10 Things I Miss About Old-School Singapore


Aaaah sweet nostalgia, all this stuff from 70s and 80s Singapore reminds me of childhood. Do you remember these?


1. Push-Up Ice Creams

This chocolate ice cream popsicle was in a glorified toilet roll, but it never melted and it was creamy and delicious.



2. Singa The Lion

Thanks for the reminder that courtesy begins with me, Mr Singha! We think some ungracious Singaporeans could use a reminder roundabout today….





3. The A&W Drive-Through

The girls had roller skates and put the tray on the side of your car. It was in Bukit Timah Rd right in the middle where the big drains are – and it was the coolest thing ever.


(We don’t have pictures of the Bukit Timah branch…so here’s a Bukit Merah one instead..lol..)


4. The Rojak Man

He rode around on his little motorcycle and made rojak on a slab of wood on there back. It was the tastiest ever – never mind the hygiene issues.



5. Bus Conductors

Before busses got the productivity memo, one man drove, and one man collected fares and doled out tickets.



6. The Mitre Hotel

This dingy River Valley haunt was known as the after-hours joint with the cheapest beer. No one questioned its liquor license status… until, regrettably, just before it closed.



7. Transitlink Cards

These bendable plastic cards (purple for senior citizens, red for concession, blue for adults) worked on buses and trains. Remember selecting your fare manually on the bus? Good times…

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8. Cheap-Ass Local Brand Chewing Gum

It was coated in icing sugar, and had a red wrapper with a photo of a boy on it. It was only ten cents and it was so cooling and shook.



9. Kite-flying and Steamboat at Marina Bay

Do Gardens By The Bay visitors know they are missing out on the best string of steamboat restaurants ever? Teamed up with the view of kids and parents flying their kites, this was the spot to unwind on Sunday evenings before it made way for supertrees.





10. Big Splash, Fantasy Island, World Wide Wet

How come water parks have so little longevity on a tropical island? We adored slip sliding through all three of these – even the ultra dangerous “Kayag” ride at Fantasy Island which closed, rumour has it, after someone died. Ah… no wonder they have no longevity.



Oh and one more as an added bonus:


11. Foam Parties at Sunset Bay

Oh foam parties, that was back when we looked for excuses to wear a bikini. Sunset Bay was hardly the slick Bali-fabulousness of Tanjong Beach Club, but it was an absolute ball.


Nothing like looking back to remind you how fast things change. Maybe we’re just getting old and starting sentences with “When I was young…” Then again, Singapore today ain’t too shabby, really.



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About the author

Sabina Fernandez

Sabina Fernandez is a Singaporean editor and yoga teacher. She has crafted content for Audi, Singtel, Conde Nast Traveller and Time Out and her most popular online article received 12,000+ views in two days.
Most recently she was an editor at Her World, Singapore's largest women's magazine. When not writing, she teaches regular outdoor yoga classes in the botanic gardens and by the beach.

For info about her writing visit www.sabinafernandez.branded.me or go to www.sabinafernandez.com for more about her yoga classes.

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