Thursday, January 12, 2006

Spring cleaning and memories

My Life Today

Today I begin a new life, so
I will greet each day with love in my heart.
I will persist until I succeed, for
I am nature's greatest miracle.
I will live this day as if it is my last, and
Today I will be master of all my emotions.
I will laugh at the world, and
Today I will multiply my value a hundred fold.
I will act - now - and
I will pray for guidance.

I found this little gem while doing some spring cleaning in my work room. I got this from Dr Allan Somersall when I was actively involved in multi-level marketing Shaklee. Seems like aeons ago!

Spring cleaning my work room have been fun but so much work! It's been a while since I've cleared my stuff. I can see the different phases in my life going, sifting through junk and things that bring back so much memory - good and bad. I also found my report cards from primary and secondary school! Also found a journal I kept when I was in Form 4 and 5. Ah, going through the mind of a teenage girl again. Noting down everything including how the guy I had a crush on said something which got me upset. I didn't note down what he said though. Why was I so upset? I wrote about being in the girl guides, about meeting friends and shopping at the Emporium in SEA Park which was above the market. What are some of the memories from my school days?

1. Friends I used to hang out with, mostly from Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. My friends Yok Chi, Phaik Chin, Fui See, Chung Wen, Warrick, Bobby, Swee Kit. My classmates from secondary school Sharon, Chwee Peng, Angeline, Gordon, Kevin, Char Choon, Hock Huat, Wai Ying and many more. My primary school mates Juliane, Angeline, Audrey, Felicia, Fauziah, Azleen, Mogesh, Su Mun, Jaqueline, Adeline, etc. I've kept in touch with some of my school friends, including some from primary school! I do wonder what has happened to some of former classmates, especially Char Choon and Gordon. There was something about Char Choon. He made people feel good about themselves. I've not seen him since we left school. Gordon was a very special person to me in school. Nope, we didn't date. He has a heart of gold and was like a big brother to everyone. An incident I remember was one of our classmates didn't have money to pay his school fees. Gordon rallied the whole class to help this classmate of ours. We gave whatever we could from our pocket money and managed to raise enough for the school fees. We used to speak Hokkien to each other although Gordon's surname is Simandjoentak. Gordon and I kept in touch a few years after we left school but I've not heard from him in almost 15 years. I even remember my best friend from kindergarten! Her name was Patricia Chan and she had long hair. Hehehe...

2. Girl Guide meetings, campfire and gatherings. The biggest headache in GG was organising the campfire/gathering. We used to have actual campfires. The scouts and guides would go into the rubber plantation which is now Taman SEA SS23 and Taman Megah to gather rubber wood for our campfires. We had limited budget, yet we were under pressure to be the best campfire event. Having gone to other campfire and gatherings organised by other troops and companies, we felt we needed to be better than the ones we went to. I was the Company Leader, so the pressure was on me and the organising committee. Song book/programme need to be designed and printed, the F&B sorted, firewood collected jointly by the scouts and guides, invitations need to be sent out to the other troops and companies, we need to plan entertainment and rehearse, decide what games to play and songs to sing. So much to do!

3. Playing "Uno" in class. In Form 4 and 5, my classmates and I got hooked on Uno big time. We used to play whenever we could. Towards the end of the year, when our teachers have covered the syllables for the year, we were given "free period" to do as we please although that meant revision of our books. We played Uno.

4. Teachers... We had our share of good teachers and bad ones. There was a PE teacher in secondary school who stirred up so much unpleasantness that she had her named spray painted on the school wall by an unhappy student. Did I mention my school was also known as "gangster school". We also had a teacher who turned heads whenever she walk past the classroom, especially the boys. She was gorgeous! I've kept in touch with one of my class teachers from primary school, Miss Angela Wong. She was gentle yet firm.

5. The school girl crushes! I had my share of them. Does he like me as much as I like him? Get to school and look out for a glimpse of the guy I liked. Why didn't he notice that I've changed my hairstyle?

6. The songs! My schoolmates and I used to follow the UK Top 10 on Top Of The Pops. Not every household had a VCR yet, so those who could gathered at a friend's house to watch the latest Top 10 video. My parents were really strict and forbade me going to my friend's house. "What? Boys and girls together at home unsupervised? No, cannot!" Aiya, I only wanted to hang out with my friends and watch the TOTP lah, no hanky panky planned. Cannot wor... Didn't stop me from following the charts though. We all knew what was in the No. 1 spot every single week. We sang along to Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, The Cure, Tears For Fears, Cyndi Lauper, Kate Bush, etc. I can't believe songs from the 80's are considered Retro now! When I went to the Hoobastank concert with my nephew last year, songs by Tears For Fears were played before the concert. I was getting into the mood for a concert by singing along and dancing. Then I looked around and realised I was the only one doing that. I was surrounded by teenagers, one of whom commented "What lousy songs are they playing?". Then I told my 14-year-old nephew that I used to listen to TFF when I was in school. If they were to hold a concert in KL, I'll be there! Then Byran turned to me and said, "Are they still alive?"

7. My mother doesn't understand me! Raging teenage hormones and the rebelling spirit ruled in my teenage years. Hey, I knew everything and my mom was so uncool. My dad? Ermm... Too scared of him to say much. But deep down I knew my dad was a sweetie and he had a soft spot for me.

8. My first date! A scout I met at a campfire kept in touch with me. He offered to help me with my Add Math by giving me tuition. Then he asked me out. My mom didn't know this or she would have killed me! We arranged to meet at Arby's in Asia Jaya (now it's Armada Hotel). I agreed to meet him, then I panicked! I called up my good friend, Chwee Peng (we've been friends since we were 7) to come along with me. My date then called his friend to join us too. I needed CP as an alibi too or my parents wouldn't have let me out of the house. We had a nice time at Arby's, then we were going to walk over to Thrifty's. I wore heels for the first time. The walk from Asia Jaya to Thrifty felt like a life time in those heels! Finally, I couldn't take the pain anymore. My date was going to buy me a pair of shoes in Thrifty's. Ermm... his taste in shoes as I remember was rather old-fashioned. I ended up getting a pair of cheap flip-flops just so I could get to a bus stop to go home.

9. The Asia Pacific Jamborella 1984-1985 in Victoria, Australia. My father agreed to finance my trip to the Jamborella and I was estatic! I almost couldn't go 'coz my dad fell down and broke his hip bone 2 weeks before I was scheduled to go. My father insisted that I go on the trip and I am eternally grateful to him for having given me the opportunity. The trip also meant a lot because my father had just lost his job when the company he had worked more than 10 years in closed their Malaysian operation. Due to his age at that time (he was in his 40's), he could only get a low paying job in another company. I didn't know all this until later as my parents shielded my brothers and I from "grown-up matters". I spent a few days with an Australian family in Rosebud, Victoria before going to Dandenong for 10 days of camping. I had a tough time understanding the Aussies. The Clark family I stayed with had a son in his early 20's who was in the navy and a teenage daughter a year younger than me but already started working. Clark Jr loved chatting with me and told me lots of interesting stories about his Navy experienced. If only I could understand most of what he said! The Jamborella was really fun. After the Jamborella, I stayed with the McPhan family who had two sons and a daughter. One of the sons was really handsome! I made lots of friends in the Jamborella. Found two letters, from Dearne Dray and Melinda Dean, during my spring cleaning. I had a best friend in Jamborella named Amanda Culpan. I spent so much time in the sun, when I arrived at the airport, I stood in front of my mother and she couldn't recognise me.

10. Haircuts at the hairdressing school of Peter & Guys and Thomas & Guys. We were all on a budget then, so to be stylish without paying a lot of money was to be the "model" for hairdressing students in P&G and T&G. I could change my hairstyle every month by paying only RM3 for a wash & cut. I continued going to the hair schools for my haircuts even when I left school. One of the students asked me to be his exam model and we became friends. William was my clubbing buddy for a while.

I wonder where some of people I've mentioned are. I've kept in touch with quite a few of my former schoolmates and a few have moved overseas.

It's been fun reminiscing...


Anonymous geetha said...

Fuyoo! You are still keeping your report cards ah? I was keeping mine even after school, but no more.. no place for my junks oredi.. onlu my boyz junks!

3:37 pm  
Blogger Adriene said...

wow, you sure have a wealth of memories... how wonderful :) make good stories to tell ur laura and adam.

as for me, i don't have so many memories to look back upon. guess my teenhood was only "so so" and not incredible lol

well, thank u for sharing :) made me smile.

6:09 pm  
Blogger Min said...

Geetha, finding my report cards and journal was really good. When my kids are teenagers, I can remind myself I was once hormonal and rebellious too when I was a teenager. Hahahaha!

Spent so much time listening to songs and memorizing all the lyrics. Analysing each song as I'm listening. Whenever a crush doesn't work out, drag out some songs to listen to. "Through the Fire" by Chaka Khan still reminds me of an ex-boyfriend.

6:30 pm  
Blogger Lian said...

Wow, those are fantastic memories. Some things I can relate to like the Uno playing in class during free time. Hehehe. But I attended Convent so no boy friends growing up. Actually grew up not knowing how to talk, relate, react to boys. Thank goodness I eventually grew out of it. Heheheh.
So, basically where I'm staying now is where you grew up. Kewl! So what gangster school did you go to?

By the way, be careful your children don't use your journal against you one day -- "Mummy, you were like that to what."

Oh, one last thing. I thought it interesting you mention "Just Do It" in your last comment to me coz' I use to work in Nike.

10:55 pm  
Blogger Min said...

Lian, didn't know you used to work in Nike! :D

The former "gangster" school is now quite reputable wor. Produced a few well known people like Richard La Faber, Carmen Soo and Patsy Kam (The Star). Not bad also lah. The former "gangster" school is SEA Park School or now known as SMK Taman SEA.

The school will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year on 20th May. If you know any former SEAParkians, do let them know. I shall post details later.

As for my children using what I've blogged against me... I've thought about it. However, can work to my advantage. I am reminded that as a hormonal teenager, I used to do silly/crazy stuff too. They will realise that their mom is only human :D

2:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember that emporium above the market in SEA Park. Now it's some dingy joint but the market is still there though. I used to love going to that emporium, got my first barbie doll from there (it used to cost an arm and a leg back then!). u brought back some good ol' memories. Thanks.

10:47 am  
Blogger Min said...

Hi Anonymous, ya I used to frequent the Emporium. At first with my parents, just walking around after dinner. Used to drool over the toys. You got a Barbie from there?! Could only see but not allowed to buy wor. When in secondary school, I bought lots of hair clips and stuff from there. Great place for cheap compilation cassette tapes too, for those on a budget like me.

It's now a karaoke lounge place now, isn't it?

Is the fried kuey teow and assam laksa van still there near the flower stall?

12:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got my first barbie from that emporium but that was after looking at it for years (wishing and praying for it) and eventually got one when I was in Std 6! So old to play with it then so I took a pair of scissors and cut of it's hair! Something I had always wanted to do from the day I laid eyes on it.

I too collected my cassettes from there back then.

Yep, those vans are still there but I dont know how people eat there...the stench from the market is unbearable. We usually ta-pow. The food is super.

12:59 pm  
Blogger Min said...

Vanitha, you thought Barbie could do with a make-over? Hahahaha!

You're right about the stench from the market. Amazing that the vans still do such good food business, so close to the smell.

There is an Indian Rojak van in the afternoon outside the corner grocery shop. Yumm!

Talk about food again...

1:08 pm  
Anonymous Adam said...

Wow, I went to the Jamborella and met Amanda, I think I met you too. I kept in touch with Amanda for a few months afterwards but then lost touch. Still have a photo of her taken at the camp. Thanks for jogging my memories.

8:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi min,
just found out about ur blog.
remember Gordon,check out this web addr.

10:26 pm  

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