Friendship transcends time, skin colours and religions. That is the message I hold dear to my heart and as well as inspired to nurture within my pupils. Honestly, I had a great childhood. Growing up in Padang Tembak, Penang where predominantly occupied by the Chinese, my primary school life was all sweet. Although there are differences in races and religions, we never see that; instead we became the best of friends and shared so many sweet and sour episodes together. I can vouch that the essence of “1 Malaysia” was where all of us transpired; and I have to say that I was lucky to be able to experience such friendships; rather than the younger generation these days (especially my pupils) who mostly never interacted with other races and presumably hold prejudices towards other ethnics – which I STRONGLY try very hard to eliminate in my classes!
Our first attempt. Hahhahaha! – Picture credit to Lip Yong!
The Primary School. My first alma mater; the world when I learn to discover knowledge outside from cocoon. – Picture credit to Lip Yong!
Anyway, everything thanks to Facebook! I was touched seeing my friend, Azizul (Zul) updated his status, recalling his good old secondary school experience with other Chinese friends; and that prompted me to write my status – how I missed my Chinese & Indian friends and how I missed playing “Power Rangers”, football, and all. AND ALL OF A SUDDEN, the status became a hub for all of my childhood friends and former primary school expressing their “memory lane” memories and nostalgia in SRK Padang Tembak! Hahahha, talk about the power of tagging names! Hhahahaa! All of us got so excited that we recalled all those childish nicknames that we had for each other; untold crushes (hahaha!); favourite past time, etc!!! It was such a great feeling to be able to reconnect with people who you knew at the early stages of your life! And I even rekindled with a friend who I had so called severe friendship due to differences in political matter (of which I have since grow to be able to agree to disagree – NEVER LET TRIVIAL MATTER SUCH AS THAT RUIN WHAT YOU HAVE BUILT FOR YEARS!!). I am just glad that I wrote that status.
Picture credit to Lip Yong!
AND, that actually prompted to a reunion! Angeline (“nasik masam??” Hhahaa lol) was appointed as the planner and she just did her ‘thang’ and finalized that the reunion should be on the 18th May 2013. It was a week before the school holiday; and I initially was dreaded to go as well as it would be held in SRK Padang Tembak, Penang itself and will I invest money to go there where in fact on the very next week (which is this week, by the way), I will be going back to North again? But seeing Zul and Angeline tirelessly tried to crystallize the reunion; and given the fact that I WAS THE ONE WHO PUT UP THE STATUS, initiating the reunion; I said – “Hey, why not??? Just being spontaneous and meet some old friends!”
Angeline & Farah had the “girls bonding” time. Hahhahaa….. (,”) – Picture credit to Lip Yong!
I was cooking up some stories? I couldn’t remember what I talked to Choo Mei & Angeline with Kok Hin stupefied in between. LOL!- Picture credit to Lip Yong!
Angeline, Chooi Me & I. A picture that caused some remarks by a senior colleague in SK Serendah. Oh, well. I can’t satisfy everyone. She has since been “dismissed” from my Facebook. Oops, sorry. (,”) Just because of a picture, suddenly my Islamic innocence is diminished into a hedonistic promiscuous??? I was so appalled by the impression of accusation!
Zul, Angeline, Kok Hin, Shyi Wei & Farah in Retro style. – Picture credit to Lip Yong!
So, on Friday, 17th May 2013; right after school, I pushed off to North from Serendah. Initially, I thought of staying in Tune Hotel in Penang like what I did at the end of 2012 but I scrapped the idea. I thought of Mak Ngah Nah in Lahar Kepar, Kepala Batas who happened to be my closest aunt. It has been ages since I last spent night at her house (that was like during primary school???!) and I thought of taking this opportunity to just bond with her and my cousin, Kak Aida. Taking my sweet time driving, I arrived at Lahar Kepar, Kepala Batas around 6.00 p.m. and was welcomed graciously by Mak Ngah Nah & Kak Aida.
Picture credit to Lip Yong.
It was nice to have chit-chat with them and after Maghrib prayer, Mak Ngah Nah recalled those yesteryear hardship stories living as a girl who was transferred from one house to another and experienced brutality of a stepmother. My eyes watered and had goosebumps when I heard the stories. Melancholic. But everything changed when she married the late Pak Ngah Shaari. His kindness make her world a new peaceful life; and that was why she never remarry although there were a lot of suitors after the death of Pak Ngah Shaari (more than 15 years ago) because Mak Ngah Nah is undeniably a beautiful lady. That really make my heart touched and overwhelmed. Subhanallah.
Goofing around with Farah’s son?! – Picture credit to Lip Yong!
As the slated reunion at SRK Padang Tembak was at 10.00 a.m., I pushed off from Lahar Kepar, around 8.45 a.m. But since it was early morning, the traffic was a smooth one. Crossed the Penang Bridge (with Christine Anu’s “My Island Home” track playing all the way! Awesome!) and arrived at Padang Tembak at 10.00 a.m.! Angeline already arrived there waited with our former Year 6 class teacher, Mister Ong Jun Hao! Hhahahaa, it was great! And then one by one everyone came – Chih Heng, Shyi Wei, Kok Hin, Zul, Lip Yong, Chen Chong (just for a brief stint!) as well Farah (also brief tete-a-tete). Well, not many turned out but I have to say IT WAS ALL WORTHY!!!! We chatted, teased and ridiculed each other and took a brief tour around the now-so-congested school! Ahhhhh… those memories…. We recalled the days when we played together and when Eric Tan threw up (he always threw up because of his rather big body so he couldn’t run faster. But he was always a friendly chap!) and other funny stories. (,”)
Why we put out the “BEST” sign (thumbs up)?? Hhahaa… seems like a promo from Bank Rakyat “Saya Mesti Pilih!”. (,”) – Picture credit to Lip Yong!
The initial luncheon tentative at E-Gate was scrapped; instead we decided just to hang around at a Mamak Stall/Restaurant “Salam” at the Ayer Itam-Padang Tembak junction just like the typical Penangite style. Hhahaa! Well, this was actually rather a new stall for me because during my years as resident of Penang, this was not built yet; but well, time passes by! We had so many things to catch up and you could imagine that it was sunny when we entered the Restaurant and then it was raining; and then it was sunny again!!! Hahhahaa! All in all, it was around 2 hours we spent there! Choo Mei joined us at the very last hour from her working place.
Playing “Power Rangers”, “Pepsi Cola”, football, “Pole-to-Pole”….ah…reminiscence, my friends! I love y’all.
We called the day off around 1.30 p.m. Honestly, I was glad because I made the journey all the way from Serendah to Penang just because of the reunion. Rekindled with old friends make the hearts fonder. I hope this will cement our friendships. Yes, we all grow up and move to our separate ways of life; but nostalgia remains as one of unforgettable chapters in our lives. I love SRK Padang Tembak 1994-1996. Always be remembered. (,”)
I just love this picture. We were trying to levitate. Hahaha! Thanks to the Mak Guard. Hhahaaa. We heart SRK Padang Tembak, Penang Island. Sincerely from Class of 1996! – Picture credit to Lip Yong!