A friend said that I missed out a lot because I spent my childhood years at the city, not at a village like him and the others. I didn’t get the chance to play the traditional village games. The reality is, my childhood days were not that typical. Videogames were never a big part of my childhood days.
I did play Konda-Kondi, Bottle Caps, Ice Cream Stick match, Eraser match, Galah Panjang at school, Bola Monyet, Bola Beracun, Tun Duduk, Tun Nusuk, Bola Selipar, kite and bamboo gun when I was at my parent’s hometown. I still remember one time my cousins and I played kite three days straight!
It was 1992 and I was 10. It was the year I got to know about sex. It was from one of my cousin that played kite with me. I totally can’t imagine it, but this story is not about sex.
My friends and I was always looking for place to call our own. It’s something like a second home or ‘base’ as we called it. Maybe we watched too much cartoon, we had a ridiculous imagination but at that time, it all seems so real and fun!
Our first base was a big hole at the playground we dug ourselves. I don’t know what was in our minds at that time but we planned and dreamt to make some sort of an underground comic library or just a place to hang out. The hole became bigger and deeper as days passed by but one by one of us got tired of it and left ‘the project’.
The second base was to build a tree house, also at the same spot. We nailed small planks to the brunches and we can sit on it comfortably. But after a while, the DBKL came and trimmed the tree and cut the brunches. So we gave up on the tree house.
Then in 1994, it was the year that I watched pornography for the first time in my life! It was at one of my friend’s house Jo. It was from his father’s collection. It was so shocking to me and my other friend, Man. But this story is not about porn either.
We found our third base, and it was the last. There were four of us, Darr, Jo, Man and me. Darr found a place to hang out under the bridge near his house. There were a set of planks attached together right under the bridge and we can sit or lie on it.
We went there a couple of times just to hang out after school or in the evening. The teenagers were playing soccer everyday just beside the bridge and they would always stare at us whenever we got out from under the bridge. The persons who cut the grass along the bridge also always stopped and took a long look at us. We wonder why. We were just there reading comics. We also brought candles and lit it up because it was dark down there. We also brought hammer and nails.
One day the four of us planned to gather at our ‘base’ after school time. Man and I went there on our bicycles. When we reached there, the hammers, nails and candles were all gone. We read comics and chatted about an hour or so but the two never showed up. The next day at school, Darr and Jo told us they went to the ‘base’. They went there much earlier than us. But the cops came and took them to the police station. Their parents were called to the police station too, and they don’t wanna talk about it.
We never go to our ‘base’ again after that incident. I am still clueless what happened until today but I think the people who saw us there reported to the police. Maybe they thought that we were doing heroin or something because of the candles and stuffs when actually we were all ‘innocent’ twelve years old who just wanna read comics and hang out.
When my friends and I just finished UPSR, we found a small waterfall at a village besides TTDI. I remember we went there a few times and play with the water in our shorts. One day, we saw a guy at the top where the water was falling from. He was having a big smile. One of my friends’ mother warned not to go there again because the guy with the big smile might be there to shit or pee, and maybe other villagers also do the same. We never go to that waterfall again!
Suddenly I remember that my elder sisters and I used to go to the big sewer under that particular bridge that I wrote about earlier and play with the dirty water! It was when I was much younger. We went there after our art classes at the public library on weekends. We also always eat 20 cents homemade ice cream, my favorite was always lychee flavor. There was also another big sewer we used to play in at another playground in front of our house.
What was on our minds at that time? Sewer? Maybe we watched too much TV especially that Beauty and The Beast TV series where the beast lived in a sewer. Blame TTDI for not having a river! But I must say, I am not a video gamer spoilt city boy after all. Don’t you think?