Saturday, March 22, 2014

Old wives' tales and memories evoked by the playground swing...

Angie, Seng, Huat, Li Peng and I were at Mandai columbarium just after lunchtime to witness the placement of the urn with Tiong's ashes in the niche that I had previously selected. The niche face was then sealed up, with a marble slab that had a very nice picture of Tiong:

Later, the five of us adjourned for coffee at a nearby cafe. Among the stuff we discussed were the "old wives' tales" that we picked up as children:

* you will get a spouse with a pockmarked (or pimply) face -- if you don't finish ALL the rice on your plate.
* your hair will fall out -- if you open an umbrella indoors.
* if you cut your nails at night -- the tiger will come and get you (that's from my late mother but apparently there are other versions)!
* (for boys) if you watch girls pee -- you'll get red eyes (conjunctivitis)!
* if you point at the moon -- your ears will be cut off the next day (presumably you'll find out when you awake).

I later remembered this one: during a meal, never stick your chopsticks in your rice bowl (presumably because that would make them look like joss sticks used in ancestral prayers). Boon Sin had earlier contributed these:

* When there is both rain and sunshine, the monkey god is getting married (wah, he must have a humongous harem by now)!
* To see your future spouse, cut an apple in front of the mirror late at night.

I decided to check online and found this link which includes a number of the superstitions I listed above:

20 Crazy Things Our Singaporean Mothers Believed (In)


This letter below reminded me of long forgotten teenage days spent at places like the Cold Storage Creamery and Snack Bar in Orchard Road, the Van Kleef Aquarium in River Valley Road, and of course the National Library in Stamford Road:


Then there were the playground swings -- Oh, the memories of happy care-free childhood!...

To wrap up on this nostalgic note, here's this video titled:

If you grew up in the '50s, '60s, '70s, or '80s...

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