I haven't been back in the area since we moved out, shortly after the photo below was taken. That was a good twenty years ago.
|One of the few old and yellowed pictures I have of our front porch with the jade green tiles.|
I saw it from across the road and the washed out signage was a clue to it having seen better days. But even that didn't prepare me for the half a store that still existed, packed to the rafters with toiletries, instant noodles and then shelves of dusty stationery, nary a text book, guide book or magazine in sight despite its declarations on the awning.
It looked darker and smelt mustier than I remembered it to. Obviously, the owners were older and whiling the time away but were suspicious about how I seemed to be lingering aimlessly. They did tell me very clearly that I wasn't to take photographs. So all I have is the photograph I took from across the street.
For old time's sake, I decided to buy some stationery; some coloured permanent markers. When I was paying up, I realised that even though I was doing the same thing 20 years later, it was not for me but for my daughter.
And that partially blew my mind.
While the place still existed, it was different from what I had pictured in my mind. The store and myself, we are now in totally different places in our lives. And sadly, I had outgrown it and I had to say goodbye.