Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kampong Lorong Buangkok

Amidst the blazing afternoon sun today, my Dear and I made our way to Kampong Lorong Buangkok. The visit was a timely one as there is such a high buzz being generated over the last kampong in modern Singapore. After alighting from Bus 854 from Eunos, it was not difficult to find our way to the kampong.
The entrance of the kampong was distinct as you could see from the picture: the 'ulu-ness' (rural charm) is evident from the attap-roofed buildings and more unkempt conditions.

A signboard with hand-written text welcome my Dear and I to the last kampong in Singapore:

As we entered the kampong, I spotted a middle-aged woman talking to an old man. I had seen the old woman before on TV. She was none other than the owner of the kampong land. In the documentary, I learnt that the whole kampong land was passed to her by her late father. She has kept the land and have not gone on to sell the land to the government. If she were to sell the land, she would be an instant multi-millionaire already!

Large sprawling detached houses were the norm of the houses there in the kampong. I have learnt too from the same documentary on the kampong that the houses there were real cheap as compared to the condominiums and HDB in many parts of Singapore. But I wonder how long they could keep their houses as the government may be acquiring the kampong land in no time.

Mosquitoes, rural vegetation and artefacts, rule the kampong of idyllic charm. There was no clear demarcation of roads or paveways. Cars simply tranverse both directions of make-shift roads which are the sandy paths and dirt tracks.
My Dear and I witnessed nature at its finest! There were large red and beautiful roses! There were some blue flowers too!

As we approached a dead-end, we saw a little black dog which fell asleep guarding its owner's house. Then there was fierce barking from inside a house. My Dear and I thought that the dogs were caged in the house but suddenly, two ferocious, large dogs came springing out from the house, rushing to us, ready to attack us and defend their owner's property!
Wow, these are good and loyal dogs who really do their duty. My Dear and I just stood our ground no matter how fierce and aggressive the dogs were. We slowly walked away and the dogs seemed to know that we meant no harm. Anyway, if you were to be confronted by a dog one day, do not run, as you would surely be bitten by the dog. When a dog confronts a man, the dog is as afraid as you; if you were to run, the dog will think it is more dominant than you and hence will start to attack you ... all these are part of power relationships theory.
Kampong Lorong Buangkok is just a stone's throw away from the nearby Sengkang and Yio Chu Kang area. One could see high rise Housing and Development Board from the village.
Then a strange sight greeted us, a man and woman, both whom looked like to be in their 20s were burning joss papers on an open space. From their dressing, they did not looked like the kampong villagers. Thoughts like "Who were they", "What are they burning" and "For who are they burning for" flashed in my mind as the kampong is certainly not a sacred ground or ground touted to have miracle healing.
The only guess I have was that this young couple must have meet with a ghost in the kampong on their visit the previous time and was 'disturbed' by the ghost. So now, they were here to burn joss papers to appease the ghostly spirits. Piqued by curiosity, and thinking my guess was a clever and accurate one, I approached the couple and asked them directly, "For whom are they burning".
The answer was unexpected and out of the blue. The lady replied that they were doing some production shoot in the kampong and were offering customary prayers to the spirits in the area. Ya, I understand what she meant. It is a customary prayer session done as a respect for the dead and spirits of the area, in the army, we done that many times during live firing exercises or outfield missions. As they looked like Hong Kongers, I presumed they were doing some small productions.
As we exited out and decided to venture more, I spotted a van full of M16s! (luckily they were props) and there were many soliders resting. Further in we spotted a tent filled with a small crowd:
Oh, that was the production team! Later we deduced that the movie they were shooting in the Kampong will be going to be one of the local producer, Jack Neo's up and coming movie about a group of NS men meeting ghosts during army training, or in Pulau Ubin or in Kampong. We saw 'Ah Nan', a member of Jack Neo's artistes there too.
My Dear and I went past the production crew and decided to venture deep into the other road skirting the kampong but was stopped by two burly, long haired muscular men, who must be either the actors, supporting actors or production crew. Initially they thought that we were the actor and actress of the movie (what a compliment!). When they learnt that we are members of public, they advised us not to enter due to the production works, thus we left the kampong.
Another block-buster movie of Jack Neo soon? You can go these days if you want to catch a glimpse of the latest show by Jack Neo!

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