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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Girl Next Door

I grew up in a heartland and still am residing in a heartland. After living in a heartland for decades, I have not considered living out of one. What is uniquely Singapore in the heartlands are

A) Putting clothes out on a bamboo pole

B) Self created English, “under the void deck”

We heartlanders might not have exclusive pools or gyms, but we sure have a lot more to gain from. We might even feel a lot safer than in a condominium that has aging weak security who naps or wanks (I saw this at Holland Village, seriously! Another story for another time). However, we DO face the occasional shoe thief or the inconsiderate upper floor neighbour whose laundry drips.

Cold Storage, The Market Place are choices private estates will get their groceries. $2.10 for a packet of tao gei (raw bean sprouts) compared to $0.10 for the same amount in the heartlander’s wet market.

We are proud to be a cheapskate, that’s how we get rich (or try to).

Hong Kah Point (Blk 501-508, Jurong West) might sound super obiang, super ulu and super unglam but that’s where the best kept secrets are. Which heartland has the prettiest girls? Some people say Ang Mo Kio. Hahaha.

“Under my void deck” consists of over 100 shops and a bustling market and food centre. Korean clothes found in Far East Plaza? You have it here at a fraction. Here’s what you can’t find in Orchard but only in heartlands because it’s not “modern” enough for glitzy Orchard.
Ear picks!
I don’t usually plug music into my ears, but I realized that when I do, my ear wax increases. This is a human’s natural reaction to protect the ear drums (thus it is NOT a good thing to listen to loud music so frequent) and people usually use cotton buds to clear the ears.

However, a friend taught me that it isn’t as healthy using a cotton bud as compared to using the grandma method of an ear pick. Cotton buds actually push the dirt even further in. However when I do feel rich like a Cleopatra, I get ear candling performed. I don’t know how it works and I am not keen to Google, but the objective is to vacuum out the dirt and it helps with your sinus. I do not get it performed too often to really see any effect. But like I said, when I DO feel rich like Cleopatra, a Queen usually spends recklessly.
Getting it done at Millennium walk costs me $38, getting it done in the heartlands? $10. I have to admit I DID fear having my hair caught on fire though. That’s the problem with mankind! We judge based on appearances. Cheap doesn’t mean it isn’t good, talking about sex doesn’t mean you are a slut. Then again, if a deal is too cheap to be true, it probably is so do be careful.

However, it doesn't mean you can't be a smart shopper!
Maxi dresses for $12 when it could be $39 at Bugis.

Daiso in Orchard might have everything at $2,but are they this pretty?

Beauty queen wannabes, glitzy shoes are a MUST in the pageant run. Get them from Hong Kah at $49 and there might even be a sale. Elsewhere, it starts from $79. Even Malaysia.

Don't need KL, don't need Bangkok, here's where you get your fake labels. No wonder almost every Auntie on the MRT has a Gucci.

Wear expensive, carry cheap or carry expensive, wear cheap. No one can tell!

This is my BEST find ever. They're 2 white candy balls but wrapped in a panda wrapper that makes the whole thing look very Kawaii and exclusive! I first saw such in Tokyo and we all unanimously coo "ooh, so cute", "only Japan will have these." Guess what, save the $800 airfare, get a $1.30 train ticket to Hong Kang Point and buy this for only $3.80. You can distribute to your friends and say you bought it from Japan. They will feel honoured that you bought them an EXPENSIVE gift.
I was gutted when i saw this. I bought my bandage skirt from Top Shop for $49, here it's only $16.
What else can you find in the heartlands and nowhere else?
The good old days of Brick Game on road trips.

Ah Ma and her biscuit tins.

I am Asian and i believe in traditional medicine.

So what if the city has fancy bakery names, sometimes we just want cakes where we get to keep the toys!

Every year, during the Chinese New Year period, makeshift stalls will spring up at Hong Kah Point selling all sorts of items from CNY goodies to decorations to fashion, household items and electronics.. I love pasar malams! When I was younger, my elder brother will excitedly come home and tell us he spotted a red tent. This is the code for “Let’s skip dinner tonight!” We will then gather all our friends who live around the neighbourhood and troop down to fill our stomachs with Ramlee burger, Taiwan sausage, tea leaf egg and many more artery blocking food.
Pasar Malams are a rare find nowadays, so if you have any foreign visitors or you are simply craving for the childhood love, head down to Jurong West! It will be there till the end of Feb.

Do you know what is the best kept secret of the heartlands? It's something that costs $39 in the city for something barely there but only $1.90 in the heartlands. Something that can evoke many reactions like pulse racing and mouth salivating.

To be continued...

1 comment:

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