8.30am. Wifey woke me up. Darn I’ll be late. Supposed to reach kampong by 9am.
8.35am. Finally got my butt off the bed. I walked into the bathroom, the warmth of the morning sun greeted me through the window. Great weather, I thought.
8.37am. As I brushed my teeth with my eyes closed (still not full awake), I felt a shadow cast behind me, as if someone was standing behind me blocking the sun. When I was done with my teeth and face, I opened my eyes, and the sky was already dark, covered with grey clouds everywhere.
8.40am. I went downstairs to buy breakfast for wifey, texted Genghui to meet me at the MRT station taxi stand.
9am. Picked up Genghui.
9.02am. Rain fell.
9.10am. Reached kampong. Rain poured relentlessly. We waited for signs of Tetanus. Texted him, and he replied that his place was already raining, so he’d only come when the rain stopped.
9.20am. Decided to go for breakfast at Jalan Kayu.
10.20am. The sky seemed to be cleared. We left the restaurant and drove to the kampong. On the way, the rain picked up again.
10.30am. Reached kampong, rain still fell, but not so heavy. We decided to check out the place since we were already here. Rain soon came to a complete stop and we enjoyed the walk. Then the rain came back again and I was forced to shoot holding an umbrella.
12.30pm. We completed the walkabout and left the kampong.
36 hours later… photos.
I grew up in a kampong in Loyang (Changi) with my grandparents, so the kampong sight was not an eye-opener. In fact, our neighbouring countrymen would be wondering what the fuss was about as there are thousands of kampongs in their lands. And even if visitors come to this final stronghold of history, what non-villagers will not appreciate is the lifestyle, not just the tangible environment. These photos can only capture the facade, but what we can never capture is the spirit of their livelihood, which was mockingly nowhere in sight throughout our walkabout, as they all stayed inside their homes in the cold wet morning.
Check out Genghui’s account at his blog here.