One of those things that amazes me most in the USA are the lifts. Mostly old and worn, one may feel compelled to skip taking them and just go for the stairs to safe some few minutes of one’s life. The buttons are relics of postwar technology and the numbers on top bear evidence of years of consistent use. Lifts here are scary. The sheer sight of the lifts brings me back to Singapore, a place where, generally, everything is new and posh. Not only are the lifts generally super-modern and high tech, they are designed at times to make us feel that we are way advanced in comparison to many countries out there.
Why are lifts here old and in Singapore constantly upgraded? One explanation could
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Unlike most Singaporeans of my generation, I was born not at KK Hospital but in a HDB flat at Eunos Crescent.
My mum was in labour pains one early morning so my auntie had to just double up as a midwife as baby Khairudin was more than ready to take on the world. The story goes that I was plain blue when I came out and everyone thought this boy won’t make it. I did somehow.
We were in a four room flat. But there was seldom a time when the flat had less than 10 people living together. Grandparents, uncles, aunties and so forth were with us as they prepared themselves for the difficult life ahead of them. I learnt from my parents the Virtue of Helping Others no matter how little we had.
But we did well somehow amidst so many difficulties in life and despite the fact that my parents had to struggle hard to raise five children.
Walking by this place brings back old memories of friends and families, of sacrifices and serenity. If we think that our lives are tough and sometimes difficult to surmount, try listening to the stories of the past generation.