Last Saturday, I attended a last minute primary school gathering because one of our girls was back from Paris for a visit.
Loving my childhood girlfriends…
I love reconnecting with people from my distant past.
I love that I have the opportunity to recollect the funny, sweet and duh moments.
I love that my reunion gatherings, especially with my primary school mates, whom I knew for less than two years of my life, have been always free of the competitive pretensions that Hollywood movies tend to portray them with.
I love that this bunch of girls are all so happy with who they are, and what they have… and that indeed, as one of my lovely classmates, J, remarked, “We are all very blessed. Whatever we wanted, we have.”
Isn’t it just wonderful to be surrounded by people who are amazingly thankful of what they have?
How I came to be in an all-girls’ school…
My parents uprooted us from the West of Singapore ( Clementi, to be exact) to the East (then, the Punggol 21 of the late 1980s a.k.a. ULU-ness). That meant, I had to also change schools at Primary 5.
From a co-ed neighbourhood school, I was put into a Christian mission all-girls’ school.
For the first half of my Primary 5 school year, I – the 10-year-old (I’m a Nov kid) – had to take Bus 10 from Clementi Interchange all the way into Katong by myself. Bus ride was a good 40-60 minutes ride. I don’t ever remember how I got home but I am sure it wasn’t by train nor taxi. These bus rides ended after a semester as we finally moved to Tampines at the same time as the school moved to its present location in Tampines as well.
Being a fan of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers and St Clare’s series, I was totally thrilled to be an all girls’ school so I didn’t mind the travel.
But of course, the reality of having to leave my comfort zone and familiar friends, and having to try to make new friends proved quite difficult for me.
My new schoolmates must have thought I was some stuck-up girl with my constant exclamations of how school the school compond was. You see, my old school, Clementi Primary School, to my 10-year-old mind sat on a sprawling ground with a big, big, big almost endless grass field by the old railway track. (The school building is still there in the same spot, with little change to its structure. A standing miracle in upgrading-and-rebuilding-crazy Singapore.) My new school , Saint Hilda’s Primary, at Ceylon Road was small and cramped with no field of our own. As an adult now, I think back and realise that all those comparisons I made was my way of dealing with the stress of having to adjust to new environments and friends, but lacking the vocabulary and tact of an adult, I must have seemed rather cocky and annoying.
But by some miracle and probably divine intervention, I’ve managed to still make some friends.
And more than 20 years on, I am more than just thankful and glad for the opportunities to sit, sup and laugh over silly stories with my primary school mates. Though we don’t often keep in touch, I always have a great time of just relaxing and chilling out with them at our gatherings.
Thank you my dearest Hildan girls for always filling my heart with joy!
And if there is something I learnt last Saturday that must qualify as a timeless truth, that is:
Women always become like girls again when we get together…
And no matter how much time has passed between us,
we can sure gab and gab as if we were still giggly schoolgirls.
Here’s a classic friendship ‘autograph book’ poem that I am pretty sure most of us Singaporeans recall:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet.
And so are you!
This post celebrates you, my sweet Childhood Friends!
Thank You For Making This Country My Home