Saturday, July 30, 2005

When we were young…

Having 2 working parents meant my brother and I had to spend our Saturdays and school holidays at Popo’s house until we were old enough to be left alone at home. Popo stayed in a kampung house and next to it was an ol-fashioned independent single-storey structure that served as a kopitiam managed by an old couple, known to us as Ah Pek and Aunty.

I remember I was in Standard 1 when they came to live with the Ah Pek and Aunty kopitiam next door. We were shy at first, but being children, we became fast friends. There were 3 of them, Yuen Yuen who was 1 year younger than me, Ting Ting (1 year younger than her sister) and baby Fong Fong. Of course, I didn't have much interest in baby Fong Fong, but Yuen Yuen and Ting Ting were the ideal playmates. They told me about their story, of their mother having to work somewhere else, their dad being dead and all. Hence widow mom had to leave them with Ah Pek and Aunty Kopitiam to be taken care of.

And oh how we played! Even though we were only allowed to play out of doors, due to my aunt complaining that we jump around too much (it’s a kampung house made of wood, remember? with lots of staircase), my cousins who didn’t like the idea of strange kids going in and out of their rooms freely (if anyone has ever stayed in a kampung house before, he/she would know about how the room doors are only closed at night), and Aunty Kopitiam complaining that the noise we made were disturbing the customers, we had plenty of glorious fun.

Sometimes when the weather got too hot, we would venture into the kampung house’s basement. A kampung house rests on long stilts, thus creating a hallow space beneath the house that is most convenient as a store room. Some people even keep their chickens and ducks there! Anyway, Popo's basement were used to keep bicycles and other knick-knacks and there, we would play house, tell stories, teach each other to make origami, and a whole lot of other stuff that little gals play.

One day about a year later, I think should be around the end of the school term (it was really a loooong time ago!), I came to find Yuen Yuen (who just finished Standard 1) looking all gloomy and sad. When asked the reason, she said Aunty Kopitiam just told her her mom had decided that sending 2 kids to school is too pricey (with Ting Ting starting school next year). Thus the decision was made that Yuen Yuen should stop school. She was devastated coz she said she loved school!

That was the first time in my life that I’ve heard of anyone dropping out from school due to poverty. I couldn’t imagine what Yuen Yuen would do if she don’t go to school. Aren’t kids SUPPOSED to go to school?

Anyway, a little while after that, Ting Ting told me excitedly that their mom are coming to fetch them and they would go away for good to stay with their mom. I was a little disappointed at the news as that would mean me losing my playmates!

When the day for their mom to come fetch them arrived, I went over to the kopitiam to check things out. It seems that their mom has found herself a husband (he looked twice her age – something I observed even at the age of around 10), with a few (3 I think) teenaged children of his own. A widower too, maybe. Anyway, my playmates were too excited with the prospects of going to live with their mom again as well as having a dad and elder siblings at the same time to bother much with me. After a while, I left. There weren’t any of those romantic partings that we read in books, where best friends would swear to be faithful to each other despite the distance between them or to write letters to each other. We parted just like that, without even a word of goodbye.

A few years later, Popo went to visit the Ah Pek and Aunty kopitiam (who by the way had ceased operations and moved away) and brought me along. I found baby Fong Fong still under their care, though not exactly a baby anymore – 3-4 y/o. However, there was no clue or any news of Yuen Yuen and Ting Ting, even though I listened hard to Popo’s and Aunty kopitiam’s conversation, hoping to catch a mention of their names. And being brought up by Popo in the traditional method of children being seen and not heard, it never occurred to me to actually ask.

I remember the years after our parting… Whenever I was involved in something that included other schools (such as choir competitions, school Expo, friendly matches etc), I would obsessively look around at all the girls, half hoping to spot either Yuen Yuen or Ting Ting in the crowd of strange faces. And I would wonder: “What if I meet them again? Would they still remember me?”

Now, looking back, I realized what pitiful children they were. They were always being bullied by Ah Pek and Aunty kopitiam into doing chores and getting scolded and caned, they seldom get to see their mom and even if she does visit, it was only for a few hours, and not having a dad (about this piece of info, vaguely remember mom [my own] telling me that that was just a story their mother told them, that actually their dad didn’t die - can't believe mom telling such things to a 10+ child!). And having to face the possibility of being plucked out from school at such a tender age, due to poverty! Gosh! But at that time, it didn’t occur to me to pity them. In my eyes, we were equal.

Oftentimes, I would think about them, Yuen Yuen, Ting Ting and baby Fong Fong, and wonder what had happened to them. Yuen Yuen and Ting Ting would be in their 20s by now. What are they doing now? Did they get to finish their schooling, let alone get higher educations? What do they look like now? What kind of lives are they leading with their step-dad and older half-siblings? Where are they now?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

free breakfast...

am always getting such samples on the way to work. sometimes there will be packets of biscuits and bread as well!

Monday, July 25, 2005

am accomplished ice-skater!

ok, maybe 'accomplished' is too strong a word, but i've just completed all the beginner levels and moving on to the intermediate levels! the beginner levels are:

1) pre-alpha
2) alpha
3) beta
4) gamma
5) delta

we (N and i) will be starting our Free Style 1 soon. so proud! but we didn't take any tests, coz tests make us very tension! hahaha... so no certs to show. maybe will consider taking one or two Free Style tests later on...

*note to B:
didn't manage to take the pic u asked, coz our bags were in the lockers and need money to open the doors everytime. will c when N's bf is here, then he can take for us.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

more of my collection

only started this in 2003, so there's not many yet. one regret is that i didn't save any of the shells i picked from pulau tioman in 2001. at that time, it seemed a good idea to throw it all away, along with the memory of the how the shells came about. but oh, let's not get into THAT memory now...

from right to left:
1) Pulau Kapas, Terengganu 24~27/05/03
2) Redang Lang, Pulau Lang Tengah, Terengganu 26~28/06/04
3) Club Med Cherating, Terengganu 25~27/07/04
4) Laguna Beach Resort, Pulau Redang, Terengganu 14~16/08/04
5) Awana Kijal, Terengganu 27~29/06/05

hmm... seems like i'm a beach bum last year. 3 beach/island trips in 3 months! crazy...

finest n whitest sand among all, from Lang Tengah Island. nicest shells too!

oishi ne!


Monday, July 18, 2005

i had a dream

dreamed that i went to buy a little puppy... had a choice between a golden retriever and a pug. so naturally i went for the golden retriever, my fav dog. was so happy... then suddenly a maid appeared, with me giving orders on how to care for the pup. and then suddenly again, the pup turned into a baby! i can still see the baby's face in my mind now... a baby boy. but weird thing is, baby boy was wearing colar! colar is exactly like my previous dog's rainbow coloured one, with a bell in the front. how weird.

when i woke up, felt sad that i can't keep a dog in my apartment now. actually there are a lot of residents keeping dogs in my area, but i know now is not the time lar...

i'm a dog person, have always loved them since very young. am longing for one now... the need to feel needed by a creature that's so unconditional in its love. guess i'm feeling kinda empty now... *sigh...

anyway, back to my dream. what's with the baby??? hmm... could it be my biological clock ticking? really weird. but feel more longing for the pup than for the baby.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


i finally decide to go back on a decision i made earlier, due to short-sightedness. it seemed like the right decision then, but now i realize that things are not so simple. guess i have to bow down to reality.

am bogged down by downheartedness and depression lately. guess the pendulum's on a backward swing again. need a good cry... think i'll go back today and dig out my 'leong san pak & juk ying thoi' (butterfly lovers) vcd from my sad movies collection. nothing like a good cry to cheer one up, however ironic it may seem!

Monday, July 11, 2005

with the cats away...

...the mice come out to play! lurv it when the bosses are not around. one thing good about having 2 offices is that the bosses are required to travel constantly to the other office for meetings n other business related matters. n especially happy abt it if they happen to be away on a monday! :Þ

Thursday, July 07, 2005

my fluffy collection

my bedroom slippers collection over the years...


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

made to be broken?

a friend once taught me: "never make promises that you can't keep".

but what if, there we are, diligently keeping all our promises, when the promises made to us are constantly being broken? wouldn't that put us at the losing end? wouldn't that make us the sucker?

points to ponder for the week: is it justifiable to NOT keep our promises to those who are constantly breaking their promises to us? or should we stick to our principles of keeping promises, even though the rest of the world are breaking them left, right n centre?

pros of breaking promises:
1) get back at them for breaking THEIR promises to us (tit-for-tat, butter for fat. u kill my dog, i'll kill ur cat!)
2) they'll know how it feels like to have promises made to them broken
3) we get to say the things most expected of us and which sounds nice at the moment, without having to be responsible for our words later. it is after all, just words..... (guy: "would u marry me?" gal: "sure, ok". but 1 week later... guy: "let's decide on a date to meet the parents". gal: "wat? hey, i was just agreeing for fun, it's not like i mean it of anything!")
4) can't be accused of being untrustworthy, coz they were the ones who broke their promises to us first (if u can, so can i! dun be double standard har!)
5) get the satisfaction of telling ppl just what they are to us, without having to actually tell them (see, i can't even be bothered to keep a simple promise made to u. so u should know where u stand)

1) it'll eat at our conscience, in total contrast to those promises breakers, who don't have an ounce of conscience
2) we'll be no different from them!
3) other ppl will lose confidence in us n will be known as 'not a gal/guy of her/his words', even tho we only break our promises made to promises breakers
4) spoils relations (even tho' i really can't see the point of having good relations with promises breakers anyway!)