Thursday, September 06, 2007

Penang 1974

Don't ask me to list down the names of the people who used to be in the same class with me at school. I can't recall any of the names out, except for Siva and Yusof. They are different. We are in the same afternoon class. Form 1F.
I remember them well because they teach me how to steal money from beggars and drunkards on Penang Road, Burmah Road, Transfer Road, Campbell Street and Lebuh Chulia. They teach me to mark a beggar and mentally calculate how much he got on him. And they show me how to walk up to a beggar from behind, and push the poor bastard off balance. You've got a few seconds to quickly run your hands into every pocket he has to grab the money. Don't worry about the son-of-a-bitch fighting back because Siva and Yusof are right behind you to crush the bastard just in case he suddenly turns into a superhero with superhuman strength. After this you gotta run faster than the winds. When you've got enough money, Siva and Yusof will take you up to the 3rd floor of Pasar Chowrasta for a drink. Siva knows the guy who run a store there so he can buy a bottle of Anchor for three of us to share. After that we take a No 3 bus to go to school in Jelutong smelling like a cigarette factory.
Aunt Su doesn't know. Pakcik Syed doesn't know either. Aunt and Grandma are in Dungun to know what I've been up to. Around 7 in the evening when I get home from school Aunt Su is in the living room, all cleaned up and powdered down. Pakcik Syed will be home around 10, drunk as a drunk can be. He's gonna mess the kitchen looking for food. Aunt Su will be shouting at the top of her lungs and there will be a big fight between them. I will be in a room thinking why in the world did Aunt send me to Penang to live with these two vermin who, according to Grandma, are my distant relatives. How could that be? How on earth they could be related to us when Aunt Su doesn't even know an Alif from a lamp post. And I've never seen Pakcik Syed pray a single raka'at ever since I came to live here three months ago.

26 Comments:

Blogger Theta said...

This is probably a stupid question but you're 1961-born, Sir Bergen?

Can't wait for the continuing saga of you, Siva and Yusof.......

12:57 AM  
Blogger Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Bergen
Johor Baru 1975. Form 1B.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Nak Tak Nak said...

You give only that much? Its okay, I will wait.

9:48 AM  
Blogger tokasid said...

Salam bergen:

I've been waiting for this for a long time. Its been a long time ago since I last read about your growing up. The last time was about life in Dungun with Aunt,Grandma and Cousin.
Teah, you did mentioned about having to stay with Aunt Su in Penang previously. Now the chapter unfold ...
I am fascinated whenever I read about your childhood life, for I've never known a person that have to go thro' like you did. Your stories made me realised what the anak yatims went through.

Now, we will experience your teenage period in Penang. You've mentioned Siva and Yusof was finally shotdown.

Having exposed to 'criminal activities' that young, you actually are doing okay right now. Hopefully along the way will know how you didn't end up like Siva and Yusof( not that I wanted you shot dead bro).

Tokasid: SAHC Form 1B, Aloq Setaq.1975

10:43 AM  
Anonymous elviza said...

This can be a bit mean, but I am young and you re old, brother!

Because when you are up to no good doing all these, I wasnt even born yet!

:-)

Good friday to you Sir!

10:59 AM  
Blogger AuntieYan @ Makcik Blogger said...

Bergen, tell me more...I'm listening...:-)

4:24 PM  
Blogger Raden Galoh said...

Sir Bergen..that year...hmmm I was in...standard one...baru nak kenal ABC and tulisan sambung-sambung tu...hehehe..

Make sure you continue this saga eh...I'm keeping track...

4:36 PM  
Blogger mad.redo1 said...

Chronicles of Bergen: The Wild Years began...

waiting with much anticipation, sir...

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1975? i was somewhere at 'celah pokok pisang'...
that was what my mum always telling me whenever i asked her why i wasnt in the family picture
(er...just wanna show that i'm youngerrrrr than you!)

~MJ~

7:53 PM  
Blogger NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Hah Bergen.....

I am your "kakak"...

1975 -- (UiTM, Shah Alam -- first year.)

3:26 PM  
Blogger muteaudio said...

1974....errr my father tengah mengorat my mum.

Bus no.3 to Jelutong. MPPP's bus rite?

3:58 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

Theta: Born in 1960, had to spend a year in Remove Class. Those from Malay school had to be in this class to catch with those who had had 6 years of English in English-medium school. It's a fun class, I liked it a lot because I fell in love with the English teacher, Miss Loo Bee Lia. I'm still in love with her. LOL. If only I know where she is.

Fauziah Ismail: Must have been a good Form 1. Wanna tell us about it, ma'am?

Nak Tak Nak: Will try to give more as we go along. All I gotta do is sit and write them, in between multi-million dollar business deals. LOL. Don't take me seriously on the business thing. LOL.

Tokasid: I think we are, in a way, the product of our environment, and who our friends are. Even in the old age, we can be influenced by our friends. It wasn't as bad actually, doc. I look at the whole thing as part of growing up and the most important thing is where I am today and where I may decide to go tomorrow, not where I have been yesterday. Look back as memories. Write about it if it can bring in some money. LOL, if only I can find a publisher interested in producing a story with this kinda English because I will fight to the last ground for this brand of English instead of the standard, conventional English. This is my English, this is the English I have acquired. So I reckon this is very much part of me.

Elviza: Of course larrr. You are way much much too young. Mmuda ccadda. LOL. And pretty too I bet with all the money I've got in my jeans.

Raden Galoh: Another young lady in the house. LOL. And pretty too I bet with all the money I've got in my jacket.

Mad.Redo1: Will do, sir. Will do.

Auntie Yan: Yes, ma'am. I will. Writing it is hard work though. LOL. But I'm gonna keep trying.

MJ: Pokok pisang? LOL, what were you doing behind those trees?

Nuraina A Samad: Yes, kakak. Salam kakak, you and Kak Teh, Fatimah Abu Bakar are same age, right? If only I were that age too. But then again, I'd probably be anywhere but ITM, Shah Alam. LOL.

Muteaudio: Yes, bus No 3 the Council's bus from Jetty to Jelutong. I think the fare was 20sen or thereabout. First time on it I didn't know how to press the bell because the button unlike those on the bus in Dungun. Rupanya it is a long strip of device that ran along the seats. LOL.


To everyone who came by this way, thank you for coming.

11:25 AM  
Blogger dee3 said...

took me awhile to be able to read your writings / musings / wonderful memories this time around, dear sir.

and your reply to tokasid about this being the english that you have acquired is so true (and i'd definitely be in tow to buy the published book la)... unless of course, there's a book-signing thingy going on? hehehe

and in regards to muteaudio's comments.. 1974: time tu my dad nikah my mom la!

and (again)... born 1960 = tak tua la... rock on bebeh! hahahahaa

i need to start calling people auntie / uncle instead of abang / kakak, perhaps?

salam ramadhan too.

1:02 PM  
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