100 Happy Days / Day 7: Breakfast at Bidadari

photo-6The sky is blanketed by white clouds. I can’t see the sun nor any bits of blue. I am very fond of this type of weather when I want to cycle in Singapore. The wind was a little chilly as I stepped out of the house. It is as wintry as it gets. Many a times I have passed Bidadari and made a mental note to return to explore it. I could only see long rolls of grass and masses of trees from the main road. I have no idea how big or small the place would be.

I dropped by a coffee shop and ordered a Kopi-Cino and toasted bread with kaya and butter as takeaway. Soon, I reached and saw a small pathway leading into the trees but there was a no-entry barricade. I continued on and reached the open area near to Woodleigh station where several people were going about their morning runs. The traffic noise was jarring so I cycled to the deepest spot I could find. There were no benches around so I sat down on the pavement. I made another mental note to return again with a picnic mat the next time round.

Bidadari used to be a cemetry. The word “Bidadari” is Malay for “fairy” or “angel”. It is also known as a birds’ haven and many bird lovers come here to watch the migratory birds. As I sat there munching on my toast, I could hear a few bird songs. I was going to say they sounded sweet, but no, that doesn’t sound right. Inviting is probably the better word. I wondered what they are singing about.  It was the perfect weather to be sitting there, listening to the songs and enjoying the cool wind. It was way better than sitting in an air-conditioned cafe.

Then, I noticed a different sound. Far across the road, there was a consistent sound of piling works. Another condominium is going to rise up there. In fact, exhumation of the graves at Bidadari began in 2002 to make way for housing developments. 11,000 housing units would soon and eventually be planted here.

As I looked at the trees here, I suddenly felt a little sad. They had each taken years and years to grow. Offering shade and rest, company for the graves, nesting spots for birds, and just doing their thing. Why do humans feel that they have the right to take lives away, just because something is deemed to be in their way or could be harvested for their own use? Same with lives of animals or insects, or even other humans who are deemed to be weaker and on a different team. I am no saint and I am also reliant on many wood and paper products. I have killed insects before. I still cannot be 100% vegetarian yet. And plants and vegetables are also life forms. However, this morning a feeling of such disgust just came to me. Sigh.

Housing preparation works would probably start soon. I will return again to enjoy the greens before they are all gone and replaced with cranes and machinery.


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