Home is where the art is...a HDB 5-room point block in Toa Payoh. Here, I get the opportunity to interact with my neighbours and get a feel for the old way of life. Joss burners outside my door, candles stuck into the grass and the occasional funeral on the void decks.

HDB bulldozers in 1964

HDB bulldozers in 1964

Five-room point block 

Five-room point block 

Curious red-head looks at Paipai joss table  

Curious red-head looks at Paipai joss table  

The locals must think I'm some strange creature washed up into their long-established lives, but it's fascinating to see their respective daily routines. At our closest kopitiam, the drinks auntie knows my 'teh-c-kosong' (tea with milk and no sugar), the can uncle (who collects gathers cans to resell them), the friendly rubbish collectors and the lovely shop auntie who hauls stock around all day long...these are the people in my everyday life. 

Nyonya kueh rice delicacies

Nyonya kueh rice delicacies

A typical Peranakan wedding

A typical Peranakan wedding

 Bawang goring - a must for all meals

 Bawang goring - a must for all meals

My father is a Peranakan from Kembagang - a former Malay kampong where he grew up eating ikan billis (small fried anchovies), bawang goreng (fried shallots) and kuey (steamed rice sweets). Prune kueh lapis - my favourite!