新加坡牛車水原貌館

我們在新加坡旅居時,常常有朋友問我新加坡有什麼好吃好玩的地方,以往我都是有人問起就發些資料,其實心裏一直都想把這些資料整理好,現在就讓我逐一慢慢寫出來吧。

今次首先想介紹的,是位於牛車水的「新加坡牛車水原貌館」。我在新加坡住了三年多,還是到離開前兩個月才有機會去參觀,這才發現那是個非常值得去的地方呢。

這個私人經營的博物館位於牛車水地鐵站A出口附近,由於它是改建自舊樓,夾在其他建築物中間,門口又不大,如果不仔細看,很容易就忽略了。我多次到牛車水都看見過這個博物館的入口,不過一直以為是只有一層的展覧廳,有些展板那樣,不知道內裏乾坤。那次因為家人來探望,我想找一些老少咸宜的節目,才認真在網上找資料。細看之下,估計將近九旬的婆婆或許會有興趣,於是就決定去看看。

博物館樓高三層,除了最高那層是一些展板和有影片播放,其餘兩層主要都是仿照牛車水舊時的陳設,有舊店鋪、食肆、民居等等。從售票處取過導賞器後,稍向前走,一轉彎,仿佛進入了另一個時空。由於我抱著一歲的女兒,掛在頸上的導賞器頓成了負擔(而且那只有華語或英語導賞,我沒耐性聽,後來發現婆婆的講解有趣多了,導賞器就完全沒用)

以往我常聽到人說「賣豬仔」,其實就是指被中介公司騙到海外當苦工的華人,(後來聽婆婆說有些是自願的,賺夠錢後更可回到故鄉)。最早期在新加坡定居的華人,很多都是豬仔來。他們的居住環境惡劣,一層裏面住了很多戶人家,每戶都只有幾十呎空間。(如下圖,這可算是最早期的劏房?)他們做菜、吃飯、工作(例如有些車衣女工或造鞋師傅)、小孩做功課、睡覺……所有的活動都是在那幾十呎裏進行。所謂「朝行晚拆」,早上做飯桌,一會變工作枱,晚上抺乾淨就變床鋪。其實我印象中也看過類似的東西,知道我們祖父母那一輩很多都經歷過這種生活。但當身處於那個空間,聽婆婆把昔日的生活情節娓娓道來,則完全是另一番感受。其中一個房間中間吊著一個盒子,我很好奇問婆婆那是什麼,原來昔日還沒有雪櫃,飯菜吃不完就要用個通風的盒子放好,吊在半空是防止老鼠來偷吃,那真是讓我長知識了。想來,我的祖母也是新加坡華人,或許她也曾在類似的地方住過?可惜她已不在,我沒有機會問她了。這個仿照民居而設計的展區最令我印象深刻,除了陳設很仔細,我們一路走著都聞到一陣陣藥油味,更有微弱的收音機聲,感覺逼真。

所謂人離鄉賤,昔日的華人除了居住環境惡劣,還要面對很多難處。工作勞苦,又常有思鄉之情,很多華人受不了苦悶而染上鴉片癮,又或是沉迷賭搏或色情,這也是工頭控制他們的技俩。觀乎今日新加坡華人的地位,真的很難想像他們曾經有這樣的過去呀!

我們參觀完仿真的陳設,又看了一些展板介紹。得知這些華人把中國很多傳統文化帶入了新加坡,例如傳統節日、戲曲、方言等。很多華人都是很迷信的,有很多禁忌。記得當時展覧有一個陰暗的房間,裏面放著一個床鋪,我走到展板前看,原來昔日的華人相信有人在家死去會帶來厄運,所以那些身體不好,垂死的老人會被送到一個叫碩莪巷的地方,那裏有些「大難館」,那是名副其實「有入冇出」的地方,在那裏沒有人會照料他們,只有躺在床上等死。那些老人家勞碌一生,到老來卻因著這些忌諱而不得善終,我看畢不禁感到相當淒涼。

展覧還有介紹牛車水不同年代的發展,還有一些舊課本、中藥介紹和很多珍貴的歴史相片等。總括而言,這博物館做得相當有心思,而且是私人經營,我覺得需要多多支持。可惜我們太遲發現,下次有機會回新加坡,我一定會再去一次。

(由於我全程抱著女兒的緣故,所以完全沒有拍到照片,這篇的所有圖片均是網上資料圖片)

30 Replies to “新加坡牛車水原貌館”

  1. 碩莪巷即是Sago Lane,意即西米巷,就在牛車水後面。
    (新加坡的街名中譯很怪誕,例如Cantonment Road應該是軍營街,但譯了廣東民路,幾乎以為跟廣東人有關係)

    1. 謝分享!我覺得不單是街名,是所有的中譯都很怪誕 XD
      本人最愛是Bugis武吉士,應該只有香港人會識笑

      1. 更有趣的是「武吉士人」在早期新加坡歷史上的確是一班用武之士,絕非冇吉士。XD

        我倒認為新加坡最難理解的翻譯是把Tuas稱為「大士」,家陣盂蘭節化大士咩﹖

        1. XD XD 呢個topic可以開一篇文

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