I didn’t think I would join this week’s challenge. For one, I don’t really know Chutes & Ladders. In my day, the game was called Snakes & Ladders. But then I remembered the last time I’d seen a cellophane wrapped packet of the game.
I was in a restaurant in Singapore called Old School Delights. It served up hefty portions of tasty food but its real appeal was the nostalgic decor. The tables were adult-sized school tables, set with Jack & Jill readers and tin cups filled with crayons and pencils. On one wall, a big blackboard was decorated with caulk and had a “Top 10 List” of “How to know if you are Delightfully Old School.”
My photo is not the best (I may have been nibbling something delicious at the time) so I’ll list them here. I did not grow up in Singapore but where I did, it was a similar island country, in a similar time.
TOP 10 LIST – HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE DELIGHTFULLY OLD SCHOOL
1. YOU GREW UP WATCHING RE-RUNS, DORAEMAN, SMURFS, WOODY WOODPECKER, TOM & JERRY, CARE BEARS AND LOONEY TUNES.
… and they were all in Black & White on a 26″ TV console with antenna ears.
2. YOU KNOW WHAT SBC STANDS FOR
… I’m guessing this must be Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) because we had a Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) which was modeled off the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
3. PAGERS WERE THE IN-THING AND MOBILE PHONES WERE THE SIZE OF BRICKS
… In my house the in-thing was having a landline phone mounted on the wall. An extra long chord made it mobile. Funky colors of avocado green and mustard yellow made it cool.
4. KFC USED TO BE A HIGH CLASS PLACE THAT USED METAL KNIVES AND FORKS
… I don’t recall KFC ever having a dine-in option. For me, KFC was a rare treat and the delight was in opening the red and white cardboard box and eating chicken with my fingers.
5.HOPSCOTCH, FIVE STONES, CHAPTEH AND ZERO POINT WERE ALL THE RAGE
… I played hopscotch by scratching out the grid in the playground and getting my school uniform dirty. My brother played hacky sack, which would’ve made him a chapteh champ. I preferred to play Jacks with a ball rather than Five Stones without. I wasn’t very good at double dutch with jump ropes which means that I would’ve been awful at Zeropoint with elastic bands.
6. YOU HAD PENCIL CASES WITH LOTS OF SMALL TINY DRAWERS, TRAYS AND SHARPENERS THAT POP OUT
… and my pencil case was made of wood. I also had a wooden ruler. At school Sister Martenella, the head-mistress had a bigger ruler. She used it for punishing bad behavior. For things like getting your uniform dirty.
Looks like this Top 10 List only had six items. The rest were probably on a different wall. I don’t have a photo but I can add four more items which make me old school.
7. YOU COLLECTED PAPER STATIONERY
… which was strawberry scented and strawberry shaped.
8. YOU WROTE LETTERS TO YOUR PEN-PAL
… I used paper stationery to write to my pen-pal in Ireland. I wrote my letters by hand. The letters were sent by post and it was delivered directly to her door. The whole process took three to four weeks. That was real-time, the old time way.
9. THE CLOSEST THING TO A HOME COMPUTER WAS AN ELECTRIC TYPEWRITER
… and there was a special school to learn how to type.
10. A SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR WAS ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY
… But calculators were not allowed in school. I used logarithmic tables instead. But I’m so old school, I can’t remember what I used logarithmic tables to calculate.
Present Day Canada. May 2019