Thursday, August 9, 2007

schools days in singapore

This is a picture of my brother's (Arjunaidi's) 7th birthday in June 1965. The good looking kid on the left is me. He's the one on the right with the big ears. Hehehe.
I was studying in Balestier til primary 4 only. In the last year, we were shuttling to and from from Johor Baru because my dad bought a house in Taman Pelangi. However, it was a hassle to send us to school so we were told to stay with a family friend or uncle (not too sure). But at one stage, me and my (adopted) sister Murni were left to stay in a ramshackle squatter house near Tan Tock Seng mortuary. It was just a one room hut. If I remember, there was about eight to ten other huts around this compound. There was also only one toilet (for all) for bathing and doing what comes naturally. In the middle of the compound was a huge angsana tree - scary. At night I could swear seeing two red eyes high up in the tree top looking down. I was always too scared to go to the toilet at nights. My sister was also quite exasperated with me most times. She would sometime shove chillies in my mouth in a vain attempt to stop me from cursing. I also remember an incident when I played fire works and one of my rockets flew straight onto the roof of a nearby hospital building at the roof caught fire. Luckily, hospital staff were quick to put it out. i'm quite sure the building was a mortuary so even if it burnt down no one would have been killed or injured. They were already dead anyway.
My Dad was one of the most senior and best paid directors in Shaw's stable in Singapore at that time. He was quite clever in negotiating his salary. He was also not a spendthrift and careful with money. So you can imagine the family's surprise when he bought a new Opel Record for 7,000 dollar cash! This was quite an improvement for our traveling needs. Early on, we went to school in a trishaw, then my uncle Pak Tahir sent us to school in his cute Fiat. Now we go around in style - a sleek cool Opel Record - red in colour with the number plates SU 8166. (Above pictures lah)
In school even though I was in standard four, I was already a mata keranjang- I had my eyes on a few girls - namely Hairan (interesting name don't you think so?), Norashikin, Zarina Qushi (another interesting name). They would be pushing 50 now - wonder what they look like. In school I would always try to be the first to rush out during recess. Canteen was crap, but there was always a chinese man selling toasted charkoey cut into little pieces covered in black rojak sauce and covered with crush peanuts, served on a folded leaf. They come with sharp pieces of wooden sticks for you to poke the crispy charkoey and ram it up your mouth. It was delicious. To top it off, another guy would be dishing out sweet ais's basically a snow cone without the cone (I think Malaysian would refer to it as ais bola)...the ice shavings was moulded into a ball and coloured syrup poured over it. We would hold the ice ball and suck the cold syrup as quickly as possible. our palms would be frozen and was great fun..messy..but fun nevertheless.

Ahhh ...those were the days.