By Aunty LuLu Year 1968 (Aunty LuLu - 7 years old.)
I grew up in this Malay's kampong in Andrew Avenue just opposite Sembawang Park and I remember that during my childhood, my parents did not show 'love' or 'concern' towards their 8 children. My parents owned a provision shop and in the 60's, having food on the dinner table or sending you to school was considered 'love'. However, if you were born as a son then your life would be different; like your parents would comb your 'CURRY POW' hairstyle and 'new' clothing for Chinese New Year because we girls get ours from our older siblings.
As I spent a memorable childhood's life cycling around with neighbor's kids, I learned cycling through self taught lesson with many injuries, swimming at the seaside or diving into the sea from a rope that some Malay villager had hung from a big giant tree just was fun and believe me, we kids did not attend any swimming lessons.
Walking in the mud looking for mudskippers was an adventure but I always got cuts on my feet or lost my slippers in the mud was somehow frequent. There was time when I found giant fishes swimming close by but I would never try to catch them because instinct said that those weren't real, it was an evil soul waiting for a replacement. And after 8 pm we didn't go out alone because you might met the 'pontianak', the MONKGALI 'Roti' man said he met her many times.
Another story from my childhood was about the time when I met a little long-haired girl in a white dress face to face. You know the drill. Sleeping soundly on the second floor on the straw mat at a 45 degree corner, I suddenly opened my eyes. They widened when I saw her standing (long black hair which covered her face, white gown and a very petite frame) beside me.
This time I was very, very scared... And I pretended she wasn't there and turned away stiffly, forcing myself to sleep... This time I kept quiet, I did not tell my Ah Mm... Maybe next time I should chit-chat with her and thank her for visiting, maybe ask her "How was your night?"
And thank god she did not wear her 'Hello Kitty' hair clip.
Many years later (2012) when I told my daughters about my ghost stories, Victoria (second daughter) told me next time be more observant about the facial expression. I told her wait to for her turn to meet 'her', then she can tell me what 'she' look like.