An international reader living outside Singapore must be intrigued by the acronym ECP. A local reader must also be intrigued – what tales are there to be told about an expressway (East Coast Parkway) that is built on reclaimed land?
Author Russ Soh lives across the ECP at Laguna Park condominium, and spends his free time at the ECP – in this case, East Coast Park, a coastal park parallel to the expressway, stretching a few kilometers from the city to near the airport. The area is popular with runners, cyclists, roller-bladers throughout the day. In the morning, groups of elderly can be seen doing variations of taichi and qigong. At night, the demography changes as young people BBQ at the rental pits and couples romance by the sea.
The author takes walk regularly at ECP, either alone or with his wife Choo, and records the various people he meets on his walk. There is this Latino woman who appears in a red bikini from the sea; the boy who saves the fishes from the anglers; the woman who discovers that she could turn the park lights on and off as she passes them. Included too are the snippets of conversations we hear around us – how different schools make an individual and so the competition to get your kid into the ‘best’ school (Quote from book: VS administers Singapore, RI governs Singapore, but ACS owns Singapore.) ; the overcrowding of immigrants in our small city, yes, including this ECP on weekends.
I guess if you are intending to visit Singapore soon, you should really get your hands on this book in order to get to know us Singaporeans – and yes, do list ECP in your itinerary.