10 Nostalgic Memories About Old Jurong East That Uncles / Aunties Can Relate To

Last Updated on 2023-03-11 , 2:48 pm

It’s pretty shocking how things that we experienced just mere ten years ago have become nostalgic—maybe Singapore is indeed developing so fast that we can’t really catch up.

People who live in Jurong would be extremely familiar with the changes that occurred in Jurong East central—the entire area seemed to have changed so much that if one has been overseas for a few years and come back there, he would take a double take to ensure that, that was Jurong East and not some new Orchard Road.

While changes are good, many Jurong-ers still miss the old Jurong, because…well, because I’m a Jurong-er and here’re what I missed.

The POPULAR Bookstore below Jurong East MRT Station

Image: Popular

It’s not just a bookstore—it’s a meeting place for thousands of Singaporeans every day. When handphones didn’t exist, one needed to be very specific about the meeting place, and this POPULAR became that meeting place. If you’ve lived in Jurong, you’ll have met someone there before, whether it’s inside the store (to be specific: in CD-Rama) or just at the entrance.

The arcade in Jurong East Entertainment Centre

While Jurong Point and Clementi have arcades, the one in Jurong East Entertainment is where youngsters must be in…if they’re looking for a fight, both with the machine and with fists. A challenge with the machine will then become a challenge in the stairway: if you get what I mean.

The biggest bus interchange in Singapore

Image: leonefabre

I’m not sure whether it is still the biggest now, but the old Jurong Interchange used to be the biggest in Singapore. Getting to bus 98 is a pain in the ass, because you need at least 10 minutes to walk from the entrance to the queue.

The lockers at the entrance of the library

Nowadays, technology has made it possible to prevent any theft by library-goers without any lockers. But many years ago, we all made friends at the locker area, whereby we have to deposit our bags before going into the library that used to be so…so…so…(I really can’t find a word for the old Jurong East Library because I’m choking from my tears)

The old Jurong East Library

…sobs. Back in those days, people don’t read fake news from Facebook: They read real stuff from Jurong East Library books. The current library might look cool and whatnot, standing in the graveyard of the old library, but it just can’t replace the old one.

The walk to IMM

Nowadays, the bus to IMM comes like every few minutes. Last time, last time hor, although we have buses there, we still walked to IMM, because last time we young and fit mah.

The field with foreign workers picnic

Before JEM and Westgate came, the area used to be a field whereby foreign workers, usually those from Bangladesh or India, would have a picnic there. They’re so friendly that if you go up to them, they’ll offer you their food and drinks. And yes, they clear up after their picnic.

Jurong East Entertainment Centre

Image: Wikipedia

It’s basically a place for teenagers to do one of these three things: pick a fight, pick a girlfriend or pick a book. Usually the latter wouldn’t occur, though. And you pick a fight to pick a girlfriend.

The McDonald’s, KFC and Long John Silver’s battle

In Jurong East Entertainment, you’ll have to be one of these gangs. If you belong to the McDonald’s gang, you go McDonald’s every time you’re there, if not you’ll be hamtan-ed.

The place for gatherings

The competition between Jurong East MRT Station and Boon Lay MRT Station was like the battle between iPhone and Android: people would literally fight to go either Jurong Point or Jurong East Entertainment because both are so damn cool.

But now, people just go home.

I’m not sure about you, but back in those days, life was carefree, simple and easy.

Maybe I’m just bitching about growing up. Or maybe, life back then was way better.