Rocher Centre. Anticipating the inevitable……

When I first heard that the authorities are going to take down this block of flats and shops, it felt a little sad.

I attended St. Anthony’s Boys’ School, nearby at Bras Basah Road, which incidentally was gone too more than 20 years ago. It transformed into a food centre soon after which serves the famous frog leg porridge serving late party goers, before it finally become Nanyang Academy School of Fine Arts Campus V.

But hey, at least the building is still there ? Heck, my school originated in the 1880s, the building is at least from the pre-WWII period.

Not so for Rochor Centre, it felt sad at first. However, i  soon learnt that its going to be demolished because it stands in the way of a superpower highway that links the North all the way to the Central Business District……It starts to irk a little bit more.

I mean, I understand all these progress, economical reasons, traffic, business, jobs…blah blah blah. We all demand these and are quick to blame the government when things don’t work out for us. Why don’t we just take things slower a little ? We don’t have to appear in the Top 3 all the time in international rankings ? Whats with Changi Terminal 5 ? Whats with the population of 10 million ?

Let things rot a little, let the people see what happens when such ideals are ignored. Let the people panic a little when there is no critical spending mass to support businesses,  when they see their property prices tumble down and their currencies devalued with inflation set in. Turn off the ERP and let us wait 15 mins for each traffic light to change. Is it possible then that the standard of living becomes cheaper ? Maybe then they can appreciate you a little bit more.

But, I am a hypocrite. If the train is late for 6 mins, I cannot accept. There is no free bus to take me to my work place when train breaks down ? i cannot accept. To raise hawker food prices ? My Salary not increasing? I cannot accept. You should push the economy, but you take care of me first. I want everything to be perfect but I don’t want to pay for it and  you cannot take away things I love.

Rochor Center is a place where I grew up. I remember my classmate, we call him Chok, I cannot remember his full name. He lived here. He is also my table tennis sparing partner, probably better than me, not skill wise but he has better poise and composure. Sometimes, we would hang out at his house……I cannot remember what we did though. Play One-Hop ? Police and Thief ? Its his grandmother’s place and the cheery old lady always have something for us kids.

This is going to be a blast of 70 odd pictures. But hey, I am just trying to remember my past…….before it fades totally away……….

P.S The shops have moved out. But the residents are still staying here, mainly old folks. Was tempted to snap them living in the own homes. But nah…….Decide to respect their privacy.



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