…typing an entire SMS without having to look at the screen and sending more than a hundred SMSes a day.
…sitting at the foot of staircases chatting with my best friend and gossiping about hot guys in secondary school.
…playing catch with primary school mates and secretly wishing to be caught by my crush.
…sitting next to said crush and sharing snacks before class starts.
…writing and receiving letters from my primary school friend even after graduation. I regret being too lazy to write and thus ended our close friendship.
…visiting my childhood best friend at her house and frantically running back to my grandparents’ home whenever my mum visits since she doesn’t like me leaving the house.
…hide & seek and clambering up water pipes with my childhood best friend.
…grandpa stuffing my coin purse with loose change for me to buy junks.
…grandpa doodling on a mini chalkboard hung on the balcony railings and telling me random stories. I miss you so much yeye.
…accidentally sending shoes flying 15 floors down from the balcony and having to rush downstairs to get it back.
…watching dramas and rewinding tapes for my granny.
…accompanying granny to the wet market every morning for breakfast and marketing. There wasn’t a vendor there who didn’t know my name.
…doing my homework on the tiny bedside table in the only bedroom at my grandparents’ place while people play mahjong right outside.
…helping granny clean up at night, folding and keeping the tables and chairs so my mattress can be laid out in the living room. Granny would wake me by rolling me off the mattress every morning as otherwise I wouldn’t wake up.
…pretending to cry each night so granny would come out of the room and lay beside me, petting me to sleep.
…maternal grandma visiting me during recess in primary school and bringing me loads of food to feed my increasingly round belly.
…staying over at my grandma’s house during weekends and have her feed me my favourite watercress soup and soy sauce pork. Playing on her NES gaming system and have her recite the multiplication table with me.
…visiting the salon with grandma and having yummy fried rice while she chats with her hairdresser friends and fixes her hair. She used to be a hairdresser herself and still occasionally cuts my hair until today.
…hearing my 8 year old crush saying he likes me.
…sitting and reading on the floor of Popular bookstore for hours on end. I devoured countless books on Chinese fairy tales at the tender age of 8. Stories about hell don’t scare me.
…baking cookies at a friend’s place to prepare for a cooking competition in secondary school which we ultimately won.
…having said friend’s mum introduce me to fussili and thus starting my love affair with the spirally pasta.
…the same friend also introduced me to Sweet Valley, my first step into English literature. It’s a pity we couldn’t stay friends after all we’ve been through.
…going over to a good friend’s house with the whole gang to practice for singing competitions day after day, year after year. My eternal gratitude to her parents for being ever gracious and accommodating to a bunch of screeching teenagers disturbing their peace and quiet. I hope the trophies we won will be as fond a memory for them as it is for me.
…crushing hard over the same guy(s) with my best friend and analysing every single aspect of our friendship with the guy(s) together every single day.
…bubble baths and make-believe swimming sessions at my grandma’s place as she was the only one with a bathtub.
…taking part in all sorts of competitions since young and winning my first big ass trophy in kindergarten. I was quite the annoying overachiever. I think it was to make up for the fact that I was never the favourite child. If my brother had an inferiority complex, I think his childhood would’ve been a lot tougher.
…my first field trip to Awana Genting in primary six. There I had the first (and last) experience of sleeping in a long house, in the freezing cold no less. I also developed yet another crush on a boy from a different class. Sadly nothing ever happened because kids from one class just don’t go around mixing with kids from another class. Class segregation happening even back then, sigh.
…my secondary school trip to Genting Highlands. The guy my best friend and I were crushing on was also there, which led to two very excited girls.
…English tuition at Puan Lim K. L.’s house. This is one tuition class I didn’t really need but went for anyway because I love the class and the teacher. I owe a lot to her for encouraging my love for the English language.
…Children’s Day each year in primary school because it was the only day in the year where we’re allowed to wear casual clothes to school and not study. Oh how I love agonising over my (very limited) wardrobe choices.
…Mr. Wong, my primary class teacher who made us keep scrap books, aptly called 杂锦, filled with poems, proverbs and numerous interesting tidbits. He’s the reason I have a good foundation in Mandarin and the reason I managed an A in all my Mandarin papers. I’m so sorry I lost the scrap books.
…winning an entire set of Hot Wheels (complete with car wash!) by coming in second (or was it first?) in a colouring contest in a mall. Take that, you kids with fancy foldaway tables! The set resulted in hours and hours of fun for my brother and I. No electronics necessary.
…family vacations to places like Penang, Redang, Tioman, Langkawi, Kuching, etc. We no longer do and I don’t think we ever will again. And that makes me sad.
Simpler times. Ah, the bliss of being a kid.