wet markets

Gathered from the Straits Times yesterday that Sheng Siong had bought over wet markets in Serangoon North, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang and Fajar Road. I never knew there were privately owned wet markets and government owned wet markets. In this case, the markets sold were privately owned.

Yes. This is reality and it is inevitable. BUT. I feel a tinge of sadness and pain, for both the residents and stall holders. Wet markets are part of our culture, the heart of a neighbourhood. Relationships are cultivated over the years as prices are haggled and compared amongst residents and stallholders. They knew one another. After getting the best deals of the day, they would stop to chit chat or proceed to the adjoining hawker centre for kopi and gossip sessions. In my case, due to the generation gap *haha*, the aunties and uncles show their appreciation (for my patronage) by asking about my family and giving me loads of spring onions, big & small chillis, coriander and limes FOR FREE!

Chain supermarkets simply lack that personalised feel. I shiver at the thought of more cold and smile-less foreigners manning the cash counters at the supermarkets (think food courts). Sigh.

I hope the market I patronise at Toa Payoh Lorong 4 will never be bought over. What would the old aunties and uncles do? What would they survive on? The only thing they are good at *and darn proud of* are the veggies and fishies they sell. Trust me, the dried beancurd (tau kee) sold in the markets, for example, is way better in quality and cheaper than the ones vacuum packed and sold in the supermarkets.

I object to the buyover and wonder if there are government agencies that can protect this little remaining heartland culture before another megamart destroys the urbanscape?



The very old uncle I was talking about previously (top left photo). He is very very V E R Y  S L O W.

Toa Payoh is the oldest (greying) estate with a mix of low/high rise flats with commercial activities on the ground floor. I like it for its intimate urban scale and organic street life between the blocks. Provision shops up since 6am, spill their goodies onto the landscaped pedestrian streets, peppered with many benches for old residents to rest on. I also like the very old-school kaya and butter toast in the hawker centre. They serve a mean kopi and soft boiled egg that is cooked ‘just right’. Here, I would ‘eavesdrop’ on the ah peks’ and ah mahs’ conversations as they chat away in Cantonese over breakfast. Hehe.



This is an example of early urban planning concept adopted by HDB. It was designed as the Town Centre and located next to the bus interchange and the MRT Station. Instead of adopting a ‘one mall fits all concept’ like today, low rise flats with shops on the ground floor would line the many pedestrian streets cutting through the centre.

The pictures were taken at 9am this morning. When the shops are open, it is a really fun and bustling place to explore.


The louvres caught my attention. It must work well against the rain since there are no glass panels behind it. The louvres and glass windows can be opened to reveal a full height opening for ventilation and view. Neat.

Do check out Toa Payoh Lorong 4 and Toa Payoh Central. When you do, do not forget to try Gen Shu *wink*. Yup this is what brought me to the market in the 1st place.


Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: