Last November, in the middle of Serangoon Gardens, nine trees were uprooted and the ground levelled. In its place, a few days later, was a brown zinc revolving monstrosity that was supposed to count down the days to 2011 (but it broke down all the time anyway).
December last year, they tore down the ugly thing, erected a metal scaffolding, and closed the roads. We are going to celebrate the new year, banners around the estate proclaimed, with artistes and fireworks. The PM is Guest-of-Honour.
Today, nine Cyrtostachys palm trees stood just off-center of the roundabout, in ceramic pots and black transplant bags—while labourers mill beneath their majestic heights, sinking their hoes into the soil and digging deep holes.