大约半个世纪后， 我在4 月19 日，回去我的家乡曾林。 曾林处在马巷镇的北部，离开马巷大约有1 公里。
当我回到家乡时， 思潮满腹， 一切的情境就如贺知章在《回乡偶书》这首诗里所写的 “少小离家老大回，乡音未改鬓毛衰。儿童相见不相识，笑问客从何处来?”
我在乡村里到处遛达， 看到一切的变化实在是太大了而使我无法辩別。 当年离开时到处可见的粪池已不复存在。现在每家每户都有电、自来水和卫生水喉的設备。
我在乡里短住期间， 受到所有的亲戚热情的欢迎和接待， 更使我惊奇的是一位多年不见的小学同学林财水先生的造访。他已成为一位大老板， 在马巷有一间规模宏大的面条制造厂。 他说，我们的同学朱金塔先生是前马巷镇长，但他已去世； 而朱再兴同学乃同安副县长，刚刚退休。 由于行程关系， 我无法和他们见面， 希望下次回乡时能和他们再团聚吧。
A Trip to a Village in Xiang An
I left China for Singapore in 1959, which was the 2nd year of the great leap forward launched by the late Chairman Mao then.
On 19.4.08, I returned to my hometown after a lapse of almost half a century. The village is called Zenglin, which is about 1 km away from the northern region of Maxiang Zhen.
On my arrival, all sorts of feeling welled up in my minds. It was exactly like the scene depicted in the poem called “Returning Home ” by He Zhizhang .The poem reads, “I left home young and returned old, accent unchanged, but my hair now thin and grey. Little kids do not know me at all — with a big smile they ask “Where are you from, stranger?”
I sauntered through the entire village and found that the changes were so great, so much so that all things are beyond my recognition. Gone are the cesspits, which were the common sight prior to my departure in 1959. Every household is now provided with electricity supply, piped water and modern sanitary appliances.
During my sojourn in the village, I received warm welcome and hospitalities from all my relatives. A big surprise was a visit made by a primary school classmate, Mr Lin Caishui who still could remember me after such a long time. He is the boss of a big noodle-manufacturing factory in Maxiang Zhen now. He told me that our classmate Mr Zhu Jinta was the former mayor of Maxiang Zhen but he had already passed away. Another classmate Mr Zhu Zaixing was the vice mayor of Tongan County. He had just retired from the service lately. Unfortunately, I could not meet the classmates because of my tight schedule. Hopefully, I could have a reunion with them in my next trip.
The writer came to Singapore in 1959 at the age of 12 with his mother and younger brother Mr Chiang Wan Tiau, a council member of Tung Ann District Guild. He had worked in the Customs Department and is currently a senior officer with the National Environment Agency. In early nineties, he was conferred an efficiency medal and a long service medal during the national day award investitures.