Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hey, I'm a kampung girl too!! THIS IS A TAG

This entry is inspired by NJ's latest entry, which was a result of reading GUiT (Growing Up in Trengganu). But the problem is, I am not a kampung girl. I was born and bred in the suburbs of Petaling Jaya, where I ventured out to seek what children do.

Being brought up with Lat's first editions, I enjoyed the illustrations of simple race games like upih pinang (fallen palm fronds), and the excitement of sucking iceballs covered with syrup (it's not the same as 7-Eleven's Slurpee - no, no, no!). Dad used to rush us to the nearest bookstore, either in Jaya Supermarket or Asiajaya, and the six of us would be fighting over the single copy of Lat's comic, which often ended with tapes binding the pages together. My late brother and I were even lucky enough to get a signed copy from the man himself (complete with caricature) in the early 80's.

Of course there were no rivers that ran through the small town we lived in, but we had a stinky big drain which we made do with. Mind you, this was approximately 25 years ago. Our kampung had less than half the number of houses it has now. To make things more exciting, we were forbidden to go there. And of course, with the help of Big Bro, naughty ones like us went all the way to the end! We went down there by sliding through the sides of Pakcik Mansur's house, gingerly walking without our slippers, and trying to explore what were in those murky waters. Of course, we found little fish and tadpoles - but we didn't have anything to put them in (other than the empty rusty tin we found). So we splashed and sploshed ourselves dirty, only to find out later that my slippers had been washed away by the water! The result was surely a scolding from Dad!

In a town which used to be a rubber plantation, we didn't play with rubber seeds like other kampung children. In the evenings, I'd often race on my bike with my siblings and a friend I knew since kindy, Khal, whose house was on the slopes, unlike ours. Going uphill was inevitably torturous but once we reached the top, we'd let our feet off the pedals and Wheeeeeeee... we'd have the wind blowing against our faces and our hair going wild; it was superb!

Then, we also had our share of quran reading lessons, also known as the mengaji sessions. Unfortunately, I lived on the other side of the kampung, divided by a set of traffic lights. The surau, Balai Islam, was situated on the other side of the kampung, hence those living on my side went to the late Makcik Saerah's house for our quran classes. That was when I discovered that the children who were of my batch in that area were ALL boys - Fariz, Harry, Farhan, Hamidi and Khal. My pals then were my step sis, the Ha- sisters (everyone's name began with Ha-), Lindot (who is now a doctor), and a few others who I've almost forgotten.

We were not always keen going to our mengaji classes because on the way, we'd have to pass two houses with dogs. In one house, the owner often left two wild and excited puppies to greet hello to us. Oh, the gates were close alright, but the only problem was, the gaps in the gate were big enough for them to go through! So there we were, with the skirts of our baju kurung held up high above our knees and bags clung close, running for our lives! In house No. 2, it was a white dog we called Anjing Gila. He sometimes waited for us infront of the gate, pretending to be asleep. Quietly, we crept pass the house, whispering verses of the quran for protection. Sometimes, when Anjing Gila was locked behind the gates, we'd tease it with jeering tongues and little girly tunes.

Then, there were days we went visiting during Hari Raya (Eid). Kay, our leader, led us to houses of her friends on the other side of our kampung. Of course, we were more interested in the duit raya (money) offered to us, and not the eating of biscuits or fancy delicacies which lay on the tables. No thank you, Aunty - no ketupat and rendang for us. Fizzy drinks, on the other hand, were always welcomed.
We may not have had the dah-dah-dum man who sold apang balik stirred with a bundle of sticks used to beat hairy billy goats, like Awang Goneng had in his village back in Teganu. But we had the rojak man (vegetable combination with peanut sauce) and the cendol man (shaved ice with green starch noodles in coconut milk with palm sugar) who stationed themselves strategically between the 'ol school and post office. They attracted customers from all walks of life, mind you! Yes, the Indian Muslim men, mamaks, served halal stuff, but their cleanliness was seriously doubted! Did we resist them all? He He He... no, we didn't. We couldn't. The drops of sweat must have become their secret seasoning! Oh gross...

During my teen years, I was sent to a boarding school. That was when I began to lose touch with some of my friends. Some moved away, while some of us just grew apart. Yet, when I sent my kids to the 'ol kampung school, I sometimes catch a glimpse of an older Chong, a slightly balding Mat, or a sophisticated looking Siti, sending a child to the school.
I may not come from the rural, in a house on stilts surrounded by rubber plantations, rivers, durian trees, and wells. However, I came from a place which is still considered my kampung. Yes, I am proud to say that I am a kampung girl too; for I come all the way from Kampung Tunku! Anyone from KT out there?
*NJ suggested to make this a TAG (the GUIT-Kampung memory TAG), hence I'm opening it to anyone who'd like to write about their growing up days. I'm tagging KAK TEH (THE lady herself, who's gonna come up with Growing Up in Kedah stories), RUBY (the woman who has met AG and Kak Teh) and DAD of 4+1 (who managed to get a copy after 2 weeks hunting).


ADIEJIN said...

sigh... so nice to remember zaman kanak kanak ( zaman jahiliah .. hehe )

eh..awak tak pernah kena kejar hantu kat kubur KT tu ker ?? eee.. so scary that place.

NJ said...

Hei Kampung Tunku girl :D

Wohoa!! I am imagining you in the murky water playing with tadpoles and little fishes... kesian nya this city girl..wekeke (saje nak buat u jelous..). Lepas tu lari lintang pukang kena kejar si Anjing Gila.. wekeke

Hei u triggered another memory of this REAL (saja jaki..wekeke) kampung girl. I also love my monthly outing with mum/dad going to our little town and the best part was that the rojak mamak...

Bye Kampung Tunku Girl...hehe..till next time

NJ said...

Hmm...let's make it a tag (shall we call it a GUIT Kampung Memory tag then ..hope Kak Teh & Bro AG don't mind).

Go on you pick another blogger to write an entry about their Growing Up Memory...wekeke

Anonymous said...

Kpg Tunku pun kampung juga...

mengaji di balai islam (1977-1982)

zhalee said...


mamak's sweat. hehe no wonder their foods a bit salty sometimes. haha

hey i'm really interested to read awang goneng's book - GUiT :)
but donno where to find it here in the US. :(

cikMilah said...

Alamak D, walaupun kampung I dekat,dah rindu sangat-sangat bila baca N3 tentang GUIT. One of my best part was main sorok-sorok lepas mengaji al-Quran,hingga terus tak jumpa sampai maghrib, then riuh sekampung mencari semalaman!Tiba-tiba jumpa kawan kita lena tersandar kat batu nesan di kubur! Katanya cari jalan nak balik tak jumpa, tidoq lah. Tunggu siang!Selamba badak jer dia...kita orang pulak yang dah kena selasah rotan dengan tok guru...tak adil btul!!ha ha ha.
Masih mencari GUIT, sapa tahu nak dapat kat mana di Penang nihhh....?
Take care ( sorry yer, berjela la pulak komen I)

D said...

we live on the other side of the kampung, remember? not so close to the kubur then... and pleaseee.... we wouldn't like to live too near!(read cikmilah's comment)

HaHA!! Eksyen ye awak! Let's see who dares take up the open tag!

anon @ yan,
hmmm... care to reveal who you are??

ha.. bab tu, you have to ask the man himself: Mr Awang Goneng! LOL. Ask someone to post you a copy from Malaysia (if he can get a copy, that is!)

tersandar kat batu nesan kubur? Tulah, adiejin, tulah pasal kitorang tak main kat kubur...

bluewonder said...

going slightly off the tangent...us sri aman girls were always made to run next to the cemetery at KT for our yearly merentas desa. Most times we would be walking and yakking away along the route..but the moment we approach the cemetery, we'd be sprinting all the way!

Anonymous said...

i soo get the raya part. n it wasn't even rm5, 2 or even 1 tat the kids get nowadays. mostly 20 sen (or if u lucked out, u'd get 50 sen). sometimes the tuan rumah would ask 'anak sape nie?' buat muka tak malu je la. is all 1 kampung kan :D


azuardec said...

i remember kampung tunku! although of course i didnt live there. i also remember the swing in your lovely garden (the orchids!) and vaguely the shop nearby that sold stickers. we walked to the shop one day. spending time at your house/with you was a treat.

IBU said...

I got hooked reading this from beginning till the end without skipping a word, let alone a line. My firasat says (cheh..cheh..chewah!) u'll soon be following AG's footstep in coming up with your own book.

Tempat jatuh lagi dikenang, ini kan pulak tempat hilang selipar... :)

Restless said...

I told u so, kak D (abt the writing a book thingy). Time to reconsider ur options...

I was a Cheras girl- loads of chinese friends.

Tunku Halim said...

I like your memoir. Perhaps you've got a future GUIT or future GUIPJ?

U.Lee said...

Hello D, the Kampong Tunku you mention here, its in PJ, ya? Quite near to University Gardens, Motorola?
If it is, there's a playground there with a cement badminton court. Across the road ada post office....is this the Kg Tunku?
Had my uncle staying around there. And I stayed at University gardens for a year. Back in the 70's.
You have a nice day, D, Lee.

~ahni~ said...

Salam Aidil Adha D and kids.

cikdinz said...

citer lat tuh bukan rekaan tapi realiti kehidupan seharian.
itu yg best.....

salam aidiladha kak d and family....

simah said...

thats one way of putting it all :0)

real kampung or bandar kampung.. still a kampung is a kampung kan?
what i'd give for my kids to be able to experince real kampung life even for a day...:0)

sempena bulan yg mulia.. kami di istanbl ni ingin mengucapkan salam aidiladha..maaf zahir dan batin...

it will probably be a sad raya for u this year...i hope u will be strong as u already r.. *hugs*..

u take care dear!

kc said...

aiyoh, if only i had razor sharp memory like yrs...yr childhood memories sounds really best lah...tak sangka hang duduk kat kg tunku tu..isk isk

i got a really nice friend duduk sana. in my ignorance (sheepish..), i thot she lived in a setinggarden area (glamor sket bunyi dr setinggan...hehe). she'd invite me to her house every chance she gets but i didnt have the heart to go not bcoz i was snooty or what. its bcoz i was afraid i'd feel sad looking at her living condition (i'm a very cepat kesian kind of person)...

until i went to her house one day. oh boy was i wrong completely wrong...hehe. i was totally embarassed of myself. found out she was a certain dato's daughter but very humble and plain...hahaha!

Kak Elle said...

ayoh d I grew up in a small kampong tu I think ... 57 yrs ago life in a small kpg was fun fun fun..the time when no direct water supply we have to go to common pipe to collect water etc ... of course not me ler..mencari spider with the boys,tangkap ikan di longkang,cari buah susu...oh my gosh what else did I do eh???

we live opp the surau where my grandpa is in charge and when masa ramadhan we had to help prepare food on the dulang and after that doing the washing .... I had a beautiful 8 yrs stay at the grandparents house until my family moved out to a rumah batu:)

D said...

hehe.. the cemetery! Oh, that reminds me of our tuition sessions at Puan Kamariah's house - with chinese grave yard behind! Takuuutt....

pidie dearie,
Ahaks.. those were the good innocent days -hulur je tangan!

though you're not from KT, you're almost part of it coz of the school, right?? Hehe.. the swing? Aaah, i sure miss it too!

jangan kasi I malu...

Betul... tempat hilang selipar dah tak sama sekarang. The drain has been covered up so that lil rascals like us didn't get into trouble! LOL!

you were restless even in Cheras?! Mighty me!

Tunku Halim,
Now they've all gone to mention the graveyard in KT, maybe I'll be an ala-44 Cemetery Road writer, no? Naa...LOL

Spot on!! University Gardens is where we go for our Pasar Malam - Tuesday nights, without fail!

Happy Eidul Adha... kita tak masak rendang. Masak soto ayam je!

memang Lat tu super power! Tak de tandingan... Eh, lupa plak.. selamat menyambut Aidil Adha.

I'm still waiting for kind guests to pop over. Sapa nak makan kalau tak de yang datang? Well, except for the 2 boys - the twins' friends. I want guests for me too!

Kampung Tunku is not a real kampung - jangan buruk sangka. But not so grand pun... Of course, ada rumah besar, tapi ada gak rumah sederhana and kecik... It's an old area now. Of course, its the kampung to some fofular people too..(kot sebut kang, susah pulak!!)

kak elle,
I'm trying to imagine a small Elle tangkap spider... HeHe... Nothing can beat the good 'ol days!

restless-soon-to-change-restful said...

heheh.. good one kak D!

TillDaLastFlowerDies said...

those days mmg best kan...how i wish i can turn back the time..being a kid macam dulu2...besh besh kan..

hai D...salam....hiks

Anonymous said...

Hi D...

Really miss that mamak's rojak n cendol depan KT Post Office tukan...

Dulu2 memang takut gak lalu kubur n jerat cina tu but now tempat tulah yg slalu i ziarah bila balik coz there lies my beloved father who passed away last yr summer.Alfatihah.


elara said...

Hi D,

I used to drive past KT from kelana jaya to PJ state to avoid congestion, when I was with telekom kelana jaya. Reading your story makes me a little bit nostalgic.

Anonymous said...


You tak kenal kot. i tak famous ... but, my elder sister went to tuition at pn kamariah's house., the one with the cemetary at the back. that i remember. because there are times that i have to jemput her (with the maid of course) at night, dgn stray dogs nya. horror.


ruby ahmad said...

Hi D,

What's the meaning of 'kampung' eh? It is about the place we grew up ain't it? Kampung Tunku being 'kampung'..ha ha! That's funny.

Actually most of us can identify a lot with one another growing up in our respective 'kampungs', like mengaji, fearing 'anjings', outdoor games, mamak's food with special 'sweat' condiments (ha ha) and more. But ahh, those were the days.

Thank you so much for thinking of me though normally one one would say, arghh, you tagged me! No, not this time. It is an honour.

I will think about it, just give me some time dear.

Oh yes, it was great meeting up with THE MAN and his wonderful wife, our one and only vivacious Kak Teh.

mad redo1 said...

hi D, just jumped from AG's pages after meeting the man himself.

if you ever decide to write about your life in your kT, I would surely be one in the Q for one...

Imah76 said...

Salam Kak D,

No wonder you look familiar...I'm not from Kg Tunku but born and bred in PJ SS3..very near to KT. Sekolah kat KT...then to Sri Aman...so I guess I'm a KTian too...Kawan2 pun ramai tinggal kat KT. Saper boleh lupa mamak cendol tu...I mengaji ngan Ustaz Aziz(rumah yg kat jln besar), so setiap kali lepas balik ngaji...lari p beli cendol. Those good old days.

My aunty lives there and I bet you know my cousin (shafinaz). She's in UKM now and I think about your age as well...

Rindu lak nak balik M'sia lepas dengar citer kak D