Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back in the days .. 1992/1993

Long time since i post, & gonna post this for Clar's reading pleasure. Since i haven't pen anything worthy for a while, i shall begin with a throwback post. 

When i was very very little, but had a smaller cousin in hand to take care of, we use to do stayover at my Grandma's place alot. Its a weekly affair & one i grew so use to, that i stop bring clothes over. Sometimes i do, when i anticipate hanging out with my grandma heading to areas that's slightly more "atas". Mostly we just spend the morning heading to the market (for some strange reason she loves hanging out at the coffeeshop there). 

At every trip to gran's, i make it a habit to dig through the cupboard of [clothes] in her room. These were clothes with no identity & were kept in the cupboard for all of her 10+ grandchildren to wear. Some clothes are too big to wear but i enjoy wearing them because they make me look older. Some are sexier in my  young mind & that was where i was aiming when i was so little.. haha .. needless to say most time my outfit gets rejected by Gran then i head back into the room spending another 20min assembling another one she wouldnt say no to.. 

If we are lucky, Gran has a habit of leaving cash in every drawer she come across, & finder's keeper so we had extra pocket money to head to school come Monday. Sometimes my cousins & i pool our "effort" together to dig through all of the drawers & combine our treasure hunt. Then with what's the little coins we can add up, we head downstairs to the Mamashop, also an old friend of Grandma, where we spend an hour or so, deciding on a sweet we can all share. I remember how i use to volunteer myself if Grandma runs out of ketchup or oyster sauce while cooking, in fact we ALL volunteer ourselves to run these errands because we get to keep the loose change when she hands us the money. 

Most of my childhood days was spend with the cousins because our Grandma used to make it mandatory that every family gather at her place for dinner every weekend. Our childhood was also filled with money because we were always comparing with each other on these subjects. Somedays we do awfully embarrassing things to "earn" money. Once, we dig through Gran's kitchen for treats (she buys them alot cos she enjoy treating us) & we gather our pocket money tgr to buy a plastic bag of sweets for the Mama shop downstiars (back then $0.20 can get us like 5 Hacks sweets, so it was a huge deal). Then we will wrap every sweet with a packet of biscuits we found at the kitchen, tied them we ribbon we steal from Gran's sewing machine, then place them all in a basket. The girls will don in their best attire with hair done nicely & the guys will climb ontop of Gran's fine cabinet & hang around the window facing the corridor that leads to every other neighbour's house. Then the girls will set off to walk along the corridor, carrying the baskets of treats & selling them for $1 each. The boys will be in charge of shouting & screaming for attention. 

we were a cray-cray fun bunch of cousins, & very attention seeking if you ask me.. haha... the neighbours were good friends with Grandma because she was known for babysitting children in her block as well as the other blocks around Jurong West St 42. Needless to say, we usually garner a good sales & finish "selling" everything off the basket, at $1 each. At the end of the evening we will split the money among ourselves, eat a fulfilling dinner whip out by Grandma, and head home satisfied. 

Since there were 2 days on weekend, i will choose to sleepover at Grandma's for the additional day, then by morning at around 7 am she will wake me up & force me to wash up. After i am done, she will carry me & drop me in the old-school market basket (the kind made of metal & roller wheels)& off we head to the market (Jurong Centrel)... i remember so well how popular Grandma was because she had people saying "good morning" to her every couple of blocks away. She was quiet old woman, but when she speaks she was full of energy. We will hit the first wet market when she settled all the meat & fish to buy for the week before heading for the vegetables. I guess that was how i grew fond of cooking; by a young age i knew how to pick vege that looks green enough for dinner. 

I wont say i am all saint because the main purpose of my market trips with grandma was to earn myself a packet of the finest soya milk. Back in the days soya milk was a luxury especially since we werent allow to cold drinks when we were young. My lil bro was often down with asthma attack & in fear our family drop drinking cold/sugary drinks completely. i especially love the soya milk mix with grass jelly & can lug on to a packet, sipping a small bit every time up till the ice melted & then i'll drink off even the melted ice. For $0.70 to keep a small girl happy & shuts off her constant rattling & chattering, i bet my Grandma will find it pretty worthwhile haha.. 

Then after marketing we will head to grab lunch without fail, it was always chwee kuey; fried oyster or kway chap when it comes to lunch because Gran's was bann from eating them by the family. And you probably knew i was easily bribe & sold by the packet of soya milk to careless about divulging in her little secret. Looking back, maybe i knew deep down how all the cholesterol was doing her no good, but the look on her face tells me she clearly enjoy this small "crime". In addition to the typical sinful lunch is her cup of Kopi-o kosong. I never like them a single bit, black & tasteless; i dont get how Grandma always like them. I wasnt too fussy with lunch because i pick on the food i was given - ahha.. contradicting much? In fact i will agree when Grandma order Kwaychap each time, but i will simply finish my bowl of Kway coupled with fishcake/maybe egg & that's it. The rest of the "intestinal"indulgence was solely for Gran; i can never take them, not till this very day. 

By the time we finish lunch it should be 1 plus in the afternoon, usually we will head over to the clinic because Grandma was sick & needed her medication. On good days when we can skip the clinic, she will bring me to the dryer part of the wet-market. those were the days in the year 1992 / 1993.. where push cart stores are set up & lotsa of cart sold beads; just loose beads in a packet. Perhaps 50 beads in a single packet, selling for $0.50. I get to choose like 5 different beads i like & i am not the only one who had interest for beads. My weakness for beads came from Grandma, who spend equally long time pick on bigger beads where she would make all her grandchildren beaded necklace & bracelets.   Satisfied with our purchase, we will head back to her place where she cooks & prepare dinner/take a nap, while i spend the rest of the afternoon beading necklace/bracelet, then removing them from the fishing line & redoing them again in diff pattern. It will go on forever till today, where the necklace are still kept in my jewellery box, reminding me of the fondest days spend with grandma. 

ok enough for today, that is a long throw back indeed


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