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Gone are the days when we used to throw full-blown tantrums to get out of taking a nap. These days for many of us, that’s all we want to do – sometimes multiple times in a day. It’s crazy to think about how much of what we had/did in our pre-teen days become obsolete today. Take a walk down memory lane with me *cue flashbacks*
Secretly staying up past our bedtime to sneak glimpses of that Mediacorp drama
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I don’t know about you but I remember pretending to fall asleep and patiently waiting for my dad to leave the room. I would count to 10 (with my inside voice of course) after hearing him leave before sneaking a peek with one eye open to check that the coast was indeed clear. Then began the secret mission with just one goal in mind – watch the show without getting caught.
I’ve tried everything – watching quietly by my room door, standing behind the couch (higher risk but it had a much better view), pretending to walk to the toilet reallllyyyyyy slowwwwwlllyyyy or just grabbing a cup of water but drinking it with the tiniest sips possible. All these just to catch glimpses of whatever’s on television. Still, I got caught every single time – never stopped me from trying time and time again. Talk about being resilient!
Playing Snake on our parent’s Nokia 3310
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This one’s hard to forget, it was all the rage back then. It was such an easy game but oddly addictive. Sometimes when our parents wanted us to stop bothering them, they’d lend us their phones for a few games of Snake. Well, they said one game and we said we would return the phone once the round’s over but… we never did. It was always at least 3 games for me before I would reluctantly hand the phone back. I could only keep up the charade for so long before they saw right through me.
Various renditions of catching
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We played so many different renditions of catching back in our day. There was block catching which, depending on the group size, would have one or two catchers trying to catch the rest of us running up and down the different floors of a HDB block. Of course, no cheating and using the lift. There were also the playground favorites such as Ice-Man and colour catching. For Ice-Man, we would run around and the catcher would “freeze” us by tagging us. Once we were tagged, we couldn’t move until one of our friends tagged us again. Colour catching, as the name suggests, had the players choosing one or two colours (depending on the level of difficulty and well, how colourful the playground was). Those were the colours they could touch throughout the game. As for the catcher, he/she would have complete freedom to move on the ground and anywhere on the playground but he/she would be blindfolded (there are many different versions of this game so it could have been slightly different from yours).
Spending our allowance at the stationery shop
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The stationery shop to us was a shopping paradise. It had things that we wanted and could afford if we saved up some of our allowance money. Even just window-shopping would make us happy. There were those little country flag erasers, cute keychains and my personal favourite – Yu-Gi-Oh booster packs.
My brother had a 90% success rate of pulling booster packs with a foil card inside (one of the more valuable ones). Say for example there were 10 booster packs to choose from, he would hold each one between his thumb, index and middle finger and gently rub it. It looked like a cheap trick but because he was able to pick the “good” cards so often, I was convinced. He became the designated “booster pack picker”.
Playing Little Fighter 2 with our siblings/cousins/friends
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I won’t ever forget squeezing in front of one computer with my brother and cousins, sharing one keyboard, playing Little Fighter 2. We were overly aggressive with the keyboard and were always pushing and talking over one another, still one of the best times of our childhood.
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From the cartoon to the card game and everything in between, every 90s kid knows of Pokémon. It’s widely loved in our generation. We knew the theme song, we had the stickers, we slept with the soft toys, we drew and coloured the characters, we even pretended to be Pokémon trainers ourselves.
While these good old days are now a thing of the past, it’s not going to stop us from sharing these stories with the next generation and confusing the lot of them. “Four people sharing one keyboard? Why didn’t you just use one keyboard each?” ah, my dear, it’s a kind of joy you won’t be able to comprehend. Also, we weren’t rich.