Block 53 Tiong Bahru Road was also the block where the famous bird corner was located.
It was also at this block that I discovered I had a Chinese Name when I was sent to the PAP-run kindergarten which was located directly below my grandma's apartment.
The teacher kept yelling my Chinese name and I just stared blankly at her.
She finally figured it out when all my classmates were accounted for and she conveniently tagged me with the leftover name.
How would a 5 year know his Chinese name when no one else had told him so.
I only responded to "Alvin" or "Ah Meng". (Ah Meng was what my grandma called me while my brother was Ah Kwang!)
It was here at Block 53 that I learnt how to ride my tricycle and eventually a bicycle. It was also here where I crashed badly because I was trying to cycle without holding onto the handles of my bike.
It was also here where I had many hours of crazy badminton session with my brother.
It was also here where I got a scar on my left eyebrow because I was playing football in my grandma's place and my brother decided to trip me, causing me to hit my forehead on the sofa's corner and making my grandma panicked because my blood just wouldn't stopped flowing.
It was here that my dad and his nine other siblings were raised by my grandparents.
Believe it or not, it was also here where I managed to raised some chicks and eventually was forced to eat them when they grew up! Barf!
One of my uncle even managed to get himself a girlfriend who eventually became his wife when he smooth talked a pretty parking warden who was sitting in one of those wooden booths behind Block 53. (Those booth were common feature at all HDB carparks before parking coupons were introduced)
Then one day, something changed all that!
For a few weeks around November 1982, there was a horrible stench and I was told that a cat or dog probably died on the roof.
The stench seems to come after a mysterious blackout that happened during one of the nights.
We all concluded later that the murderer must have caused the blackout so that he could move the body up in stealth.
Eventually the body of an old lady was found on the roof of block 53 and since that was the only stairscase with roof access, the murderer must have used the same staircase that I used to access my grandma's place.
From that time onwards, my relationship with my younger brother was especially strong when we needed to walk up the stairs to my grandma's place! We never walked alone.
I was never given a full picture of what actually happened as the details from my uncle was sketchy. Basically it was someone who killed his own mum and was found out when he tried to report his mother missing as soon as the body was found on the roof of block 53.
So I was kind of glad that I found this newspaper article that clarified everything.
Click here for the link : Full newspaper story
I cannot believe this!
How could anyone try to conceal a murder, especially when the victim is your own family member?
Did they think that the bad dream will go away after sometime?
Today, Block 53 has morphed into a part of the Link Hotel and the roof top has been transformed into a beer garden.
Even the staircase to "heaven" has been removed when the building was refurbished to accomodate more rooms.
So in a way, the bad dream has been "moved"out and I guess I can move on and remember ONLY THE GOOD STUFF now.