Monday, July 24, 2006

Fishy Tales

The canal beside Block 12 was second home to us. We spent our time scooping colourful guppies and ‘long kao hho’ – a Hokkien phrase for canal fishes. The darkish brown water was a combination of rainwater, affluent and garbage. It was filthy but it provided endless hours of fun as we exposed our selves to the marine life in our haunt.

We spent hours wading in knee-deep water often feeling skirmish under our feet scooping up tadpoles and guppies.

In monsoon season, many people died in the canal. Heavy downpour created flooding as water gushed into the canal. Once, we saw a bloated child been fished out of the canal by the police however, we were not put off by the incident and continued to amuse ourselves in the duct.

Block 13 is situated on Merpati Road which has a bridge over this canal. Under the bridge, we built a haven from washed away timber and garbage from the river. We built chairs, tables and shelves to make us comfortable, somewhat like a tree house but beside a river. Of crude workmanship, but it was a place we called our own.

You could tell we had been in the canal by the way we smelt.

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