Early Days

They tell me my arrival into this world coincides with the birthday of Louis Saha. Too bad I wasn’t born on the 29th of November (Giggs’ Birthday). Anyway, I was born on the 8th of August 1991 at precisely 1804 hours, at Mount Elizabeth Hospital Singapore. Nothing much to say about the hospital, except for the unimportant fact that my pal, Kok Leong was also born there just hours before my mum’s delivery.

Yep, my pal was only born hours before me, but I very much doubt that we had actually met or stayed in the same nursery. Why? Easy! I was a premature baby. I was not due for birth for another fortnight or so! Guess I wanted to come out and see the world earlier! The price – a stay in an incubator for a week or so.

You know, hearing stories of how tubes were inserted into my body is never going to be pleasing to the ear. Maybe you should try it for yourself one day!

My earliest memories are staying at my grandparents’ house – my dad’s parents that is. Nope, it’s not that I wasn’t close to my maternal grandparents; it was just a custom in most Chinese families in the world that females who are married off, would stay with the male’s family. This meant that I spent more time with my paternal grandparents, rather than my maternal. Due to this custom, it is inevitable that I was closer to my paternal grandparents. It didn’t help much that my maternal grandparents passed on when I was still a toddler. I remember that it was quite confusing for me on the “staying at where” thingy. You see, my parents bought a house in Jurong West, while my paternal grandparents lived in Holland Road. My maternal grandparents stayed in Hougang. The huge distance between the three places meant that at times, we didn’t know where was the best place to stay. Anyway, due to the fact that both my parents were working, and we didn’t have a maid at that time, I stayed with my paternal grandparents from Sunday nights to Friday nights. On Friday nights, we would return to my parents’ home in Jurong, just to stay overnight before making the long haul trip from Jurong to Hougang the next morning via bus. We didn’t own a car, and in those days, without the extension of the North East Line, traveling that distance from Jurong to Hougang could take hours! You can do the math yourself! So, we would stay at Hougang for one night before returning to my paternal grandparents. I thus had three “homes”! Pretty confusing isn’t it?


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