Arrived in Singapore !
HE visited Singapore in 1987 for the first time, 36 years ago. At that time, HE remembered, Merlion was not so famous. Once there was a weekend during his business trip, He went to the Sentosa together with his boss, but almost all of concrete memories were disappeared. Nowadays, sightseeing sceneries in Singapore were changed a lot. Instead, HE still remembers, “atmosphere of development” was approaching to him during walks anywhere. Yes, it was called as one of “4 Asian Tigers“, together with Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
It was at around 13:00. “Hunger” is always most serious situation for him. Singapore is the place suffering high cost for him, therefore, HE took a hostel in China Town. HE knew that it was rather reasonable there, also there were several Hawker Centre or food court. HE rushed to “MAXWELL FOOD CENTRE”. HE wanted to try Singaporean chicken rice called 海南鶏飯.
Yeah, really long line at 天天海南鶏飯 ! as per all websites told. But extremely tasty with triangle mixture of “silky chicken, chicken souped jasmine rice and moderate spicy and sweety sauce”.
After satisfactory lunch, HE checked in the hostel. Again, it was so helpful for him with the hostel especially in Singapore. “8 guests in a room” has no problem at all.
Leaving luggage except valuable items at the hostel, HE went to see 媽祖. It was close to Chinatown area.
Thian Hock Keng Temple 天福宮
Simply as named, it was built by Hock Keng people. Look at the ornaments at the roof ! Hock Keng design.
HE learnt himself about the history of Chinese people in South East Asia, after seeing cafe staff in Penang, 潮州人. In Singapore, majority of Chinese people is Hock Keng (one report shows roughly by 40%), then the next one is Teochew (roughly 20%).
One of the most influential leader at ancient Singapore is Tan Tock Seng (1798-1850) from Hock Keng. He had a great effort to build Thian Hock Keng Temple, and his name was spread, probably, all through in Singapore. There is a hospital praising his greatness named Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Novena.
(At Tan Tock Seng Hospital Lobby)
Also in Singapore, his major tactics was to walk around. This time, in Chinatown area. His memory on China Town was not these as well. It is also, TOURISTY. But HE had enjoyed much just walking around, then try to find teochew restaurants.
For the lunch the next day, HE found a nice looking restaurant.
LEGENDARY BAK KUT TEH
Now HE got a sudden and strong feeling that HE would come to this restaurant often as far as staying in Singapore!!, not because just bak kut teh was so tasty, but the naming of “LEGENDARY”. Also HE learnt there were two types of bak kut teh, roughly, one is Hock Keng bak kut teh (Malaysia style) and the other is Teochew bak kut teh (Singapore style). Here, TEOCHEW, and looked that the long history as legend was concentrated !!
In a few days, HE had the repeating of walking around in Chinatown, and went to LEGENDARY Bak Kut Teh. Inside himself, there was a struggle between HOCK KENG and TEOCHEW. A charming lady staff wondered if there is any problem with him, and tried to talk to him. HE explained about his struggle and interest in TEOCHOW. She suggested him to go to
Yueh Hai Ching Temple the next day, which is the temple for Teochew Nang. “Oh ! that is what I wanted”.
On the way to Yueh Hai Ching Temple, she told him about her family. As expected, she said her grandfather was from Teochew and found LEGENDARY Bak Kut Teh. She was the 3rd.
YES. HE wanted to listen to about Singapore before the age of “4 ASIAN TIGERS“.
HE was talking with the lady in Yueh Hai Ching Temple, but HE thought HE was talking with 媽祖. During serious gazing at 媽祖 eyes, HE felt 媽祖 was inviting to ancient age of Singapore. Oh oh, HE wished, HE wished. But finally HE stopped praying there. Probably HE thought HE would not like to “DREAM” again. During this trip, HE got a confidence HE was supported by 媽祖. Then, it is enough just feel by himself. Later, HE thought HE could realize who is 媽祖 for him actually. HE went back to hostel to book the next flight to HO CHI MINH, promising to be back here shortly.
Thank you very much for all friends in Singapore !!