The land that time forgot.

I’ve been plagued by a spate of carelessness/clumsiness recently – first it was misplacing my bike keys; most recently, I dropped my watch and broke the glass portion covering its face.

It’s probably fatigue but I’ve also had a lot of things on my mind recently, and I know I’m not as sharp/alert when I have too many thoughts to think about and not enough time to sleep off the weariness of the day.

In any case, I had to make my way down to the service centre at Tannery Lane to repair the watch. This was quite interesting for me and I must digress a little in order that I tell this story.

Since setting up shop at Potong Pasir, I’ve always considered the area and its surrounds to be akin to the land that time forgot – it’s 2009 but the precinct has retained its 1980s-esque quiet, sleepy-town feel.

This is much unlike the hustling, bustling HDB estates of nearby Serangoon and Hougang, where I live, and I’m actually quite envious of this luxury afforded to Potong Pasir-ians (?).

I say luxury because I acknowledge the trade-off that upgrading brings: you get lifts on every floor, but there’s a lot of noise and people and unnecessary things that come with it.

Anyway, if Potong Pasir and its surrounds is the land that time forgot, then the watch service centre was utterly Jurassic.

While waiting for my watch to be repaired, I found a catalogue for Color Club watches, along with a brochure that lauded Crystal Time (the service centre) as the cutting edge retailer of the 1990s with its recent venture into marketing high-top shoes with zippers all the way to the ankle.


Well, I wish I had stolen the brochure and the catalogue so that I could scan them in and upload the pics to share the awesomeness of the moment with everybody but I don’t think it would’ve been nice to have kept their history for myself.

Nevertheless, I thought it was a rather quaint experience, if I may say so myself, much like discovering how my sister’s significant other still plays arcade games in Indonesia. Yes, those thingamajigs where you hold a stick in your left hand and punch some buttons with your right hand for a token’s worth of happiness.

About the author

Laremy Lee

A versatile educator, writer and editor, Laremy Lee (李庭辉) has the uncanny knack of being one of the few among his generation in Singapore who crafts compelling stories in different genres.

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