Easy, Cosy, Breezy White Sands Mall

I’ve been an East Sider my entire life – Bedok for 7 years and Pasir Ris for over 20 – and I think know I’ve been so blessed to live here for a good part of my existence. Our air is fresher, there’s so much nature, our malls don’t keep getting into disasters like the infamous one on the other end of our island.. the list is endless. Here’s 5 signs that you grew up in Pasir Ris like me.

  1. Pasir Ris Park was your second home: Cycling, rollerblading, kite flying, walking along an often trash-strewn beach, risking life and limb to climb to the top of the spider web in the playground – you did it all here. And don’t forget Fisherman Village for drinks and exploring Red House when you hit your teens.
  2. You were the barbecue and chalet expertYou were always the kid who lived in “that ulu place”, but when it came to class get-togethers, you ruled. Even now when colleagues need aluminium trays or DIY barbecue kits – aiyah don’t worry lah, my house downstairs mama shop also got sell.
  3. Nostalgia hits you at the Drive 6 wet marketBack in the day – when there was an awesome McDonald’s here – the wet market was the centre of daily life in Pasir Ris. This was where you went to see the doctor, where you rented movies and where you bought your toys, games and collectible cards. The smell still brings it all back. 
  4. NS was always on your mindAs the pick-up and drop-off point for recruits getting whipped into shape on Tekong, you began to count the days until it was your turn to don No 4, or to wave goodbye to friends, brothers and boyfriends. Or practice holding your breath for extended periods of time among freshly sweat-marinated army boys.
  5. You lived in Pasir Ris but grew up in TampinesLike an older brother that got all the good things first, next-door Tampines had the shops, department stores, cinemas, arcades, pool halls and sports facilities you could only dream about.

The biggest mall in my town is without a doubt White Sands. Once upon a time it had Eng Wah Cinema, the biggest Timezone in Singapore, John Little, SaSa and all those interesting shops until 1999, just nice one year before my O levels so I could actually concentrate on studies and not ponteng school and go pa tor hahah. Those all left the building and then it became boring and we all had to go to Tampines Mall for our kicks. Until now.

I can shut all of you act-atas-condescending-we-got-chicken-up-and-four-fingers-and-miam-miam-etc Tampines people up in one sentence if you dare diss my precious new White Sands:

You tell me east side where got Cedele?

Not including East Coast/Marine Parade which might be even more ulu than my town. At least I got MRT here. Actually this might be the first suburban Cedele locally. I can start forcing people to meet me near my house instead of going to their areas cos “White Sands got nothing!”.

And the best part? Cedele is not even close to what I’m excited about. You don’t know how I suffered when the mall semi closed for renovations. No Popular, no Watsons, no impulse buying at Cotton On, have to carry bloody heavy library books far far away to return (why they don’t have delivery and pick-up services!?) and the most heart rending of all – MY BELOVED SWEET TALK BUBBLE TEA AND COTTAGE PIES CLOSED. I swear I lost about 5kgs all these sad and lonely months.

Upcoming at the revamped mall, we’ll have the prodigal sons returning, some oldies but goodies and a couple of brand new exciting shops:

Who cares about Sweet Talk, I now have Gong Cha.

Forget about Gong Cha – ICE CREAM MILK TEA!!!

Still can have my regular chicken pie from Cottage Pies.

Also can feed Tuppy! I wondered if PLC would return.

Isn’t Sephora, but good enough for my beauty fix.

Never liked the pervy dudes at the old optical shops (still there).

NOT Pandora so I think I can manja the BF into a bracelet..

Yay leggings and $3 tops and $10 shorts at my fingertips again!

Very Important: For all my Carousell and online shopping.

There are tons of new shops – noticeably eateries – but I’m so glad that staples like NTUC, the money changer and the library will be returning as well. Oh, and a little birdie told me that the library will be back in full force latest end 2015 and will be two stories high! I can’t wait. I miss the days when I used to spend my afternoons off work bumming around and reading books and enjoying free air con.

I suspect I might miss the air con more than the books now, given that the sun has been beating down like I offended it before. Anyway check this out for the full list of new tenants who should be fully settled into White Sands by end of the year.

Other than adding a mix of more entertaining shops within the mall, White Sands has also geared up for several other events like a carnival in September. Expect a flea market (including me and my usual slashed-to-dirt-cheap beauty products if I can get a table!), car boot sale and movie drive-ins. Rentals for spaces for sale are a flat $80 per space per day on 19 & 20 September; catch Jurassic Park (I thought Jurassic World was crap) and X-Men:Days of the Future Past (PLEASE SHOW THE VERSION WITH HUGH HOTTIE JACKMAN’S ASS ON AN UBER BIG SCREEN). You can either fork out $20 per car which comes with a $10 carnival coupon/popcorn or $5 per pax with free popcorn OR trade in your White Sands receipts for more than 50% off ticket prices!

Easy lah. I go NTUC one trip already $100+. The minimum spend is $50 for $10 drive-in and $2 picnic area. Go two NTUC trips I can bring my whole family go see movie. For now, I’m having a lot of fun trying out the new eateries and I’ve actually already ate at three of them: Sushi Express, Sakae Sushi and Thai Express.

(I just noticed that there’s two “sushis” and two “expresses” =.=)

I’ll put up Sakae Sushi and Thai Express food reviews in my next two posts since I was invited to their food tasting sessions. As for Sushi Express, have you even been to an outlet? You barely have space to extend your elbow two inches, much less take decent photos.

Hover over my images and if your cursor turns into a hand, it pretty much means that I’ve kept my promise and the reviews are published!

The management over at the mall shared with me the reason they’re doing this too – they want people to spend more time in their mall, a one-stop shopping centre if you will. Old couples, young couples, students, stinky and not-yet-stinky NS boys should all have their needs satisfied within one building.

(Not so sure about the NS boys… White Sands might need to open a Thai pub.)

Judging by the store directory, I don’t think its at all difficult to spend lots of time in the new mall as compared to what it was before renovations. It used to take me only an hour – including meal time – to traverse the whole place when I went on weekend dates there. Come, give us a theme and challenge us bloggers to spend 8 hours in there.

Open the library and I’ll stay overnight too.

Like White Sands Facebook page for the latest news and updates on what’s happening at my favourite mall in my town!

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