The area where I am living is like a war zone now.
Developers had bought ALL the residential properties in front, behind, to the left and right of the nine-unit apartment block where my family stays.
Every morning, I will be woken up; not by an alarm clock, but by loud thunderous piling or drilling.
My parents told me once too many times that we will be “moving out soon once the en bloc deal pulls through.
They have been saying this for at least three years. It’s no fault of theirs – out of the nine units living in our apartment block, there are two particularly difficult households causing the en bloc deals to fall through time and again because they wanted more money.
My parents are exasperated and quietly resigned to the fact that they will probably be stuck here for at least a good one or two more decades.
In the past, I will get angry and frustrated when I think about the two uncooperative neighbours who are holding up the collective sale. However, now that the high-rise condominiums around our apartment are coming to completion – I find myself increasingly tempted to not move away anymore.
I like the rustic feel in Potong Pasir, with its small-town charm. Besides, we’ve already tolerated three years of the construction sound and air pollution – the main push factors for us to move away asap three years ago. Now that it’s coming to an end, wouldn’t it be a waste if we just move away like this?
Also, our apartment block does look quite cool standing proud and firm as the only three-storey low-rise building surrounded on all fours by tall buildings at least twice its height. If we really do move one day, I will miss this place.
My family settled here back in 1986, just before I started my primary school education. When we just shifted here, many of the pavements and walkways were not paved with concrete, but were overgrown with wild plants and weeds. There were butterflies around and the bungalow in front of our apartment had a rambutan tree. How things have changed over the years.
The old bungalow in front of our apartment is now a high rise condominium; the former owner, an old colonial lawyer (complete with walking stick, high tea, chambermaid and all) has long passed away. The rambutan tree is no more too.
Change is inevitable. Yet I still feel a tinge of sadness.
Progress is necessary for a nation to grow. Yet nostalgia is a strong emotional force too.