Category Archives: school

Paip SeKolah : The Thirst Was History

Far better than Pepsi-Cola : it was cool, refreshing and clear.  And F-O-C and F-O-S too (free-of-charge,and free-of-sugar)

Just reminiscing my primary school days, when after a PE lesson or a game of football, we kids made a beeline for the solitary standpipe in the school compound, and got our thirsty throats quenched.

No SWEAT for us to gulp down this unadulterated H-TWO-O; just opened our mouths big big, and turned on the tap handle, and the thirst was history.

My late mum cautioned me against drinking straight from the tap for the fear of water-borne diseases.  She always made me carry a bottle of boiled water from home.  But….drinking from Paip Sekolah was a totally different experience.  I never told her.

Jar & The Beansprouts

One of the first biology encounters we had as primary school kids was the germinating of green beans in a jar — jam jars, Essence of Chicken bottles, etc.  Just needed to add water.  We were thrilled to see the beans sprouting and growing each day.   By the 4th day or so, our sprouts were standing tall and proud.

Our young minds and imagination were all fired up.  Mine went further, having read the story about one guy named Jack.   I quietly took some more green beans, red beans and soya beans from my mum’s treasure trove in the kitchen and threw them out onto the soil outside my kampong house.   Waited and waited,….,but no tall Beanstalk ever came out.   Haiz, maybe I used the wrong beans.

First To KERETA ….Then To School

Borrowing BATA’s tagline …

Long before Bas Sekolahs drove into the school transport scene, there were KERETA SEKOLAHs of all shapes, sizes and colors ferrying kids to and from their schools.

My first encounter was with a black vintage Vauxhall Wyvern, owned by an enterprising neighborhood Uncle.   The car had a column-mounted gearshift and a one piece sofa-like front seat.

Uncle also ingeniously added a long wooden bench onto the back seat and another one of half length onto the front seat.  With these mods, the capacity was raised to about 15 Standard One kids, including me.  By the time we got to Standard Three, the capacity maxed out at 12 — we were growing fast.

Though it was quite reliable, the car often needed some robust hand-cranking to cajole the engine into working mood.