Wednesday, April 23, 2008

And They Called It Puppy Love.

Of course she knows she's the prettiest girl in school because everyone says so. And you know how it is with the most pretty girl in school. She's gotta have someone less pretty as a friend with whom she can saunter back and forth in the schoolyard so people can make comparison to reaffirm that she's indeed the prettiest. That's how it goes with Anita and Faizah. Everyone says Anita is the doll of all the dolls in school and Faizah is a doll too but she's not as pretty a doll as Anita, who is probably the prettiest doll in the whole of Penang Island for all I care. But between you and me, I don't think she's the prettiest thing I've ever seen walking about the schoolyard now looking at me because everyone says I'm the Trengganu boy who speaks funny.
People say Anita has been taken by a guy called Kamal who is in Form 1A. Some people say that's not true because they heard different. She has had her heart set for a form three guy in the morning session. Whatever it is, Yusof says; you'd better forget about her because she's taken. I say; no harm trying. Siva says; good luck.
One day a fair skinny guy with a lot of straight hair calls out to me to say; You! new boy, come here. He's at the corner of a canteen with two guys, one brown as milk coffee and the other a little fairer. He says to me something like this; I heard you sent a letter to Anita. You'd better be careful, new boy. This is Penang. You don't know what Penang can do to you for disturbing a Penang girl. You'd better not be writing Anita letters or you'll find out the hard way that you're not welcome in Penang.
I say I don't know what you're talking about. I don't write no girls no letters because I don't write too good and even if I do, why would I write Anita letters when I know she's taken by a guy called Kamal. (Besides, what chance do I have with Anita? Me being in Form1E, the last class in school, half of which can't read too good. Not to mention having being caned in public twice; one for pulling out a bun of hair of a guy who is a Punjabi. And the second time for fighting in the canteen with a guy I don't like because I was sure as the sun he stepped on my new shoes.)
Suddenly this skinny guy with a lot of straight hair laughs out loud to ask me; do you know who Kamal is? I say I don't care who he is. Of course I lie a little. I know who Kamal is and he is this skinny guy with a lot of straight hair now laughing at me as if I'm some kinda half-brain creature just came out of a hole in the ground.
From that day onwards, I follow Anita and Faizah whenever I see them walking about the schoolyard. It's not because Anita is pretty or anything. I figure this would get Kamal angry enough to call me out again for a fight. And so I walk beside Anita and Faizah during recess. They'd skip about like a pony as if trying to get away from me but I know they like the attention and so I walk faster to keep up. They'd go up the stairs half running gigling like firecrackers so everyone can see what's going on. This goes on for about a week until people say I'd better stop disturbing the pretty pair because Anita's brother wants to talk to me about something. Yusof says; you'd better carry a knife. I say; I think so too. And so I got me a pocket knife from a shop on Campbell Street.


Blogger Kata Tak Nak said...

I am born and bred in Penang and lived outside of penang for a total of 8 years only. One thing I know about Penang Malays, mamak or not, is that they are full of hot air. They shout or scream as if they are going to kill you but they are as chicken as the next guy.
Hoping to read what come next real soon.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Zabs said...

Salam Bergen,
Nice opening episode. Will be waiting for more of this, hopefully soon...

12:42 PM  
Anonymous elviza said...


This type of writing is your forte. You hook me from the 1st line right up to the end.

We had that kind of a girl too - the fairest of them all. And we the lowly mortals kept looking at her parading the whole school like a Queen.

Usually, this kind of girl ends up with a looser. No judgment!

12:43 PM  
Blogger tokasid said...

Salam bergen:

Ah! Finaly the Trio(Bergen,Yusof and Siva) is back taking us back to the 70s Penang.

I didn't have that experience for at that time SAHC was an all boys school( not really for we do have girls in form 6)Then in Form 4 several girls started to join us( about 20 of them malay and Chinese) but the Fifth formers and 6th formers without girlfriends started to walk by our classes(which they never did before).And me and friends continue to be like jakuns.

Waiting for more adventures of your trio.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Dhahran Sea said...

Salam Sir Bergen. You've got something cooking there! Boleh tahan you! Reminded me of the good old days in primary school... looking forward to the next episode!

4:00 PM  
Anonymous podgykat said...

Ahh, the perils of puppy love!! Enjoying your reminisces. Can't wait for the next segment *looking around* like everyone here!

8:14 PM  
Blogger Mek Na said...

dear sir...waiting to hear more abt your this kind of story :) btw i was born in penang but spent my secondary school years in k.trg. had been teased with "oghang luo"

10:54 PM  
Blogger dee3 said...

anita's not the prettiest cos she cant beat elizabeth taylor, nor can she beat the girl back home staying in the mansion (or so, if i recall correctly)?


4:08 PM  
Blogger said mirro said...

hah..we wait and see. sir berg, i don't expect it to end in a typical "and they lived happily ever after".

4:44 PM  
Blogger cakapaje said...

Salam bergen,

I say bro, please don't tell me you learn how to cook good food from the moment you picked up that knife! I mean, lots of people started new hobbies and what not at the wrong time and place, but the knife...?

Then again, I wouldn't mind some story on cannibalism :)

7:18 PM  
Blogger Zawi said...

Bergen Sir,
Could sense the macho male blood in you building up. I know it wasn't really Anita that you were after but the prized scalp of that skinny straight haired Kamal was the main motivator. It was a prized catch. Bringing down Kamal will make you the next King.
They are doing the same thing in present day politics.

6:51 AM  
Blogger muteaudio said...

Salam Bergen,
I agree with Chegu. Depa ni sembang aja deraih!

4:37 PM  

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