This has been a post that I’ve been meaning to write for a while and since I’ve finally mustered enough content to actually bring out here, here’s just a few aspects of my childhood (or past) that I miss:
My grandmother had a few typewriters, even after we moved out from our previous flat, mostly because of the typing classes and tests she had back in the day. Pushing our usual toys aside (I think we didn’t have much apart from assorted MacDonald’s toys and legos), this was definitely my favourite thing to “play with”, even without the paper.
Sand Pit Playgrounds and Tiled Play Areas
I know that many people love and miss the dragon playground, it being one of the most significant, older playgrounds that we reminisce. I missed the playground that was situated behind my block – the maze and the tower – and the one situated near my paternal grandmother’s – the giant shoe which was generally a huge, covered slide.
When we were much younger, the brother and myself would take different routes within the maze, only to end up at the tower and pretending it’s our “hideout”. You see, we had no such thing as treehouses or cubby houses. But it was always good fun. (This is the point where I go, “OH FUN DAZZLE!”)
Asian Village and the Lost Civilisation
I always remembered these two places as the main attractions of Sentosa, when the monorail was only one way and travelled around the island. Asian Village was a built up village that featured aspects of various Asian cultures. I remembered this activity where you would drop a coin into a metal bowl and rub your palms on the sides until the water jumps for good luck.
Asian Village was also home to Adventure Asia – my first ever theme park. It was great fun there, I still remembered getting scratched by the seat belt of the bumper car. I was five then and my aunt took me with her P6 scouts. Back then 12-year-old boys looked like 16-year-olds. Heh.
The Lost Civilisation was along the Sentosa coast line then, a great place to take photographs and pose with the totem poles and replicas that depicted lost civilisations. These two were demolished to make way for what we know now as Resorts World Sentosa.
They’re gone now, but they were always the best (and free!) attractions in Sentosa then.
“Spin” and “Light Years”
Teen dramas on Channel 5, Singapore’s main English free-to-air channel. Spin started its first broadcast in 1999/ 2000 while Light Years started its first season in 2003. I will sound like a completely gullible person here but these two serials got me intrigued with poly life (a move I never regretted) and they were probably the most relatable shows on free-to-air then anyway.
And as a side note, I’ve always wanted to be in either show – must be the acting background resurfacing.
They kinda speak for themselves yeah? Rectangular biscuits made from Ovaltine – something which I always found much better than the drink itself. They don’t seem to have it in supermarkets anymore but I loved those biscuits even up to now.
I never had their story books, but I read their magazines and comics. How can I possibly forget Smarty, Mimi, Louie, Edison, Sam Seng, Dollah, Ani, Simone, Porky, and Kokku? Until now, I really can’t seem to find anything local that can parallel the mysteries and short stories (genre fiction, no less) the books and magazines always told.
I have one line for this memory – “Can someone bring them back, please?”
Or we’ll do it ourselves. Heh.
It was made in 1987 and shown again in high quality in the 2000s. A comedy written by Michael Chiang about National Service in Singapore, starring Ahamed Asad (Krishna), Sheikh Haikel (Johari), Adrian Lim (Ah Beng), Kevin Verghese (Kenny), and Edward Yong (Malcolm). If you asked me about my favourite local film, it has to be Army Daze, hands down.
Seriously, who could forget the line, “AH HUAY! AH HUAY! TAKE PICTURE TAKE PICTURE!” (Okay fine, my father loves this line and uses it for every opportunity he can when he wants to take photos)
Many of these memories may be similar, especially to Singaporeans born before the 90s. This list is non-exhaustive, but you can take a look at other memories here or via the #sgMemory hashtag on Twitter =).