We just received our SG50 funpack and I love the fact that they included so many items that brought back so many memories of growing up in Singapore.
I decided to deal with the wave of nostalgia in the only way possible, by googling for pictures of the best things about growing up in the 90s. I realise there are SO many blog posts and articles online with the same title, but these are memories that are closest to MY heart.
1) Milk cartons
As a primary school kid, I loved getting little cartons of milk to sip on with my little friends. We would wait for the day when 7 six-packs were delivered to our classroom and patiently wait as our teacher distributed the cartons to us. My favourite was the chocolate flavour (big surprise) and it was a huge treat to be able to get my hands on it once a week!
2) Mass dental hygiene lessons. 😉
I hated these as much as I loved the milk cartons. Whenever our teachers made us get out our red plastic cups and toothbrushes, I burst into tears because I always thought it would end up with a trip to the dentist. But all we would do was to stand in a straight line along the long metal basins and learn how to brush our teeth together.
3) Story-telling sessions
My favorite part about English lessons was when our teacher made us sit on the floor, took out giant A3 (or bigger) storybooks, secured it onto a little whiteboard with button magnets and read to us the story. She would have our undivided attention as we listened to her, spellbound by the way the story came to life with large glossy pictures. We also perpetually had our hands raised as we tried to answer all her questions.
4) Pets Textbooks
These were the simplest of books, printed on really cheap paper, but we cherished them so much, and took pride in moving on from the A book to the B one, and from climbing ranks…from 1A/B to 2A/B and so on and so forth.
5) The Bookworm Gang
We didnt have much money growing up and hence we used to save every single spare cent we had in eager anticipation of the booksale held in school that would have a huge collection of the bookworm short stories. I couldnt wait to get my hands on these books to find out more about the shenanigans of the gang, in particular Porky and Mimi,who were my favourite characters.
6) Cheap and utterly delicious snacks
In retrospect, the chocolates often tasted rather stale and mamee had way too much msg, but none of that mattered when we were kids. We pooled together all our remaining pocket money and bought gold foiled coins and little cone shaped jellies and the number 8 m&m imitation chocolates and stuffed ourselves with them as we whiled away hours in the playground after school.
7) Ice Sticks
These only cost 10 cents and lasted for ages, making it the best treat for those hot days when we ran around playing block catching and hide and seek! We even had entrepreneurial makchiks who add real fruit juice with bits of fruits and sold them for a staggering sum of 30 cents (which we only could afford on occassion).
8) Old school biscuits
Forget oreos and whatever else other cookies we get these days. These were the way to go. From little jewel biscuits, with swirls of coloured, hardened sugar frosting, to jam sandwiches to alphabet biscuits, these biscuits made the best tea time snacks.
9) Eraser games
My primary school class actually had a champions league out of this game and every opportunity we got, we played this and tried to get the erasers with the most powerful flags (At 8 years old, I have no idea how we decided which were the powerful flags but I assume we considered it powerful if we had heard of the country ;))
10) 5 stones and pick-up sticks
These were the best recess games for when the weather was gloomy and we couldnt go out to play. Us girls particularly loved heading to the bookshop to see if there were new prettier 5 stones that we could buy.
Emergency game for when the monkey bars were occupied and for when we were too tired to play catching. We used to steal bits of chalk from the chalkboard in the classroom and draw our own makeshift hopscotch boards.
12) Young Scientist Program
I loved this young scientist program by the Science Centre, where we were given a little card with a list of activities we had to finish before we could get one of these badges. My favourite was the Young Botanist and the Young Zoologist. I remember always wanting to get a young Astronomer badge, but my school didnt offer it.
I remember all the kids going crazy when these were released and became all the rage. You had to look after your own little digital pet, feed it, play games with it, discipline it, and take care of it when it was sick. I loved how grown up it made me feel, but soon got bored when my pet died like 5 times a day.
You only needed 10 cents to make a call and these were found all over Singapore, from coffeeshops to mama shops. It was such a relief to spot one of these, especially when you were stuck outside in the rain, and needed your parents to come and get you.
This was my favourite department store of all time, for no reason other than that it brings back so many precious memories. I grew up with my grandparents, and only stayed with my parents on weekends. Every Sunday morning, my brother and I would get up early and go pounce on our dad to wake him up. He would then bring us to Yaohan and get us a new toy each.
16) Army Daze
Movies like Ah Boys to Men pale in comparison to the gem that was Army Daze for so many reasons. This movie was filled with so many real, raw characters and could tug at our heartstrings one moment, and make us roll over in laughter the next moment. It was filled with racial stereotypes but no one took offence because it came out at a time when the Kampung spirit was truly well and alive and we could all take a jibe or 2 at each other’s expense and not get upset because of the affection we had for each other.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this walk down memory lane. Am now off to dig around my bookshelf to see if I can find any copies of the bookworm gang I might have stashed away. Have an overwhelming urge to poke fun at Porky 😉