Interview with my dad

My dad and his family have been living in Jalan Kayu from 1955 in Seletar Farmway till 1970. From the year 1970,they moved to Lorong Thangam which is in the Jalan Kayu district till now. Just a little background information, the family was involved in the moving of people from rural area to other places as the government wanted the space to build HDB flats in 1970. The questions are not in any particular order.

Q1. How was the living conditions like in Jalan Kayu in the 1960s?
A1. It was quite bad. During the rainy days, the water would seep through the roof and drip down. There was no fan and air con. It was very hot. There were no soft bed. We slept on wooden beds, mice were running here and there across the floor, spiders and lizards infested the place.It was similar to serving time in jail. Many British were also living in the terraces in Jalan Kayu.

Q2. What did you all do for a living?
A2. We grew our own crops such as sweet potatoes, tapioca, yam, pineapple and tomatoes. We also reared several kinds of livestock such as pigs and poultry. We would harvest them and sell them for money. But, during 1968, we converted from raising poultry and pigs, to a fish farm. Pigs and poultries were reared mainly for self consumption.

Q3. What type of place did you all live in?
A3. We lived in a big plot of land. There was an attap house and a large plot of land dedicated to farming. For example, planting vegetation, fish farming, poultry farming and pig farming.

Q4. How long have you all been staying in Jalan Kayu?
A4. For my mother, it has been 52 years, whereas for me, it has been 32 years.

Q5. Are there any shops that has been around since the time you moved here currently?
A5. The roti prata shop. But they have shifted from the upper side of the lane to the lower side of the lane. The provision shop is still there. They have been there for ages.

Q6. Were there events that were held there?
A6. Yes there were! There would be a night market every friday with chinese operas, wayang shows and some shows to watch. We call it " Bai gor meh " . It would be bustling with people and most of them are British. There is a cinema right behind our terrace house. It has now become an empty plot of land.

Published by: Wendy Chua 3E3