For anyone suffering a post-colonial hangover in independent Singapore, there’s still a corner in Little India where you can find British souvenirs – and for a while forget where you might be.
Iconic departmental store Mustafa Centre is known for selling almost everything – from fresh spicy Habanero peppers to vinyl records – but the souvenir aisle spans more than just the run-of-the-mill Merlion stuff.
When you see the sign Gifts Souvenirs on the third level in the supermarket area, remember to venture beyond the first few shelves filled with mass-produced Singapore souvenirs.
Once you’re past the Merlion paperweights and Marina Bay Sands snowglobes, you’ll enter a typical London souvenir shop on Oxford Street:
It’s much quieter than the supermarket where everyone is jostling each other, the air is a little musty (god knows how long these souvenirs have been here), and time has slowed down. Quite literally.
A quick rummage in the area and you’ll find fine china from Harry and Megan’s wedding, memorabilia with the Queen’s face, aprons with ‘LONDON’ in Comic Sans, and lots and lots and lots of Union Jacks.
There’s almost nothing that is over $30 and everything is also covered with a light layer of dust – lovely. We had to stop ourselves from bagging home a Paddington mug, just because.
Since the Queen’s passing, Prince Charles is now King Charles III so we can only assume that this hidden corner in Mustafa Centre will soon be updated – or perhaps just left as it is.
So if you’re feeling post-funeral blues or was affected by the cute corgis Lilibet left behind – a quick trip to Mustafa Centre will take you back to great ol’ Britain.