Culture Vulture

Culture Vulture: The contested city

What does local heritage mean to you in a city that keeps disappearing bit by bit?

I remember fidgeting on two plastic chairs stacked on top of each other, legs dangling, hobbit-height. Each Sunday, we come to the same coffee shop in MacPherson Road for breakfast. The same drive in my father's white BMW coupe. The same steaming bowl of fishballs floating in clear broth, garnished with chopped spring onions.

The coffee shop boss in his hole-ridden white T-shirt flicks the cap off a bottle of Kickapoo. Invariably, I end up spilling some of that Joy Juice down the front of my frock. The pale yellow liquid fizz in the hammock of my skirt before trickling into my lap, soaking my frilly white socks and puddling in my Mary-Janes.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2018, with the headline 'The contested city'. Print Edition | Subscribe