I am actually surprised to just realised that I have blogged about Geylang only once here, considering the fact that I am always going there for food (once upon a time), and now, mainly for sketching.
|Lor 27 Geylang (Karaoke Lounge & a typical coffeeshop)|
The demographic of Geylang has changed over the last couple of years with the influx of Chinese migrant workers to Singapore to work and to earn a living. Most likely they live nearby if they have found some cheap housings to rent. I notice this change when I came here more often to sketch.
|Huge crowd in front of a LCD TV at a coffeeshop|
Geylang Road is popular because many Singaporeans came here for food. The road is fronted by conservation shophouses on both sides and is also flanked by smaller roads or lanes, known as Lorongs in Malay. The lanes in the north are given odd numbers while the lanes in the south are given even numbers. There are 41 lorongs in total through the stretch of the road from west to east. Every lorong is fringed with eateries of all sorts.
The Chinese workers however only visit places with affordable “economy rice and vegetables” stalls. They could choose from an assortment of more than 20 different dishes. The cost to pay for a combination of 3 dishes and (plenty) of rice is not more than 4 Singapore dollars, or about USD3. The stall owners are always generous in giving the portion of rice especially to the workers, the portion is large enough to feed three full grown adults, according to my standard. Every worker would heartily finished the entire portion of rice.
|One of the many durian & fruit stalls that line Geylang road|
Geylang is also known for her sleaze. Street walkers would lined a few of the streets subtly touting for business from passerby. Prostitution is not against the law in Singapore (strangely) but open touting in public places is illegal. They seems to know their way around, only approaching men in their 40s and older, especially the Chinese workers.
What attracts me to Geylang is definitely the hustle and bustle that you do not see in the city centre or other parts of Singapore. Its a melting pot of different cultures, races and human activities. You can even find contraband cigarettes and sex drugs. Night time is the best time to visit. I would find a coffeeshop, sit down with a cup of coffee and sketch away, while the night unfold itself.
I will definitely come back for more.