Thank you for asking to see even more pictures of Singapore and Malaya in the 1960s; I will make an appearance in this post.
I was born in Singapore, left at two years old two and then returned aged six for a few more years. Those that know me might notice that I wore red shoes from an early age. I re-visited Singapore at the turn of this century and then bussed across the causeway to Malaya. Some things were the same but most were not.
This is both countries from 1958 to 68. I have asked my mum to add her commentary to mine; that's her in the fab yellow frock.
Mum- The buildings at the riverside were 'Go Downs' where produce that came up the river was stored. People lived on the houseboats, I don't know the Chinese name for the river but the Europeans called it The Sweet Water Canal because it smelt so awful.
Me- I remember the smell from the river area but I think I am actually recalling the smell of uneaten fruit rotting in the tropical sun from markets and food stalls along it, if you have smelled Durian fruit squashed on a hot road you'll know what I mean. I used to have a shop by a street market in Newcastle the smell of fruit abandoned in the cobblestones on a hot day was very similar.
The Snake Temple
The Snake Temple is in Penang, yes it is full of snakes. I believe that it is unique. My father brought my brother and I some very life like rubber cobras from there and we used them to scare our Amah with. Our Amah was called Sue; she was our nanny, housekeeper and all round good person...she did not deserve to be taunted by rubber reptiles and revolting children.
Also in Penang; I bet there are not many ox carts at Minden Baracks today...in fact I bet there is not a Minden Barracks either.
Me- Kranji War memorial in Singapore was one of the few places that had lawn grass....Kranji and the Polo Club.
Mum-Like other war memorials it was beautifully kept by the Singaporeans and was a place of tranquility.
Mum- This is the Singapore Botanical Gardens, where we spent many happy hours.
Me- Note red bag, red shoes! Men with floppy hair, sparkly white shirts and short shorts. I wonder if it still has monkeys there.
I have mentioned the Tiger Balm Gardens also known as Haw Par Villas on other posts. It was a weekend after lunch destination for us as it was on the Pasir Panjang Rd close to where we lived. It is a large tropical, garden park, full of brightly painted statues set in numerous tableaux of morality tales and folk lore. Most were blood thirsty and macabre...my little brother and I loved it.
I don't know whether the lady in this scene has just made a rude hand gesture or hurled a dagger through the intruder's head; possibly both.
Mum- This tableaux was known as "The rape of the Buddhist monk".
Me- Fab outfits don't you think? I thought this guy represented lust and as that is one of the deadly sins you would be sure to find him in the adjoining tableaux having met his fate which was always a grisly death but all the fables seemed to end that way.
The last time I visited Tiger Balm Gardens was 2000 or thereabouts I was told by the lady at the gate that it would be closing for ever later that day. I am so pleased to read on Trip Advisor that people are still enjoying visiting the place and it will get a face lift this year.
Mum- Below you see a more charming view of the Tiger Balm gardens.
The road builders here are women. Monsoon drains line the roads in Singapore, they are much needed because when it rains..it really rains.
Mum-The roads would flood in minutes, and when the rain stopped it would be dry almost immediately.
Me- There was basin like dip in the garden in front of our apartment and as the rain started my brother and I would sit in it until the water surrounded us. The rain was torrential and stung us but it was warm and so was the lawn tub that it created because the ground was already hot. Also, we made paper boats and raced them down the open monsoon drains running or cycling beside them.
Mum- This is where we lived when Helen was born; our road ended here and became a track into the jungle. Just out of picture was a hut which was our local shop.
Me-I don't remember the road but I liked the vintagey-ness of the photograph.
We will end as we started with me. I am on the lawn with the dip in it; it is seven years later and I'm still wearing red shoes.