“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/129/409764853_d9c6812814_m.jpg!(Number 44, Haji Lane)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/409764853/
Given how tiny Singapore is and how cosmopolitan our people are, it’s always a lovely surprise when I discover a slice of laid-back charm in our busy, bustling streets.
I have been wanting to visit Haji Lane for the longest time, especially after Cat has raved about it time after time. Somehow, the forces of circumstances and sheer laziness conspired against me and it was not until Popartgirl mooted the idea of us exploring the place together that I finally had the chance to take a stroll down Haji Lane.
In truth, the place is no more than a little strip of alley hidden away from view. But once you step in there, it feels as if you have moved into a Singapore of more than 20 years ago when estates were full of shophouses with rattling metal gates.
Although the street houses several boutiques that are known to be distinctively quirky and vintage, there was no air of pretension. Instead, what you get is a little village of creative and expressive vibes.
For those who are crazy about all things vintage and who are not interested in mass market boutiques like I am, this place is probably the closest you will get to heaven in Singapore. There are shops that peddle lovely frocks you can imagine your mother wearing in her younger days and when she was not yet your dad’s wife. Homemakers would go crazy over the wallpaper designs ranging from creeping vines to repeating motifs, and gorgeous armchairs upholstered in the damask print of yesterday. There were elaborate lamps and delicate screens and retro telephones where you had to dial by turning the wheel.
As the boutiques are usually small, intimate affairs, the service tends to be more personal and friendly. We were always served with a smile and a warm “hello” and even when we left without purchasing anything, their smiles never faltered.
And after you are done with shopping, there are plenty of cafes and eating houses that serve a good cuppa and food that could help you replenish your energy.
Haji Lane is definitely a great way to spend the weekend in and I had so much fun with Popartgirl. Till next time, then!
“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/128/409764714_cbf08861db_m.jpg!(Empty chair on Haji Lane)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/409764714/