I have nothing else to write about, I don’t know where to start so now I am just gonna use a Secondary english book with essay titles to help me get started. So I happened to chance upon this title: a place I used to frequent. The first place that entered my mind was: Holland Village. I think it is a place that means a lot of me more than a place I frequent much? Its more of a personal level here but here goes…
For all my 17 years that I have lived, only one particular place in Singapore actually means a lot to me. From providing a shelter, to being fed, my first friends to where I chill at now. I love Holland Village/Holland Road/Holland Drive. When I was only 3 years old, my grandmother, who lives at one of the blocks there, would babysit me when my parents were working. Right there I actually made my very first friend, he was a malay boy roughly the same age as I was. I remember playing at the lift landing, catching, hide and seek, we would even go to one another’s place for dinner! However sadly one day he moved out with his family.
Soon my parents had decided it was time to move into another place, which was a block away from my grandmother’s so we were still in the same estate. By then I was 5 years old, I attended a PAP school nearby. I made my first best friend there, and my first crush. I was so young back then but I still met someone I liked. My grandmother was still looking after me after school. She would take me to the market behind the blocks, and there they served the best sliced fish porridge. Until today they still have it and it is still as good as ever! There was also the well-known kway chap and lor-mee. I love the food prepared by the same aunties, still so delicious.
When I was in primary one, I had school bus mates, Christabel and Jinivia, they were my seniors. We would actually have play dates at our playground or at one another’s house. It was one of my favourite times spent as a kid, being with seniors that were so friendly. But not long after I went abroad. When I returned I made even more new friends, from tuition and in school. They played a big part in my return and adjusting to Singapore life. I was able to feel welcomed and home again.
But all these were just the background as to why Holland means so much to me.
I shifted to Jurong when I was 14 years old. I had my first boyfriend, and he lived at Chip Bee Gardens back then. Since it was a place I was familiar with and convenient, we would go there a lot. In fact our first date was at Burger King… which is now replaced by Wendy’s. We would always go there for the Katong Laksa, which they still have, and we’ll just walk aimlessly. There at Holland I also met my good friend, Aidil. We had out first meet up there, at one of the Japanese restaurant, usually we would go there and chill and hang out whenever and wherever we could. Right now Holland has obviously transformed a lot, there is even an MRT for the place. I had mixed feelings about it, it would no longer be a place where familiar faces would be but more of people all over Singapore coming to take a look at the small “village of food” (what i personally call it).
Until today I still have to agree that the main reason why I enjoy going to Holland is because I always find something new there. It could be food or a shop selling something nice. The food village has all sorts of food and desserts. From Crystal Jade to Daily Scoop, to Fosters, to Everything with Fries and Cold Rock. What’s there not new to discover? I still go back to Starbucks to study from time to time. The shops there are also really interesting and exotic, especially at the shopping centre. All the old school Singapore things, Lim’s Art & Living, rental bookstore, shoe shop with vintage footwear! There are many things left to be discovered so even though I have been visiting Holland for about 10 years consecutively, I learn find something new each time and appreciate it more.
( craving for the mixed rice stall now :/ )