Archives for Shared Experiences

We didn’t have much, yet we were rich

I was born in the mid 1960s, a time when Malaysia was newly formed and thriving as an infant in nationhood. Life was much simpler and the pace was slower then. We didn’t have much materially, yet we were rich because we cared and shared with one another! In school, my friends and I spent a lot of time interacting with one another face-to-face. We would look forward to seeing each other every day to chit chat and shared games like galah panjang and our very own version of high jump which used rubber band ropes hand-banded together with...
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Where have all the uncles gone?

It’s 10am and I’m packing my school bag, ‘pon pon pon’ sounds in the distance. I grab the house keys and run to the door shouting ‘Uncle, Chee Cheong Fun!’. Ah! My lunch has arrived at our doorstep. I grab a plate and carry it out for my fill of Chee Cheong Fun and fish ball. I watch expectantly as Uncle chops up the Chee Cheong Fun and gives my fish balls a quick dip in his pot of boiling water. Then he adds a scoop of sauce or curry and a dash of oil and toasted sesame seeds....
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Market report

When I was young, I used to accompany my Wan (grandmother) to the market. We lived in a predominantly Chinese community, thus the first thing we would notice at the market is the Chinese prayer altar and the smell of incense intermixed with the smells of fresh appam made to order by the Indian auntie. Certain times of the year, there will be a Chinese opera stage blocking the entrance to the market, and the whole place will be abuzz with Cantonese and Hokkien dialects, of actors running around in costume with their faces half made up, and runner...
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Shared Experiences

I don’t think there’s a Malaysian festival that I don’t like

I don’t think there’s a Malaysian festival that I don’t like and I think we are very fortunate that we have many of them. In my family alone, we celebrate at least three main ones as we’re a huge but close knit family with members of different races and religions. Chinese New Year is, of course, a major celebration and every member of the family, no matter which part of the world they’re in, would gather at my parents house for 15 days of feasting. My parents are quite traditional and insist that we all keep to the many...
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Were there any bad men last night?

I live in a gated community but no, it’s not one of those upscale neighbourhoods where houses cost close to or upwards of RM1 million. Mine is a regular housing area and the gated element is just simple metal bars that are manually controlled by guards whom every household in the neighbourhood pitched in to hire. The guard house is more of a guard post, with just a few chairs and a fan. Yes, one of those that you see everywhere in the Klang Valley these days. Whenever my Appa visits us, he would take a jibe at this...
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Shared Experiences

Got listen to your cikgu or not?

“When I was in primary school, like most kids at the time, I was ferried to school by the bas sekolah. Our house was at the start of the road so I was the first kid to be picked up. I liked to sit right behind the driver so that I could chat with him. Uncle Nathan was a burly man with a stern face but he loved to tell jokes. I would tell Uncle Nathan what Mak cooked the day before, my favourite scenes from the cartoons or what games I planned to play after school while he...
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