14. OH wait I have to reply to something you wrote:

    Do you mean to say that hongkong and singaporean culture is quite similar? population, technology, geography, etc.? If so; we are indeed! And I always loved my singaporean friends dearly.

    I'm not going back permanently haha. I always think about it but right now my life doesn't seem like it's at a point where I can just pick up and go there. I need to try and settle down first.. I have no idea what shiok is LOL. Can you write it in chinese?

    I'm glad you told me you stayed near Jordan when you last visited. I was there quite a lot during my trip, I didn't see any prudential hotel nearby but hell even I'm not that familiar with the city anymore. Things change wayyyyy too fast you know. And I know exactly what you mean by not reading cantonese - Taiwan uses traditional like us but even so, it sounds quite different hehe.

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  15. And your reply was so so long and lovely O.O I humbly thank you for your efforts in replying to my original comments. I know how long it takes and how much thought one has to put in. I was on the bus when you sent it so I read it and kept smirking hahahahaha~

    Stay pretty now.

    -turtle

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  16. Dear Jo,

    Without fail. Every time I read your message in my main box, I swear my face goes into a permanent grin mode.

    It is nice to see Kampong still exist in such a developed country. I feel that it brings a very "homely" (is this a real word?) feeling, like going back to hometown/roots.

    Thank you for your sincere comments on my page. Not being a creep here but I certainly feel very connected to you, possibly because we come from the same era where TAMAGOTCHI was ruling the nation. I was even more surprised when you said you come from a big extended family. Im sure you won't believe it but same here. My father has 11 siblings too and my mother has 14. Are you sure our family don't overlap? I could be your relative. =)

    You are really lucky to have both your grandmothers still near you. I never met my paternal grandmother. She died young of cancer and so did my maternal grandmother (but later on in life though).

    p/s: I probably have not said this before: You are very pretty.

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  17. My Mom used to live in Singapore before we all moved to Canada! I wish I can go back there!

    Great photos and you look beautiful!

    besos,

    ML

    Join the Easiest Blog Project Ever at:

    Twenty York Street

    Twenty York Street

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  18. omg you look like you had such a good time!! i wish i lived in asia.. so much fun things to do :) you look so pretty!!

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  19. ching,

    Haha really? I never knew we had the best concerts. Gee, that’s something to be proud of. I guess I’m not a concert person. Haven’t attended one in my entire life. Come overto SG soon!

    Oh I meant to ask you if you go by the profile “ching” on google blog follower? Coz you mentioned that you were following me but I could not find your profile under my follower list so I’m checking to see which name you went by. =) Apologies if I wasn’t clear earlier.

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    Nicole✗✗,

    Thank u. By the time I reply to this. It’s a whole new weekend so happy weekends to you!

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    Turtle,

    Wow! You thought of me when you saw your sg friend’s photos? Now I feel special. *smiles idiotically*

    Yes I do think HK and SG are quite similar, don’t you think so? I’ve got short term memory and I forgot if I told you this. I think I did but I’m too lazy to go find my old comments... but oh well it won’t kill to repeat. When hubby and I were at Maldives and found out our dive partners were from HK and not other Asian countries, we were so happy coz that means there won’t be much language barrier. After the dive trip, the HK couple revealed to us the same thing too. LoL... They related that when the dive instructor told them to wait for another couple who would be their diving buddies, they asked if it was gonna be Japanese or Korean (there were lots of them there on a holiday then) and when they heard “Singaporeans”, they were delighted coz that means that the culture was almost similar and it would be easier to get along.

    I think the closest chinese word to “shiok”is 爽.Does the chinese character enlighten or confuse you any further?

    And I too, was smirking when I read your comments but I wasn’t on the bus. Please blog more coz I wanna read about your adventures.

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    Squeeze the Pug,

    What a lovely comment. I’m glad I brought smiles to your face. I too, would always smile when I read a comment from my fellow neighbour you. I think words do help a lot in making people’s day and this is something which I feel doesn’t take an arm or a leg. If only everyone has a kind word for everyone, the world would be a better place!

    Oh, and please... what creep? Haha... I do feel a connection to you too. I guess it’s the aura. Haha... The good vibes you give out, our close age proximity, our birth country and how we’re able to identify with so many things, don’t you agree? =D

    Wow! I so hope you could be my relative. Haha... Maybe via distant distant relationship, I would become your younger generation and yay to inheriting all your charming bags! Wahahaha... kidding.

    P/S: Oh thank you! You’re being too kind. It’s all thanx to make up. If you see my naked face sans make up, I’m just a plain Jane... but I’m happy with that.

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    20 York Street,

    Thank you for your comment. I love it when new people visit me with a link to their page coz then I get to discover new blogs. Come back to sg soon!

    ~~~~

    Lisa,

    Yup, I had a fun time. There are many places to visit everywhere in the world and I wished to be walking in your shoes sometimes to take a little peek at what you have over in San Fran. ;)

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  20. Hi there! Just stumbled upon your blog by chance and I really enjoy it! I love all the photos in this post.. it's lovely to see someplace I've never been :] And you have such beautiful friends!

    I really like your writing style. I'll be back again to read some more! :]

    xx shabby
    http://lapoubelleverte.com/blog/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Shabby,

    I love it when new people visit me with a link to their page coz then I get to discover new blogs. Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m glad you read my words and like my writing style. All too often, people would simply scroll through a long post. Hope to see you around more often!

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  22. I just realized these are not new posts... I simply missed them O___o DAHHHHHHH

    I saw you and your friends wearing shorts and cannot help but wonder... are there no mosquitoes in Singapore??!?????? maybe it's because I see all that green in the background and my thoughts flickered automatically to bugs XD when I go back to Taiwan I can never wear shorts... I even have to wear a thin jacket to protect my arms T_T

    Nah you do NOT look ugly in these pics... I'm gonna kick Kh for agreeing with you *gives him a virtual kick*

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  23. Haha... you’re so cute. I’ll make sure I kick kh physically when he comes back. LoLz

    We DO HAVE lots of mosquitoes here! Hmm... but somehow we didn’t get a lot of stings that day. I’m those kind who gets bitten easily. When i post my railway advantures, I’ll show you my horrible bites.

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  24. Wow Jo! I really really like this post of yours!! The words, the pictures, the feel.. Even though the rain dampers the mood a little, but you guys took great pictures and it's really fun to have friends having the same interest and doing field trips together!

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  25. Canny,

    My xi ke! Is that how I always begin my replies to you? LoLz. Thank you for the lovely words. I couldn’t help smiling when I read your comments in my inbox.

    ReplyDelete

I love reading sincere comments and hearing your voice. While blatant self promotion of blogs and follow for follow requests are not advisable, I would love if you leave a mark here with a trackback link so that I could connect with you. I reply to comments here or on your blog so don't forget to check back on replies! =)

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