Archive for March, 2008

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Guess who came to market…

March 20, 2008
The Straits Times
March 20, 2008
ST PHOTO: FRANCIS ONG
IT WAS not the usual request of visiting VIPs. But Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej asked to see the Tiong Bahru wet market and dropped in yesterday morning.

Here on an official visit, he is an accomplished chef and used to host a popular TV cooking show. And he clearly knew his stuff.
‘Oh yes, this one, it is also the most expensive fish in Thailand,’ he said, pointing to the giant ikan kurau, or threadfin.

He spent an hour touring the market and chatting with stallholders, accompanied by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Lim Swee Say and National Environment Agency chief executive Lee Yuen Hee.
Fruitseller Yao Caiping, 38, said he gave her some tips on storing mangoes. ‘He is very friendly, not as serious as we see him on TV,’ she said.
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The Reason

March 19, 2008
Early this morning, the current Thai prime minister, Mr Samak Sundaravej, dropped in for a visit.

I wasn’t there when it happened.

Anyway, this signage made it crystal clear why there were so much “touch-up” painting activities going on for the last whole week.

And I thought it was some routine maintenance.

So if you want to experience how Tiong Bahru Market was like when it 1st opened about a year and a half ago, today would be a good day.

And when you visit the market, please take care of the place as we do not want to depend on such VIP visits to look fresh and clean.

Mr Samak Sundaravej’s trip to Singapore was not just about official business. The Thai leader had requested a taste of Singapore’s food culture, and got that when he toured the Tiong Bahru market. And he proved to be quite a food-lover too! Mr Samak said, “My favourite (dish) is fried rice, we call it ‘fried rice, governor style’. But now I am not the governor anymore, I call it ‘fried rice, ex-governor style!'”

excerpt from ChannelNewsAsia, 19th March 2008

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Trishaw Man

March 18, 2008

I was pleasantly surprised during my “early” morning stroll today.

As I stepped off the escalators within the Tiong Bahru Market, happily sipping my coffee, I spotted this trishaw man resting in his “sar leng chia”. (It means a 3-wheeled vehicle in Hokkien).

He is resting in the exact spot where many of his “KAKIS” (Buddies) used to hang out.

In the distant past (in the 1970s), a dozen of them could be found here in the mornings and many uncles and aunties would use them to get around. Some of my classmates even travelled to school in them.

My grandma, on days when she needed to get to Neil Road to visit her relatives, would bring my brother and me to board a trishaw at the exact spot where this guy is sitting. (She only rides the trishaw when she won money in the “Chap Ji Kee”, otherwise, it would be leg power.)

I could still remember the trishaw man pedalling tirelessly through the “SI PAI POR” compound to get us to Neil Road.

Now that I am much heavier, I don’t think this guy would be interested to help me ride down memory lane today. So I just took some pictures (secretly) and carried on with my stroll.

Doing some online research on Trishaws in Singapore (History of Trishaw), I found out that Trishaw became popular back then because petrol was not readily available.

With the petrol prices hitting the roof, maybe, we will see more of these “uncles” around.
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Here we go again!!!!

March 13, 2008
Georg S said…
After having finished the surface a week ago I suddenly heard the noise of drilling again yesterday and was shocked to see the entire path converted to rubble this morning. I went down to ask the workers what was going on and they said “Bad cement, bad cement”. Well, at least they seem to fix their mistakes right away

Today : The tractor drilling into the newly surfaced pavements

Concrete Mixer transferring “GOOD CEMENT” for resurfacing the pavements

Hopefully this part (in between Blk 35 & 37 Lim Liak Street) is made from GOOD CEMENT

Perhaps BAD CEMENT was the reason why this part of the work was stalled for 2 days…I kept thinking the weather was responsible.

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Tiong Bahru Hokkien Prawn Noodles

March 13, 2008

Extracted from
The Tanjong Pagar Town Council’s WINDOW

Number 48 (February 2008)

This stall is located ar #02-50 within the Tiong Bahru Food Centre.

Mr Soh Chuan Siew runs the stall with his wife.

He’s the 3rd generation in his family to sell prawn noodles.

When he came from China, his grandfather sold them from a pushcart here – for 30 cents per bowl!

He taught his son who used to sell them at $1.20 a bowl in the eighties.

Now Mr Soh sells the same great prawn noodles for $3 a bowl.

But he also sells a smaller serving for $2 – and that’s what most people buy.

“We’ve had customers in Tiong Bahru since 1951.

We are well-known.”

The noodles are perfect, the soup rich and tasty, and the prawns are so fresh you expect them to swim to the bottom of the bowl!

Open 6am to 2pm, closed on Mondays

Additional picture from my computer

Mr Soh Chuan Siew’s father, who operated the “HEY MEE” stall at the original Tiong Bahru Market in the 1980s.

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So Guan Chuan

March 13, 2008

Guan Chuan Street within the Tiong Bahru Estate was named after So Guan Chuan.

Guan Chuan was a merchant in the 19th century Singapore.

Little was known about him, other than the fact that he was elected a member of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in 1837.

The chamber then had only a few Chinese merchants as members.

He was also a founder member of the Qing De Hui and he contributed generously to the building funds for the construction of the Tian Fu Gong in Telok Ayer Street.

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Moh Guan Terrace

March 13, 2008