Amigos para siempre…

Friends are like special gifts to us that we never discard or outgrow. No one can ever take their place. They are always welcome in the rooms of our heart. Theirs are the memories that never fade. – Donna Fargo

In one of my posts on my trip to Penang, I mentioned that an old friend of mine, Edmund, took my daughter and me out for lunch at the Chinese Recreation Club. He and I were together in Singapore over 30 years ago in 1973 and to say that we were very close friends would be an understatement. I was renting a room at one of the HDB flats along Beach Road and he was staying with his parents who were working in Singapore at the time at their flat in Toa Payoh and needless to say, I spent a lot of time there with them.

We were young then though not exactly carefree…

Singapore 1973 1

…but we had joy and we had fun over that period of time of over a year in Singapore.

Edmund had an uncle staying along Tanjong Katong Road and the Casuarina Cove or Tanjong Rhu Beach was just a stone’s throw away unlike today after all that land reclamation that had been going on over the years in the island republic. So on Fridays, the two of us and our friends would go swimming at the beach…

Singapore 1973

…and then we would all go for a western dinner at the restaurant of the Ambassador Hotel which was also in the vicinity. We were not working and money was not so easy to come by then, so this weekly treat was indeed something really special for us. I went to visit him in Penang during our year-end holidays that year. That was the first time I went to Penang.

I did not know how to take chilli then – the typical Sibu Foochow of the time but I soon picked that up after our lunches together at the roadside mamak stall in one lane somewhere along North Bridge Road. I remember the ikan kembong buried under the red stuff, the grilled brinjals stuffed with homemade chilli, the sambal… Drool!!! Then there were the movies, the nights at the discos – Barbarella at Ming Court, Lost Horizon at Shangri La. I wonder where the rest of our friends are now.

Then, sometime in early 1974, I decided to come back to Sarawak and eventually, we lost touch completely. It was not until sometime in the mid-90s when I was involved in some work for the Education Ministry that I bumped into his sister in Langkawi. I had met her briefly when she and her husband came down to Singapore to see the parents and the old folks took us all out for lunch. She could not remember me but I was positive it was her and persisted in trying to find out from the other people with us that she indeed was who I thought she was – Edmund’s sister. Eventually, it was confirmed. It was her and thus, I was able to get in touch with Edmund again.

Since then, we had kept in touch via sms and phone calls…and he seemed amused by the fact that like those days when we were in Singapore, I was still active on the radio – that time when the TraxxFm family was a really huge thing for me and my name could be heard on the air virtually every day of the week or at least from Monday to Friday during the afternoon show. But it was not until July 2007 when my missus and I stopped for a night in Penang after sending my daughter to the institute in Sungai Petani that we finally got to meet one another again.

He still looks the same, maybe with a lot more grey hair…and perhaps a bit thinner which is more than what I can say about me! LOL!!! Like me, he is married and blessed with a daughter as well…but no, he did not end up becoming a teacher. Now he’s a big shot insurance man…and knowing insurance people, they’re all pretty loaded. Hahahahaha!!! But we’re older now and hopefully wiser and though we are living under very different circumstances now, the bottom line is we were good friends, we’re still good friends and always will be good friends.

I can recall how we used to write these lines in autograph books during my younger days:
Make new friends, keep the old
One is silver, the other is gold…

Amigos para siempre – Friends for life…

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

19 thoughts on “Amigos para siempre…”

  1. What a poignant story! Have he given up smoking? thot I spotted a ciggie in his right hand in the second pic. The beach background looks so lovely then, now I found that the ones I have been to so far in Singapore is so artificial looking.

    Yes, he has! Which, unfortunately, is more than what I can say about me! Sigh! Ya, it was a natural beach way back then…before the days of reclamation.

  2. On 2nd pic again…’kia leng,kia juak’ Winter n Summer hanging out together….. πŸ™‚

    Hahahahaha!!! No muscles, didn’t wanna show body mah!

  3. This is nice…. πŸ™‚ And those photos… LOL! Love the way you presented the first photo though.. took a photo of an old photo eh … hehehe

    Ya…and those days, the photo studios had those jagged edge cutters and they had to cut the photos manually and they all came out with that kind of edges. LOL!!!

  4. Love the pictures. Love the story…
    But…I Love your hair in the 2nd picture the most πŸ™‚ Hehehe…

    Windy lah! Maklumlah at the beach…and those days in the 70s, long hair was in vogue mah! Hahahahaha!

  5. Great friendship story! Today is the day that I don’t feel hungry while reading your story. LOL.

    Hah!!! I’m not a flogger…though my posts are more often than not about food. For one thing, that’s about the only interesting/exciting that I do these days – eat! LOL!!! And for another, my food posts draw more comments… But today, I think wordpress is doing some major housekeeping, so the whole morning until mid-afternoon, can’t access my blog and I guess the same goes to all wordpress blogs as well!

  6. Wah, good old days. Any old photos of STP dancing Cha cha cha in the Cabaret? he he he!

    Wait ah! I go and dig out the photos…and one of these days, I’ll post… Hehehehehehe!!!!

  7. your first picture really brought back the old feelings.. i remember the black white photos have those pattern edges… so authentic, we cannot find those anymore… πŸ™‚
    yes, friends are like wine.. so they say…
    good frens are hard to come by, i always tell my kids.. so do treasure their friendship and keep in touch till the end of our lives… πŸ™‚ u really look so different, stp… how come u “blossom” and prosper so well? can give tips? all because of the love of ….. ?

    Aiyor…you don’t know how I suffered to look like that! Starved myself almost to death! Other reasons as well – like no money and wanted to save the money to buy trendy clothes and go to discos!!! Then gastric pain!!! Terrible lah! And so stressful and depressing also – worried about how much the money would last. Really trying to make ends meet. That’s why I always make sure my girl has enough money to spend on whatever she wants so she would not have to go through what I went thru’ and stay stress-free while studying…Can be distracting!

  8. alamakkk…u duno who my so call khaima kar?u met her at jln alor bout 2yrs bk…she blogger but stop blog liao…from penang n stay in PJ… πŸ™‚

    gd fren beter dont lost in touch as money cant buy good frienship…the friends can buy using money is friendshiT… πŸ˜‰

    Yalor, couldn’t agree more! Friendshit…a lot! As long as got money, all will come like ants to sugar. Oh…you were talking about nyonya. She took me out for yong towfoo when I was in KL end of August this year… She told me you’re in SIN -gapore. We also met in Penang, Chinese New Year 2008.

  9. War….it feels so good to have good memories huh! Especially after a few decades. :p

    So this friend of yours is an Insurance agent lar? Which company? :p

    Dunno… Never asked. But he seemed very busy, so many calls from clients…and that means lots of money rolling in!

  10. Excuse me hor, not all insurance people are loaded ler…agents and brokers nia loaded…we coolie poor like church mouse even though same industry. Hahahahaha! :p

    Anyway, on an unrelated note, where is kpenyu? Long time no sound liao. And I kinda expecting something witty/sarcastic from knb and toc…where were they?

    By the way, looking good in the pics eh…hehehe! Heard my uncle said you were disco king back then :p I guess all that chubby checkers doing your physics good eh…fit and slim. Heheh!

    Ya, ya…I was actually talking about the agents, the managers…all those gold award winners! Filthy rich! LOL!!!….Kpenyu’s keeping a low profile, KNB has been sent to camp – not in office so no internet access…and I guess TOC has better things to do with his time e.g. hogging Facebook! Hahahahaha!!! Slim yes, but not fit! How I suffered from all those gastric pains…and people said I was pale and sickly…and the way I became slim so suddenly, they thought I had cancer or something!!!

  11. So handsome, almost can’t recognise you…

    Come, come…I’ll treat you to a nice dinner! πŸ˜‰

  12. Lovely old photos! I may be wrong but wasn’t Ambassador hotel next to Katong Park? With a rooftop nightclub? Memory plays tricks sometimes.

    Not sure where Katong Park is. I remember walking from Arthur Road past the hotel to get to Tanjong Rhu beach. Oh ya, Arthur Road is off Mountbatten, got a bit confused, memory a bit blur…

    P.S.:
    Ah yes! Just checked google maps – seems there is Katong Park Towers around there – don’t recall it being there at the time. I think 1980 Ambassador Hotel was still there – en route back from NZ via SIA, we were given one night free there while on transit, if I remember correctly. Dunno if it is still around now.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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