Punggol’s Flooded Sand Pit

When I was in primary school, there was a field where tracks had to be painted every sports day. A teacher would supervise the gardener who would paint the tracks with some roller turning in a container filled with a black liquid. There was also a long jump sand pit. Whenever it rained for several days in a row, the sand pit would be covered with puddles of water.

When no one was watching, I played a game which I called “reservoir”. The aim of the game was to dig channels to redirect the puddles of water to one central “catchment area”. It was fun. I scooped sand out with my bare hands, “reclaimed” some areas, dug the channels and watched the murky water flow into my reservoir. I even threw in a Lim Bo Seng memorial for good measure. I can only imagine (with a naughty smile) the look on the teacher’s face when he prepared the sand pit for the long jump event.

That was more than 40 years ago. I’ve heard that they have sand pit covers nowadays. Both the runway and the sand pit are also elevated from the surrounding field. This sports event will no longer be ruined by flooding. But just recently, something in my hometown here in Punggol brought back memories of my days playing “reservoir”.

flooded sand pit
flooded sand pit

Someone is probably trying to revive the kampung image by constructing a fitness area in a sand pit. As you may notice, the sand pit is set below the level of the surrounding area. That’s like saying “flood me”. I could have told them that when I was in P5.

flooded sand pit
flooded sand pit
flooded sand pit
flooded sand pit

flooded sand pit
flooded sand pit
flooded sand pit
flooded sand pit
flooded sand pit
flooded sand pit

These folks had certainly done a very good job reminding me of my childhood days. Now why would they want to fence off the area, put danger signs and prevent me from playing “reservoir”? I thought it’s more an embarrassment than a danger.

© Chan Joon Yee


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