Gone Fishing

Their logo, legendary

I saw a status update in Facebook a few moments ago. This person stated,

I really should go fishing.

Her statement would most likely have a different meaning to what was running through my mind for these 2 days but it was a surprising coincidence.

There was a place in Singapore we used to hang out. It wasn't a frequent thing, for I didn't drive a car during 2007-2008. It wasn't easy to get there from where I used to work if my buddy did not give me a lift each time. Besides, it was the company that counts and it wasn't often all of us had the time to sit down together after work. I enjoyed the place each time although we merely sipped a drink each. That little cafe was a hidden gem, most customers would agree. Protected from the hustle of Singapore life, simple, rough, a rarity of its kind especially in the west side of Singapore.

The place was called Gone Fishing, situated in Chu Lin Road. It was a terrific place. Kids and adults got to scribble on the walls, ceiling, everywhere. It was a heaven for someone who was frustrated with the lack of freedom to express in Singapore. I enjoyed reading what everyone had to write on the walls, though I didn't get to know a single person there. I didn't even get to talk to the owner. It was a philosophy cafe, the first of its kind in Singapore. They even held philosophy discussions in the cafe regularly. No I didn't join in any of those. I felt too shallow for this kind of thing and would certainly feel out of place being unable to express my thoughts clearly in front of strangers - if I had anything to express at all.

Despite that, I loved the aura of this cafe. It was a shrine of freedom and where I communed with myself. We would never fail to take our seat at the right corner of the entrance, the alfresco part of the cafe. Never in the air-conditioned area, despite the Singapore weather. Why? I would never know. It was just instinct  We took our seats naturally each time without much thought. There was a large print of a short poem at the entrance of the cafe, clearly visible from where I was seated. It was a tagline of the cafe. I could not remember the first part of it but the sentence ended with, "... why don't we go fishing?"

Why don't we go fishing?

That sentence rang through my mind constantly. I never forgot. That sentence meant a different thing to everyone. I knew what it meant to me closely. That little cafe connected my spiritual needs to seek for a place with space. It planted the seed of my migration plans. Alas, the place was no more. You couldn't visit the magical shrine if you hadn't been there already. I was quietly devastated when I heard about it. It was one of the last few corners of Singapore that I really enjoy. The owner apparently sold up and gone fishing himself since then.

I wish you luck, stranger. Thank you.


  1. Our friend Kenny owned and operated the cafe. I will mention to him that you wrote about Gone Fishing :)