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Monday, August 4, 2008

queuing mee and "ping miok" ...

· queuing for a plate of mee and a carton of "ping miok" (strawberry milk) at the ACS canteen
· taking a bum boat to one of the islands for a picnic at the weekend, loaded down with buckets, spades, snacks, drinks cooler and so on
· standing at the boundary fence of the Singapore Swimming Club on Tanjong Rhu Road, and remembering that the sea used to be just the other side, and was now half a mile away
· hearing the fertilizer truck coming up the road, the crew shouting "cow dung, cow dung ho!"
· turning on the garden hose on a hot day and soaking everyone
· seeing who could eat the most chicken satay and kutupat at one sitting
· peeling the layers of a kuih lapis and eating them one by one (see:
· making fun of the local sikh jaga's tonchet (turban), then running away while he followed, cursing and waving his stick
· watching the murthaba man preparing the flour and oil, salivating with anticipation
· going out into the garden at night with a torch, then catching all the toads that you could find
· watching your classmates set their fighting ants and beetles at each other
· watching TV in black and white
· going to the wayang
· watching the kavadi carriers during Thaipusam, and wondering why they weren't screaming with pain (see:
· playing chatek during breaks from lessons
· picking rambutans from the trees, and then getting all the ants out of your hair, ears, eyes, nose and clothes
· running across the Padang in the heat of the day to the shade of the trees on the other side
· climbing all over the construction sites, playing at soldiers, then scrounging cigs off the workers
· watching in awe as the black and white ahmah ate her lunch of raw chilies
· throwing stones at the coconuts up the tree, trying to knock one down
· wading home down Bukit Timah in chest-high water, after the longkangs overflowed
· sitting on the first floor of the house after a monsoon downpour, watching the fish swimming around the furniture downstairs
· watching the fighting kites over the kampongs in the late afternoon, battling it out like some world war one dogfight
· smelling the inside of the car after you'd left a durian in the sun on the back seat
· queueing outside the Cathay cinema to see 2001: A Space Odessey when it was first released
· burying your face up to the ears in a slice of chilled watermelon
· going to the hawkers' stalls in the car park opposite Cold Storage in the evenings
· searching through the heaps of red fire-cracker paper during Chinese New Year to find those that had not exploded
· blowing up ants' nests with left-over firecrackers
· standing to attention outside class before lessons, while a scratchy recording of the national anthem was played over the PA system, and someone hauled the flag up the pole
· and for all you nostalgics, go to: and turn on the sound

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