Back then in sixties and seventies, vacations were, for most Singaporeans, a luxury. And for most of us who were fortunate enough to take vacations, the idea of a vacation wasn’t flying off to some exotic overseas destination, but renting a holiday cottage of sorts by the sea in Singapore’s east.
I had the good fortune of having parents who being civil servants, had access to some of the resources of the civil service. A favourite of my parents being the civil service holiday bungalows in the rustic village of Mata Ikan, not far from Somapah village, off Upper Changi Road. Many of the old villages in the area have since given way to the runway of Changi airport. The only information I have been able to find about the area seems to be at www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=440055.
There isn’t much I can remember of the area except the market in Somapah village, the bungalows which sat on stilts, the Mata Ikan river, from which you could get a rich catch of catfish, and the muddy seabed … What I remember most was the very high wooden slide in the compound of the government bungalows from which gave me a fair share of splinters.