Thursday, June 01, 2006

Long Story.

I was born on the Penang Island on 11 March 1991. The doctor said was underweight then and was supposed to appear on this earth somewhere in April. But now I'm no where underweight. I ate and slept and yawned and cried for 10 months in Penang until my parents decided to move down to Singapore. There I grew up as a toddler, watching The Morning News at 8 in the morning because no cartoon was being broadcasted at that hour of the day, on my own as my mum would finish her last hours of night shift as a nurse in the A&E Department and then she will come home and accompany me. She would bring me down to NTUC 'its a store and more' to get groceries and buy me plain Vitagen. Then she accompanies me to Tumble Tots to have fun when I was 3, but I cried because rolling around on floormats was kinda scary for me. My dad would come back home from Toa Payoh at 7pm. We eat dinner. And I find my joy and playtime in the (clean) kitchen sink and washing machine tub. When I was four I went to Nursery School just down my block 146 in Simei. I never cried like other kids when my mum left me having fun ticking yes or no questions and watching bad power rangers videos which I never reported to my mum about it. My dad will come back home at night as usual. My uncle and cousin stayed with us. My uncle bought me educational diskettes which were gigantic then. I enjoyed playing them for a year or two and then our computers never worked with those huge diskettes anymore. When I was 5 I wore blue sailors kindergarten uniform to PAP preschool which were everywhere around town. Everyday I would race with my friend Grace who must be quite intellectual now, along the corridor before I walked back home up the flat's block 146. Come evening I seat on my dad's lap watching him play windows 95's very addictive game called 'Chip Challenge'. My cousin who was studying in Temasek Polytechnic then, knew all the passwords for Chip Challenge but my dad never used them. He went level by level. Sooner or later I had learned the game myself and would play it after Kintergarten at 6. We used computers in school for some educational program especially Chinese subject which I disliked then. I remembered putting much effort in writing a Chinese Syllable and being so proud of it and when I showed it to the teacher, she told me to erase the whole thing and write it again because it was written upside down in the book. And then I was demoted from Green Table to Red Table by the class teacher (who always pronounced my surname as Chim) because I was getting chattier in class by the second half of the year simply because I had more and more friends . On Saturdays I had a crammed schedule. My mother chauffeurs me to Swimming class at 8am in the morning and then the useless Yamaha Junior Music Course in Tampines Mall at 10am. Then off to the Food Court where I always thought the food my dad ordered was much tastier than mine. Not long after that I realized school term ended. We went to Penang for a Holiday (I think) and my dad enrolled me in Chung Hwa for Standard one. And because of the Economic Crisis in 1997 dad decided to stay at the Southern Region and I was enrolled not in Foon Yew 1, not in Foon Yew 2, but in Foon Yew 3 because places in the first 2 schools were fully occupied. They said I am a Chinese therefore I need a Chinese based education, at least for primary school. I had difficulty speaking Chinese in standard one. Somebody called me an idiot in Chinese but I didn't know what it meant then. But I caught the pasar malam Chinese pretty quick because I had some very chatty friends. Chinese school was nice in Standard one, but after that in was pure horror. The teacher caned students more frequently than my mother who disciplines me when I get naughty. Come Standard 3 we get to choose our cocurricular activities. I was very exicited about it and set my mind on the Red Cross Society because it had a nice white attire. But then my whole class was chosen to join the school band. It was like the most prestigious club in the school. I wasn't too keen at first but things went well. New members only get to play the shepherd's flute (whistle actually). It was a lot more louder and brighter sounding than a recorder. I got to play in the main band when I was Standard 3 already. Standard 4 we had the chance to grab the instruments we wanted from the music room because the Standard 6 seniors left the band already. I wanted the snare drum so badly because it was like the coolest instrument ever in the band because they do the catchy beat and and the fancy drumstick stunt and they stand in the first row. I was a tad slow there were no more drums left. So I simply grabbed a case nearby. Not too sure what was inside. I sat down with my friends in the assembly place and opened the case. It was a Silver Trumpet. I played. It was hard. There was only one coach with so many members so we had only 10 minutes on our part during the whole practice session. I experimented the trumpet on my own hoping to play a decent tune. We performed on many occasions, for all those we practiced hard under the sun on hot tar, playing music with people we love. Come standard 5 we had the chance to swab instruments. This time I got a Golden Jupiter Trumpet. It came out Shining. It was new and easy to play. And we could even bring it home to practice. I was delighted. Until the day we had to forfeit our instruments for our final run in primary school, UPSR. We said our last goodbyes and promised to meet up every Chinese new year with our Class teacher of 2002/2003. And we still do. Then I stepped into Convent because I thought it was the coolest school in JB. Many things happen. Form 1 I still had the Chinese school diligent culture. After that I met some very chatty friends and I got lazier. Form 3 I met another 4 souls which became my closest friends in school after that; and a Royal Flush for PMR. Form 4 was the hardest to pull through; nonetheless we attained Johor's Gold Cup in the National Competition with 4 others teams in the JB district. Form 5 was a breeze- after our last massive International Understanding Day it was boring till the end. Boring till it made me purchased an acoustic piano and violin to kill time. I didn't study much, just making sure I understand my text books, and then, SPM. It was fair enough to get me into Singapore Polytechnic's Diploma in Architecture. So back again to Singapore, although still Malaysian. No matter what disappointing happenings in the school after I left, today I still think Convent is the Coolest School in Johor Bahru to be in. At least for my half a decade in it. Until I reach my next milestone in life then I will record down some more, bye bye

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