“No Indians, no mama shop!”

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Last Tuesday, Lohcifer, Alec Ee, Freddie and myself had a wonderful lunch at Soon Heng Fishhead curry restaurant at Race Course Road. That was the first time I visited the place. The others have been there before.

Freddie and myself went to fetch Lohcifer. We subsequently proceeded to Soon Heng Fish Head restaurant curry at Race Course Road to meet Alec who was already waiting for us there. Alec just bought a re-sale 5-room flat opposite the restaurant which is within walking distance to Farrer Park MRT station near to the open field.

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Our fren Alec was so glad that we had lunch with him. He ordered a big “ang go li” or red snapper fish head with lots of lady fingers, tomatoes and brinjal, giant sambal prawns, spicy mutton and black ink steam squids. We had ice-cold lemon juice and we settled ourselves comfortably inside the air-conditioned restaurant. A welcome respite from the sweltering heat.

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There are many fish head curry restaurants around the vicinity. The famous Muthu fish head curry is also nearby. But those are mainly Indian restaurants. Soon Heng is one of few Chinese curry restaurants there.

Usually, I would prefer authentic Indian curry. I hardly tried Chinese fish head curry before. But after trying out Soon Heng, my opinion on Chinese fish head curry changed. In fact, Soon Heng seems to be better than some of the Indian curry outlets. The way the curry is prepared and presented doesn’t seem to be different from those authentic Indian curry restaurants. You won’t be able to differentiate it from those Indian spicy curry. Surpringly, Soon Heng serves “papadom” which is usually served exclusively in an Indian restaurant.

The sambal giant prawns dish was also fantastic. I really love the chilli paste. The mutton dish was soft and saucy to almost perfection with lots of spices. Wow, it was such a sumptuous delicious lunch. Except Freddie, all of us had another round of rice. We devoured the huge pot of fish head curry leaving only the fish bones behind!

Alec was so generous to call in the tab. He paid at the counter and we adjourned to his seven year old 5-room flat. He bought that flat recently at $710K. Earlier, when he pointed his block of flats just opposite the restaurant, I remarked that it could not be HDB block of flats. It’s more like a condominium to me.

Alec was so eager to show us his newly acquired flat that he declared to us – Don’t worry. No Indians and no mama shop!” Now that’s a serious statement. I know Alec is definitely not a racist.

It reminded me of a Jln Besar MP’s comment in parliament quite long ago about “a sea of darkness” on weekends in his constituency. That MP was merely stating the fact but he was whacked mercilessly and forced to retract his statement after giving an apology.

If you observe those HDB flats along Serangoon Road where the void decks are fenced up to prevent those foreigners from congregating there leading to much rubbish and sometimes even urinating at the premises; you will appreciate the implications of this statement – “No Indians.” Maybe, Alec is referring to that typical weekend scenario which in the MP’s words – a sea of darkness! You can’t blame him if his flat at Race Course Road is so near to little India.

I told Alec by next year his HDB flat could fetch a million dollars since it’s so near to the city and also five mins walking distance to Farrer Park MRT station. HDB flat sale price breaking the $1 million psychological barrier has already happened. The walkway from his block of flats is covered all the way to the MRT station. That’s what he meant when he said “no rain also!” I was wondering why he kept saying, “No rain?”

The trend is for all apartments whether HDB or condominium to be highly prized if they are near to the city or MRT stations. Those not so well off will have to live further away from the town or MRT stations. Only the rich and well off with lots of money could afford to live near city and MRT stations. Some of us, even if it’s in Timbuktu, far away from city or MRT stations could hardly afford a reasonable flat!

Alec didn’t do much renovation to the flat which he bought in the open market after selling off his private apartment nearby. He only painted it and renovated both toilets. The rest of the flat is in original shift-in condition. It’s cosy and the view is superb. Even the Istana grounds could be seen from higher floors. Unblocked panoramic view of the city landscape is simply irresistible.

After we have seen Alec’s flat, we watched a horror 3-D movie “Fifth Dimension.” Lochifer then suggested that I practice my speech and we role play. I’m invited to deliver a speech next month in a social media seminar organised by a local think-tank. I then took out my iphone to recite my 20-minute speech, Lohcifer and the rest fired some questions on me after listening. They gave me some useful tips and comments for me to consider. Watch out for this space. I’ll blog about it after the event. I may publish it here on 20/10/12; the last day of this blog. The speech is about four pages. Thereafter, Gintai will be interned forever and never to be heard of again.

After drinking our cups of cappuccino from Alec’s Expresso machine – gift from Lohcifer, Freddie and myself decided to go off earlier. It’s about 4pm when we reluctantly left. What a memorable day spent with good food and jovial accompany.

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About Alan Tang

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of SG. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I also share some of the interesting jokes, stories or anecdotes from my friends or observations on my blog. Thanks for visiting my blog.
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21 Responses to “No Indians, no mama shop!”

  1. reddotsg says:

    Dear Alan, y u no write anymore? U capture the spirit n essence of life in SG. I first started to follow u after reading your post abt the temple, the monks, the prata shop how all can coexist.
    Without the sharing of knowledge, observations, we as a nation will cease to grow, if only one person has been influenced by your blog to become better – for self or country – you hav succeeded.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I think you are refering to this
      http://gintai.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/monks-from-simpang-bedok-temple/
      There are many reasons why I wish to stop blogging. One thing my company doesn’t take it kindly. They do not really support what I’m doing. They treat me like a “pariah!” or some “infected diseased being” afraid to associate with me. Even a dog can sense it if you dislike it. Remember, they gave me a warning letter when I accidentally strayed into grey areas? I did not intend to bite the hand that feeds me but they took it differently. I’ll blog again when I no longer work here. Don’t worry, I’ll be back. Writing is my hobby. I’ll always write to stay alert and as a form of catharsis. Readers like yourself humble me. There are easily about a thousand such readers like yourself each day visiting my blog.

      • NL says:

        i hope you may continue to write .

      • For a moment I was wondering why your company hasn’t taken action yet. So they have. I guess it’s the same with any org in S’pore, especially the professional orgs. There are sensitive issues which they are uncomfortable with. That’s why I’ve decided not to identify with my profession and blog in my capacity as a local writer.

        • reddotsg says:

          Dear Dr Chan, if u run yur own shop, does it matter? U are yur own boss, no one to look over your shoulder.
          If u show concern for your society, it shows u have taken the socrates oath at more than face value. (do dentists need to take the oath too? Cos u guys go thru 2 yrs of med school too right?)

          • All doctors are professionals. They are the same whether you are a tooth, arsehole, brain, pussy or dick doctors etc …!

          • Not true wor. Every month or so MOH will shoot new directives at us. Most of it not applicable, but we’re supposed to comply anyway. Once you get too “outstanding” and “flamboyant”, a colleague (i.e. competitor) will complain. Even if you’ve not done anything wrong, they will ask you to tone down. Only serious and boring websites allowed. Once you kena audit, you spend more time on paperwork than clinical work. Everybody 敢怒不敢言.

          • Toothfully,
            I am getting too “outstanding” and “flamboyant”! My bosses feel uncomfortable and eerie in my presence. I’m that famous or infamous train driver blogger whom is known by most Singaporeans – that blogger whom met the minister privately in his office! Even though I rarely commented on my company, the same feelings persist just like your good self mentioned in your case.
            We will never reach the level of transparency or freedom of expressions like those western democracies – not in our life time. We are still behind times. Look at all the cover-ups and stage-managed recent events eg royal wayang, national conversation etc. Didn’t a minister mention about “slaughtering all the cow peh cow bu?” If you made this sort of stmt in the US or in Europe, the next time you will be booted out!
            Hopefully with time as our society gets more mature, more democratic discourse could be openly carried out. Let’s face the fact that we are still trapped in the old fashioned world even though we are the richest country in the world. They just can’t handle the truth. They can’t take the whole raw truth! Only filtered and watered down version of the hard truths are palatable to them.
            Yes you are correct to say “Everybody 敢怒不敢言”!

      • Ace says:

        Really sad how things work in our country. Good luck!

  2. Spring says:

    The world is suppose to end in 2012. Gintai’s just trying to keep up to this prophercy.

  3. reddotsg says:

    What u do in your own time, shd not be of concern to yur employer. Jus stay out of writing abt work lor. But i guess its easier said than dun, esp since yur employer knows abt it.
    Myself i jus started to blog, n have to b careful abt wat i write, so as not reveal too much, but i write from the heart, i feel wat others feel, our voices still need to be heard, even if others tink it is jus noise.
    When spring comes, maybe the orchids will bloom.

  4. auntielucia says:

    What a strange co-incidence! I just had a very good lunch at a friend’s home this afternoon. And the piece de resistance was cold crab she bought from Soon Heng, which is at the corner of Kinta n Race Course Road, right? So fresh but so expensive — $100+ for four crabs! Sorry to hear you plan to close down your blog. But didn’t u threaten to do that once b4? :roll:

    • Yelp, the same Soon Heng.

      I’ll retire Gintai after Oct 20th. It’s not worth the trouble. When you speak the truth, you langgar someone. We just can’t handle the truth. I always ask my frens if they ask for my opinion whether they want to hear the truth, half truth or nothing but the whole truth? The truth hurts. That’s the sad part of life. Very few can take the truth.

      Look at the on-going trial. Could those involved parties or the whole of Singapore handle the truth when every saucy intimate detail is revealed in an open court? Already there are tons of reactions and comments generated. Everyone wants a piece of the action. Why?

      There is no winner. Ultimately, all are losers including this government’s reputation.

      • auntielucia says:

        Actually, what is truth? Often, people who say they are speaking the truth are doing no more than giving their version of what happened/is happening. Much of the time it’s their perspective, biased by their own motivations, genetic make up and whatever life has handed them randomly. It’s better if most of us just say, I need to say this because I want to get it off my chest; I need attention; I need this as a stepping stone to whatever/wherever; I need to practise my writing skills etc… :lol:

        • That’s why we need to substantiate with real examples, events and happenings to establish the truth. In this life, people will judge you whether you are telling the truth, half-truth or illusion notwithstanding your bias, prejudice or perspective. I know for sure forensic evidence doesn’t lie. Hard evidence doesn’t lie such as your blood type, your genes, fingerprint, semen etc etc. That is what I meant my dear aunty Lucie. You still not convinced? Do you see my point?

  5. hedgehog says:

    Its sad that your employer choosed to politicalise your identity as a blogger.

  6. Kok Meng says:

    Dear Gintai

    I have been a silent reader of your blog since your article on your life as a Train Officer with MRT and I enjoyed your writing tremendously since. It is with some sadness that I read that you will no longer be blogging after 20 October 2012. Your view and writing are very lucid and close to our heart (we are all Heart-landers??)..

    Take care! I hope to hear from you again after your hiatus (will continue to monitor your blog).

    Kok Meng

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