More than just White Sands and Army Boys on Sunday nights
Yes... we get it. We are right at the end of the green MRT line, so close to the island’s shoreline that people like to joke about how we might just slip and fall into the sea if we were not careful enough. But after spending more than half of my life living in Pasir Ris, and having moved 5 storeys higher in the SAME block somewhere in between, I know there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
Here are 11 joys (and pains) every Pasir Ris kid would understand.
1. Everyone complains about how far Changi Airport is... except us
We live so near to the airport that we feel paiseh telling taxi uncles at the airport that we’re heading to Pasir Ris - so much so that some of my more generous friends would even pay them extra to make up for their long waiting time at the airport terminals.
We also really enjoy going to the airport just to gaigai for absolutely no reason at all, simply because we can.
2. Meatball cravings are not a problem because we have our own IKEA
Trips to IKEA used to occur once in a blue moon because, well, there used to be only one outlet located right at what seems like the other end of the world (aka Alexandra Rd). Then IKEA Tampines happened, and the sudden abundance of Swedish meatballs in the east was life-changing.
Also, room revamption is no longer Project Impossible with IKEA’s furniture galore just minutes of walk away from your estate. Walking through those perfectly furnished bedrooms now literally feels like home.
3. Long train rides are less dreadful if we get to board empty trains (and chope seats)
Dat sense of satisfaction when we wake up in between power naps and see sardines commuters packed so very uncomfortably before our eyes, while we comfortably readjust our butt in our precious seat as journey to the west continues. MMMM yes sweet MRT seat, you may be made of hard plastic but you are oh so comfortable...
4. …and that gives you the best (and worst) excuse for always being tardy.
Friend: “Oi, where are you?!”
Me: “Uhhhhhhhh, gonna be late! Aiya you know the train takes forever to depart from Pasir Ris one not my fault.”
Friend: “... cannot leave 10-minutes earlier is it?!?!?!!”
It’s alright, fellow Pasir Ris residents. You’re not alone. We are all just actually Gandalf.
5. The last man standing. Always.
Because all your friends would have already alighted at their stops. The only reminder that you’re (finally) reaching Pasir Ris is when you realise that you’re probably one of the last few humans left in the MRT cabin.
Or when you finally to sit down for one stop after majority of the remaining crowd alight at Tampines.
6. We got ‘em beaches.
With the Punggol Waterway Park and Pasir Ris Beach, Pasir Ris really isn’t the dead end, but rather, a great beginning point to continue exploring towards the North-East and Changi area.
Living in a less populated neighbourhood also means quieter traffic and emptier streets . After a long week of hustle and bustle, casual strolls around our peaceful estates can be strangely calming to the soul.
7. If chalet stay gets boring, just go home lor.
Back in the days before hotel staycations took over the good ol' chalet stay, Costa Sands and Aloha resorts at Downtown East were youngsters’ favourite gathering place for some bonding sessions without adult supervision.
It was cool...until you realised having an entire class squeezing in one chalet meant long toilet queue and uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. At that exact moment, your very considerate friends who live in Pasir Ris decided to go back home for a shower, or simply choose the comfort of their own bed over the (supposedly) fun-filled overnight activities.
I may or may not have pulled this stunt a few times.
8. Escape Theme Park and Wild Wild Wet were better than Universal Studios and Adventure Cove
Those of us born in the 90s and 2000s would remember how much we used to love Escape Theme Park as teenagers. We all had that one friend who was too cowardly to take the 360-degrees turning ‘Inverter’. And when Wild Wild Wet opened in 2004, we could finally stop envying those colourful slides they had at Jurong Swimming Complex, because it became westies' turn to wish they lived in the east.
We all shed a collective tear when Escape Theme Park closed down in late 2011, but thanks for the memories and screams! :'(
9. A Nat Geo explorer is nurtured in every one of us.
With Mangrove Boardwalk and Lorong Halus Wetland being so accessible for us, it is only natural to occasionally visit these two places and get in touch with nature. Amongst all the fauna away from the concrete jungle in CBD, you may even spot some exotic monitor lizards and striking kingfishers if you are lucky. So bring on your binoculars, apply some sunscreen, and unleash the safari explorer in you.
10. The only thing better than good food is not having to die of hunger while queuing for them.
What do you mean there is “nothing to eat” here?! When talking about must-try food in Pasir Ris, we get doubtful stares all the time. But hidden gems are hidden for a reason. Just because most of our best eateries don’t have high publicity, it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. The truth is, we appreciate the crowd-free eateries around our neighbourhood, and we don’t need people flocking here from all over the island to prove their quality.
That being said, do feel free to hit up any of your Pasir Ris kakis for some sincere food recommendations, because I am sure they would be more than happy to share them with you (as long as you stop complaining about how ulu it is).
11. Our fluffy friends at Pasir Ris Farmway that melt everyone’s heart.
A pair of puppy eyes a day keeps the stress away. Even the coldest of hearts, are bound to have a soft spot for fluffy, cuddly animals because *ngawwwwww*, who can resist them? Every dog lover in Pasir Ris would know how happy weekend afternoons are spent with these precious little critters.
For dog lovers like me who unfortunately do not own any, saying hi to the kennel residents at Pasir Ris Farmway is the easiest way to fill my heart with some warmth and joy on lazy weekend afternoons.
On a side note, animals lovers who wish to help homeless dogs would be glad to know that Pasir Ris Farmway is also where reputable animal welfare groups like Oasis Second Chance Animal Shelter (OSCAS) and Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD) have been dedicating years of effort to rescue abandoned animals and find them new owners to regain a better life.
East Side Beast Side
So as you can probably tell by now, the East side is clearly the most happening corner of Singapore. After all, there's got to be reason why so many chalets are located here ;)