This was the coffee shop at Armenian Street. I took these pictures around 7.10pm, from across the street at the SubStation.
Dusk casted a gray pallor. The amber glow from the street lamps were the only source of light.
A group of executives talked loudly from their alcohol high. A mix of Singaporean and Scottish accents.
A man dressed in polo-T and shorts, carrying a single golf club, joined their table. They shouted to the drink stall guy for an extra glass.
At another table, two Thai or Burmese blue-collar workers were enjoying a smoke.
Earlier, I overheard a conversation between the Char Kuay Teow man and a customer.
The Char Kuay Teow man said he’d been there since 1979. Rental used to be from a few hundred dollars, compared to $2,000 plus now.
Business had been worse since MPH moved out. And worsened after the National Library was relocated. The stall has had some business from SMU students on weekdays. The church nearby brought in business on weekends.
He didn’t say business was tough. He needn’t have to.
All that was about a year ago.
When I passed by the coffee shop recently, the place was boarded up.
Closed for good or just for renovation, I didn’t check.
The business of books.
It affects people in more ways than one. Definitely for that Char Kuay Teow man.