I always thought my childhood was not interesting (too poor to have anything) at all, but actually when I started to link my memory to some old experiences, I think I enjoyed more than most of the kids today.
What else could I do in those day? No shopping centre, transport was so inconvenience (you could take a bus to somewhere and if you were late, no more bus to go home), no computer, cinema was so far away, and no matter how I tried, still could not ride bicycle, so everywhere I went was either by bus or walked all the way. The most important thing was, NO MONEY. So what did I do when I was restless :
My house had a very big compound with about 50 mangosteen trees behind, three mango trees in front of my house, 1 durian tree that seldom bear fruit, when it did bear fruits, would be stolen before it was riped. I climbed trees (mangosteen trees) to the highest I could and swing the tree. Once I fell down from the trees because the branch broke. A kind hearted Atok took me home, and worn me not to climb again. Dare not tell my mom about this, until now it is still a secret. I realised some thing from that fall, that is, don't pull the person up immediately, let the person settle down first.
Seaside was so near my house, I could hear & see the sea from my house. I went swimming almost every evening. Frankly speaking, I only managed to float and soaked or played in the water with friends. With no intention to learn how to swim at all.
Sometimes I went to seaside just to feel the sea breeze, listen to the wave, or catch the little fish and let them go again (1 2, 3 4 5 once I caught a fish alive, 6 7 8 9 10 then I let it go again, remember the song?), or I chased the little crab, WAO! so many, plenty of them running for life, "run! run! run for your life, the giant is coming", I could sense them communicating to each other.
I liked to built sand castle, that was really interesting, I loved to do that, and I built really nice castle, but too bad, the wave would come and take all that away from me. Now I only built castle in my dream.
My family rear chickens & ducks for own consumption. During any of the festivals, my job was to catch the chicken and slaughter it. How did I catch them? I chased the chicken until they got tired and catch them. They usually could run very far but when they were tired, they would still run back to my house, frankly speaking, I was also exhausted by then. I caught them and plug the feather at the neck and slaughtered them with a knife. Still remember the sound although I did it with my eyes closed and head turned to left or right, lift the hand a little to close one ear).
When I was 8 years old I cooked for all my brothers and sisters. At the age of 9, I looked after my younger brother who was just few months old for almost a month when my mother went to Singapore for a holiday, when my mother came back, my brother thought I was the mother, and rejected his real mother.
I played football with my brothers, 5 of them. I remembered I chased the ball very hard but never have the chance to get the ball, and when I got it was when they stop playing. They ignored me just like I was transparent and were not worried I might boycott them and no one else to cook for them. Anyway, I was not angry, because I enjoyed running with them without being asked to get out.
I fought with boys my age and won the fight. Sound like so strong ya, may be he gave way, but I really use all my strength to fight.
Once I was chased by a cow. It got angry when I pulled the tail, and when I ran inside the house he followed me in but got stuck at the door, I was so frightened, really, they could have used the horn to poke my backside or stomach.
The rojak from the mamak stall was very nice, and have a very unique taste, till now I still cannot find it anywhere else. I did go back to the same shop but it tasted different from last time. I think was the sauce that make it so different.
The "Yau Cha Kwai" was also very nice, it is fat, not oily, and with a little garlic smell.
The yellow noodle soup with prawn. That is what my sister and I are still craving for but the same taste are no where to be found now.
Good memories make me happy, bad memories help train me a better and stronger person.