King Albert Park, or McDonald's House, or more affectionately known to me as KAP, is gone. Forever. As of 16 March 2014, 23:59.
Sure, you can argue that a new KAP and this KAP Residences (as shown) will take over (why oh why???), but nothing can replace the KAP (pronounced Kay Ay Pee) that has taken a special place in my heart ever since I was introduced to it in 1998.
It's 16 years of acquaintance. I practically grew up with you.
You were there even before this thing known as social media came about. And I never knew you had a Facebook Page till today. (Of course I liked it. Duh.)
I remember the first time my NYGH classmates suggested going to KAP. I was like "Huh? What's that?" Well, you see, I was from a neighbourhood primary school in Bt Batok, and knew not much about the going-ons and where's-what in District 10. Sure, family drives have taken me past this famous McDonald's building before, but no one introduced it to me as KAP. Until high school.
Ever since then, KAP has been one of my fave haunts throughout my Nanyang years, amongst Coronation Plaza and Serene Centre. It's the only one (out of the 3) along the way home, so every bus I take on my way home will get me there. And because of that, sudden cravings and friends jio-ing (as well as after every combined Sports' meet with Chinese High) will have me getting off at the KAP bus stop even when I had no intention of doing so upon boarding.
In those days, a random trip to KAP McDonald's will ensure a bumping into of people I know. Namely from Nanyang Girls and Chinese High, and then later from Hwachong. And that's a really nice feeling, like it's a little village community hangout, and you can basically table-hop to say hi and talk to different friends.
I miss that.
I remember staying at the hostel during the exam period when I was in Sec 4. I practically mugged every day with some of my friends on the second floor. The whole day. I would go with a few friends, and attempt tonnes of TYS questions as a huge group.
I even remember a Maths paper passed to me from a friend's friend's friend from Chinese High at another table asking me to solve a question (I was then pretty good with both my maths). I was like "Eh whose is this? Why pass to me?" "Dunno la, someone passed over. Help solve leh." "Huh, okok I try."
And if I had a problem with some of my other subjects I would ask around too. Cos someone is BOUND to know. (Cos we're all cool nerds and muggers and everyone is from an apparent "good school" so there had to be someone good at the subject.) Else, we'd all discuss together.
Such is the "study community" amongst the schools along the stretch.
Often, after a few hours of studying and information overload, the Cold Storage downstairs would be where I'd go for walks to clear my head. (The late night Cold Storage shopping didn't stop even as I got older.)
I also remember meeting my Sweet 16 sweetheart there, and thinking this guy would never look at me. I had body image issues, and this was a tall, dark, Water Polo hunk. He was a friend's god brother (back in the days when god sisters and god brothers were so in), and we didn't speak much when we were first introduced, though he did ask for my pager number which I thought nothing of giving away since I was sure he was just asking to be nice. So I got a really pleasant surprise when he paged me and asked me to hang out. (Yes, page. I used a pager in those days. I didn't have a hp until after I got my O'level results.)
Then I grew older and started driving. That was my favourite drive-thru station, and so many of my eat-alone meals were settled at this particular drive-thru. Here's my last one, taken a week ago.
Then there was the super intense Hello Kitty craze that had people queueing overnight and around the building for the kitties. That was madness, and I remember wondering why so many people would do this for a soft toy which they can't eat. Lol.
I became a blogger later on. By then KAP had already gone through a revamp, and had lost the kids' party corner. Because I no longer fit in upstairs where almost everyone knows everyone else (cos they're all in school and that's what's amazing about school days - you have the best network), I have a place at the hidden corner below the staircase where I bring my laptop to work on. If I'm not there I'm at the corner upstairs between the 2nd floor entrance and the washrooms.
And I remember special people visiting me on some days when I work. ^.^
All these will always remain as memories, long after the building has been demolished and the new KAP and KAP Residences developed. For so many generations of students, from NYGH, TCHS, MGS, St Margaret's, SCGS, Hwachong, NJC, NP, and so on...you have served us well.
This was my last visit to the 23-year-old establishment. I regret to say that it was just a drive-thru. But I remember the last few visits very well. *reminiscing*
And this marks my meal from the McDonald's House / KAP we remember so well.
Thank you, KAP, for the sweet and delicious memories, which I'll always smile back upon.