If wormholes made time travel possible and a four year old me visited the future Singapore, Plaza Singapura would be one place that would be totally unrecognizable. Plaza Singapura opened way back in 1975. It’s anchor store used to be Yaohan, which got into debt due to overexpansion and sadly closed down in the 90’s. To me the mall has lost it’s charm after it’s complete renovation.
In the 80’s, I recall being able to get Whirla Whip (which was the olden day version of the Marble Slab or Cold Stone ice cream places). M&Ms and Oreos were blended into your ice cream and it was a favourite of ours. The foodcourt at level one also had the best carrot cake (the black version made with sweet soya sauce).
It was also the place where I was terrified, because it was where I had to take all my practical piano examinations by the Royal School of Music. I would be a bundle of nerves and my hands would be like icicles. My dad used to try to rub them to keep them warm, but they would turn back into ice again. I was a six year old nervous wreck.
Back to my nightmare – the examiner was usually a grizzled white haired elderly British man and that scared the heck out of me. My piano teacher always told me that they would get mad and yell at me if I got any note wrong, so she greatly contributed to the fear. I don’t know what kind of motivation that was supposed to be. As Kirsten of Funny Little World did, I too take issue with the parenting methods of Amy Chua. Go read it to see what I mean.
What I do also recall is that after the exams, I was so relieved and estatic and also got a treat of a real nice meal after. Did anyone out there have the Piano exam nightmares as well? I hated piano lessons, but don’t regret them. I am happy that I can read musical notes and they feel like another language to me. They also say that playing the piano helps you utilize both sides of your brain – the mathematical and creative side as you need to coordinate your left and right hands. Having said that, I would have been much happier as a child to have learnt the piano playing songs I love and without any exams.
I was impressed by the huge Chinese New Year Decorations today. There is a Giant supermarket which was selling mandarin oranges for Chinese New Year. The most expensive ones being those from Taiwan that cost about S$25 a box. The cheapest ones cost about S$8 a box.
I don’t quite like Bread Talk buns as I find them dry, but they are just so creative with their designs.
I was surprised to see a fish store selling baby stingrays as pets. I guess they are off the endangered list for now?
I haven’t been here in quite a while and see there is a Paper Market here as well. Scrapbooking must be really catching on. I have never done it and all the pretty papers makes me want to. I wonder why Singapore has so many chain stores. Perhaps for economies of scale? I feel sad for the small, unique mum and pop stores that can’t survive in competition with the chain stores. It can also be quite annoying to see them everywhere, although I end up patronizing them as well.