Down Memory Lane

Alycia has been assigned by her high school Drama Club teacher-in-charge to organize an end-of- year school trip for Drama Club members.   The destination of choice is Ipoh but she’s open to other places as long as the trip is within the budget of RM200 per student.  So Alycia called my parents to ask them for contact numbers. Today my mum Whatsapped me the brochure of YMCA Ipoh. And the sight of YMCA on the brochure flooded my memories back like torrential rain!

That year was 1987. I was in Form 2 @ MGS Ipoh. The forth formers (just like Alycia who’s in Form 4 now) organized a trip to KL and I begged mum to let me join this trip with my besties.  It was a dream come true when she agreed.  The day came and we took a big long tour bus with air-cond (very rare in those days!) to KL. That was my maiden school trip out of Ipoh and into KL, a place that I’d always wanted to visit.

When we reached KL, we were checked into YMCA.  We were brought to visit all the fun-filled places in KL (Batu Caves, Zoo Negara, Museum, The Mall, airport in Subang Jaya, etc) and from KL we adjourned to Melaka for a day trip before heading back to Ipoh.  At YMCA, about 4 or 5 of my besties and I were placed in a room. There wasn’t any en suite and we had to walk a few meters away to the bathroom and toilets which were not well kept or cleaned. Till today I still have nightmares of those bathrooms and toilets 😱

Besides the nightmarish toilets, there were cockroaches flying in our room. Mother of all horror for me!!!!!  I remember screaming and running like a headless chicken when chased by those huge roaches with flappy wings Oh. My. Gawd.!!!   Also, beside our room were a bunch of rowdy gangsterish Malay boys who kept disturbing us by knocking on the wall to ‘call’ us. They also kept wolf calling us and knocking on our door the entire night. We were scared to death that we would all be gang raped and murdered in the room at YMCA KL. We dared not even go to the toilet and had to hold back our pee the entire night for fear of being raped by those boys 😆  We even pushed our beds against the room door as we were scared shit that those boys would break down the door to look for us  🤣  Yeah, can’t blame a bunch of 13 and 14-year old melodramatic girls, can you?  Besides all these discomfort, we nonetheless had TONS of fun throughout our trip.   If only I could turn back the clock to relive those happy carefree teenage days!

Besides a once a year school trip or holiday that my papa would bring us, our daily lives were pretty much mundane and simple. We were usually already in bed by 9:30 p.m.  We had no electronic devices and our only entertainment back then was TV.  TV programs were pretty limited too and I whiled away my time watching female wrestling series at night – whatcha call that series already? Gladiators or something?

My Gen Z / dopamine frazzled zombies teenage girls – can’t live without their phones and boba tea. I have banned them from adding boba / pearls into their tea and they can only order milk tea without sugar or with the least sugar.

No. of times viewed = 18

Down Memory Lane

When my brothers and I were small, our favorite past time activities were playing badminton, climbing guava trees, catching tadpoles in rain water filled drains, cycling for miles everyday, playing card games with our neighborhood kids, flying kites, playing marbles, ‘congkak’ and much, much more.  I remember plucking flowers grown at the compound of some random houses to suck the sweet nectar from the flowers. I knew which flowers had nectar and which didn’t.  Every evening at 4-ish or 5-ish pm would be happy hour for my brothers and me. After watching Flinstones and Scooby Doo, we would dash out of the house to play with the other kids who were all boys, everyday.  I was very much a tomboy.  We spent a lot of time outdoors in the evening, about 2 hours everyday right until dinner was ready. My maternal granny was a fantastic cook and all her dishes were very sumptuous, though she used inexpensive ingredients.

I remember playing with dirt and soil in my garden, sticking my hands into the soil and digging out earth worms to play with these wriggly creatures. I don’t remember even washing my  hands afterwards. And I don’t even remember my mum being overly clean with us.

I cycled to the river bank (without my mum’s knowledge) on my own at 9 years old to admire the scenery of the serene river and to another neighborhood just to pluck flowers and to play with dogs from people’s houses. I crashed my bicycle and flew like super girl onto the road a couple of times with badly grazed limbs.  At 16, I rode on a racing bicycle for about 5 km every Sunday morning, braving and crossing congested traffic on big roads to attend Chemistry tuition. I got chased by dogs and nearly crashed my racing bicycle into the drain.  When I turned 8 or maybe 9, I started to walk to the sundry shop about 5 minutes walk away from my house to help my mum buy flour and other groceries. She would always give me an extra 10 sen to buy hawflakes or maltose candy.  In those days (from late 1970s through 1980s), kidnaps and road accidents were hardly heard of. I wonder what would happen to city kids now if they were to partake in all those activities that I mentioned here. They would be really, really lucky to get back home in one piece.

Once in a blue moon, my papa would bring the entire family for a movie treat. The 6 of us comprising my dad, mum, my 2 brothers, my maternal granny and I  would cramp into my papa’s yellow Datsun 120Y car.  I remember very vividly the movies that we watched together in the early 80s – The Ten Commandments, Poltergeist (1982), Star Wars I, Superman I and II, Possessed, Bewitched and many Jackie Chan movies.  Papa was a big fan of Jackie Chan.  Before we entered the cinema, my papa would treat us to boiled groundnuts wrapped in cone shaped newspapers sold at a cart outside the cinema. After the movie, we  would all walk to a nearby roadside stall to have supper of ‘tong sui’ and ‘kuih talam’.  Our life was this simple yet content back in the 80s.

Two weekends ago, the mil made a trip back to Ipoh to attend a wedding dinner. Before she returned to KL, she collected some goodies that my dad had prepared for his beloved daughter and grand daughters in KL. He cooked 3 bottles of pandan kaya, roasted some peanuts and pumpkin seeds and bought a big bag of raw groundnuts for us.  He knows we all love eating boiled soft groundnuts. Thank you so much my dear papa for your unconditional love to us always 💕💕

Each time I eat boiled groundnuts, I would think of my cinema nights with my papa and my  beloved family in Ipoh in the 80s. Money did not come very easily for us back then and we had to share our coneful of groundnuts. When we didn’t have enough groundnuts for sharing, we would suck on the groundnut shells, which were salty and tasty.  My younger brother and I even had to share one seat in the cinema but we were very happy. I miss my simple and fulfilling childhood growing up in the beautiful town of Ipoh 💕💕

No. of times viewed = 3

Blast From The Past – Hidden Treasure

During the girls’ school holiday spent in Ipoh in June 2014, while my mum was digging out my old ‘treasure’ from her antique ‘treasure chest’ for the girls consisting of my three-decade old collection of Sanrio stationery items, the girls stumbled upon some old post cards in a chocolate box where I put all my most loved things.

They were some post cards that my dear papa sent to me from Japan and Taiwan, dating back to December 1984.  I was 10 years old then.  I felt like I was going through a real time tunnel when I read the post cards.  I still remember very vividly receiving those post cards after waiting for them for weeks. I remember standing at the front door to wait for the postman to come everyday. I would run out of the house to check the post box each time the postman on bicycle rang the bell on his bicycle.

When I finally received the post card from my papa, I remember reading it over and over and over again, till I could purge out every single word in the post card when I closed my eyes 🙂

This post card from my papa is dated 6 December 1984, sent from Osaka, Japan.    He told me that he went round looking for the musical box that I had requested him to buy for me but they were all too expensive, so he did not buy one.  He told me that he would get the musical box for me from Taiwan at his next stop.


Hidden treasure – post cards from my papa that I had kept for 30 glorious years!


The next post card from my papa, sent from Taiwan, dated 10 December 1984.  He told me that he could still not find me a musical box.  I was crestfallen.


But a big surprise awaited me when he returned to Ipoh from his holiday!   He surprised me with a very pretty musical box and loads of goodies from Tokyo Disneyland!  I remember clearly that he bought me a very cute bag in the shape of Mickey Mouse head and three gigantic pencils, each for my brothers and me from Tokyo Disneyland. That day was one of the happiest for me as a little girl. Life back then was so simple.   Those gifts from overseas meant so much to a 10-year old ‘kampung’ girl, LOL!

In my next trip to Ipoh, I must remember to hunt for the musical box that my papa bought for me. I know it is hidden in the same treasure chest.

How many of you are still keeping the letters and post cards that you parents or friends sent to you when you were a kid? Apart from these post cards from my papa, I am still keeping the letters that my best friends and pen pals from Germany and Hong Kong sent to me.  They are priceless gems!  Reading them gives me the warm fuzzies 🙂



No. of times viewed = 686

Down Memory Lane

When I was at my parents in Ipoh recently, I stumbled upon some very old pix of me and my 2 older girls when they were much younger, stored in my mum’s PC. These pix sure brought back a lot of fond memories…

This picture was taken during Valentine’s Day in 2006 at our old home just before the great flood that damaged it. Sherilyn was 2 days shy of her 1st birthday and Alycia was 26 months old. Both of them looked so chubby and cute. I looked much younger and prettier too. Now, I am older and look more ‘charn’ (haggard) 🙁

Alycia was about 3-4 months old here.  She was a very huge baby, weighing in at 3.36kg at birth though she came 2 weeks earlier by elective c-section. She was our pride and joy as my hubs and I had gone thru a very very long and emotional journey to get her.

Alycia loved to suck her fist…

This is Sherilyn when she was about 1 month old.  She looked very red when she was an infant.  She was also a very constipated baby who would only poo poo once in 3-7 days!

No. of times viewed = 525

Fond Childhood Memories

Hubby bought a bunch of  lin thoong (fresh lotus seeds in pod) when we were in Ipoh last week. Gosh, it has been yonks since I last ate or saw fresh lotus seeds in pod. It sure brought me back many fond childhood memories when I saw this bunch of lin thoong :

The white seed on the left is the freshly peeled lotus seed and the green one on the right is the lotus seed still in its skin, which is hard and rubbery like. Removing the lotus seeds from the pod is quite a feat too.  Removing the tiny green core in the middle of the lotus seed is another tedious chore… and popping the fresh sweet seed into the mouth is like a reward!

I’ve never seen these in markets in KL. Fresh lotus seeds in pod are normally sold in wet markets in Ipoh… coz in Ipoh, there are still many farmers growing lotus roots in ponds.

My late maternal grandma used to buy us lin thoong when we were little. She, my 2 brothers and I would have loads of fun peeling and munching those lin thoong at night to while away our time. During those donkey years, there were no Astro, no computer games, no fanciful shopping malls and our entertainment was normally outdoor activities and simple pleasure like eating lin thoong and groundnuts.

These are some pix taken at my parents’ in Ipoh recently :

Sherilyn cheh cheh giving baby a ride on the tricycle.

My 3 angels spending their last evening in Ipoh with koong koong and granny. 

No. of times viewed = 235

What’s That Creature?

When Sherilyn saw this creature gliding up our oven door one morning a few days ago, she went “mummy, what’s that?” When I took a look, I saw a baby snail slithering up the oven. The snail had actually come from a bunch of vegetables that we had bought and left leaning against the oven door. This is the first time Sherilyn had seen a baby snail. More than 20 years ago, the sight of a snail slithering outside our garden was so common. My brothers and I used to play with these snails. We also played with sand, marbles, kites, climbed trees, cycled round the neighbourhood, plucked flowers from our neighbours’ trees, played inside drains, played hopscotch, played ‘kor kuang’ a.k.a. passing the border (LOL!), etc. every evening for hours without the supervision of our parents, yet nothing bad happened to us. Now, if I had left my gals to play outside the compound of our house for more than an hour without supervision, I dread to think what would have happened to them. Times have really changed.

No. of times viewed = 234

Sweet Memories (part 2)

When I was back at my house in Ipoh, I managed to fish out a couple of my old pix whilst I was rummaging through my old closet.

This pic was taken in Pulau Kapas, Terengganu during one of our camping trips when I was 16 years old. I am the one wearing a peach colour t-shirt on the right and the one seated on the wooden bridge is Theimperfectmom. The one directly above Theimperfectmom is Irene, a former Ipoh Teen Princess. She’s now happily married to an Aussie Taiwanese and residing in S’pore. The one on the left is Jo and currently working in San Francisco. The tallest one behind me is Poh Lin. I haven’t heard from her for ages but I last heard that she’s now a psychologist.

This pic was taken when we were all 15 years old, during our very first camping trip at Pulau Sekadeh in Pangkor Island. From left to right : Li Lian, me, Jo and Theimperfectmom.

How I miss my childhood days and I must say, I’ve had a very good childhood, filled with lots of fun, adventure, mischief and laughter. I’d do anything if only I could turn back the clock.

No. of times viewed = 201

Sweet Memories

As promised, when I was back in Ipoh, I’d taken pix of hubby’s love cards to me during our courting days. Most of the cards were DIY cards by hubby who, I must admit is quite an artistic person.

This is my very 1st Valentine’s Day card from hubby, received when I was barely 14 years old.

Hubby made this card himself to send me his best wishes for my SRP exam when I was 15 years old.

Hubby made this Valentine’s Day card for me, which was my 2nd Valentine’s Day card from him, when I was 15 years old.

Another DIY Valentine’s Day card from hubby to me, when I was 16 years old.

I’m sure many of you would be curious as to when I first met my hubby and when we first started dating. He met me in my old house in Ipoh when he came to visit my big brother (they were classmates) and it was love at first sight for him. I was only 12 years old then and he was 13+ years old. We only went out for our first date when I was 17 yrs old and we got married 10 years later.

No. of times viewed = 306