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Melody Zaccheus
Monday, Aug 4, 2014

Singapore

Baker went to school here, did his NS here - now he works here too

The Straits Times | Melody Zaccheus | Monday, Aug 4, 2014

Mr Leoh wanted to continue living in the area after his marriage, so he bought a flat near his old home.

WHO HE IS I'm a baker and I've lived in Marsiling Rise for decades. I grew up in Block 131, and I now live with my wife in Block 104, Woodlands Street 13, just seven minutes away from my childhood home.

WHY HE LIKES THE AREA

I grew up here and studied at Woodlands Primary School.

I even did my National Service at the Yishun and Sembawang camps. These days, I work at a bakery nearby.

After spending nearly 30 years in this neighbourhood, I'm really attached to it. When I got married in 2006, I decided to buy a resale unit that's only a stone's throw from my old home, where my mum still lives.

It was a no-brainer - I didn't have to consider other estates because I'm so comfortable with this one.

HIS GROWING UP YEARS

When my family moved from a kampung in Kranji to our HDB flat here, I missed the fun of catching guppies in longkang (drains) and spiders in trees.

I learnt as a kampung boy that if the leaves of the coconut tree were sticky, a spider was probably hiding in between.

I played marbles with friends at the void deck of the new flat, but I still missed the wide open spaces I used to run around in.

WHAT HAS CHANGED

Woodlands has come a long way since its rural days. There were few bus services then, and it was hard to get around. The feeder bus would take a very long time to come.

It's different now. The MRT station and bus interchange are nearby, so getting around is more convenient.

WHAT HASN'T CHANGED

I'm familiar with the stallholders here - all the hawker uncles and aunties. I know the two neighbourhood doctors too. Sometimes, I stop by to chat after work. There is a strong sense of neighbourliness, and I would never think of living elsewhere.


This article was first published on August 2, 2014.
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