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Vignettes from Keong Saik Road

Keong Saik Road had always felt to me like a rambling extension of small streets and quaint alleyways. Its buildings were wrought in bright colours—red, yellow, green, blue—as if in defiance to the overcast sky and the grey skyscrapers beyond. Home to bakeries, cafes, and a sprawling collection of bars and restaurants, the once-pulsing street stood cold and shuttered in the aftermath of the thunderstorm and a second lockdown amidst a global pandemic. But even deserted, Keong Saik Road wore an easy charm and carried a slow, lazy buzz of life in the few stores still open. A quiet reminder of what it was.

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