Changes after a year

On the last day of 2015, as I was leaving for work (late), I met the foreign worker who was sweeping the corridor outside my flat. (I assume that he is foreign because he is young, Indian, and working as a cleaner.)

I smiled at him and he said that he noticed that I have been gone for some time.

I was surprised he noticed, but at the same time, not really.

These are the “invisible” people of our society, but they do see things. Sometimes they see what others do not. It is a trope in murder mysteries, that the detective sometimes asks these “invisible” people what they saw.

I wanted to ask him what happened to my neighbour, muu-muu lady.

We haven’t seen her since we returned. Only her daughter. Has she passed away? Or is she now bed-ridden and unable to leave the flat?

We don’t know. Or didn’t know for a while.

Subsequently, PL saw her. So she’s not dead. And she’s not bedridden. Yay!

Another neighbour seemed to have suffered a stroke. These two ladies live in the flat next to the stairs. There is a skinny lady and a more average lady who looks a little androgynous.

I call them The Lesbians because I can be quite sophomoric. And also because I like the idea that I live in a hip place with people of various sexual orientation.

But seriously I do not know for sure. They could just be friends. Or they really could be Lesbians. Or Lebanese (probably not). Or they could be related.

Anyway, the more androgynous one (I’m trying to avoid using the word “butch”) was almost unrecognisable when I saw her recently. If she was not with the skinny lady, I would not have recognised her. She has lost weight and now needs help to walk. And there is a “lost” look on her face. It is probably a stroke.

That could be me.


Mr Tan from downstairs has been coming up and PL’s mom has been bringing Zoe down to chat, and to let Zoe see Mr Tan’s poodle. Pl’s mom have been impressed with the tricks Mr Tan’s poodle can do. Mr Tan trains his dogs quite well. And Zoe has been entertained.

The Seven-Eleven has closed and has been replaced by a clinic. Well, this was no place for a 7-11. There is a 24 hr budget mini-mart.


“Teochew Opera” Coffee shop still has the retired “Teochew Opera” singer working there.

From FB (16 Jan 2014):

At the food court opposite Toa Payoh Library (Next to the Community Club/ NPC) there is Il Piccolo pizza and pasta. Was there sometime last week. But what caught my attention was this elderly lady taking drinks order. After we placed our order, she shouted our order to the drinks counter… in a sing-song falsetto (is it called falsetto if it is done by a woman?)

Hmmm… I thought. Ex-Teochew Opera actress?

On the one hand good to know things have not changed. On the other hand, she still has to work. But if she weren’t working and weren’t around, I would have wondered if she had passed away.

Charlotte and Grace Cakeshop (near Ang Mo Supermarket) has moved. To Kampong Bahru. The two or even 3 shops she had at Block 84 (?) has been vacated.

It was probably the wrong place for her business.

At first I thought it might have closed down. But a Google search gave us her new location. Happy for her. It is not easy starting a business. Good to know she is succeeding.

[Side note: Charlotte and Grace are not her names. They are the names she would give her daughters if she ever had daughters. I read that in the papers when they interviewed her.]

Speaking of daughters, Z has started to toddle on her own. So far she has managed 3 or 4 steps before she either sits down or grabs hold of some support.

She should be walking by Chinese New Year.

There has been quite a few changes, but some things stay the same.

The Pork butcher is still the same. Ang Mo is still selling Hoegaarden at $2.95 a bottle. Chey Sua’s chye tow kway is still the best and there is still a long queue for it. Hup Chong’s yong tow fu is still pretty damn good.


It changes, but it also remains the same.

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