Wouldn't it be great if we still have kampung houses to go back to ? I have always envied friends or relatives who have kampung houses in Malaysia. I can't help reminiscing about my childhood days in Kampung Tanjung Irau. I had an exciting childhood even the ride home from school can be an adventure :). 

Going to School
To get to school I had to cycle about 15  minutes through what was then Sungai Terus (a swampy area) and through the neighbouring kampungs and up the hill to Mata gate where I'd board the bus to my alma mater which was 1 hour away. It's a long tiring journey and can be eerie especially when I passed through Sungai Terus at night ! Just imagine yourself passing through mangrove swamps at night and passing by a few houses which was purported to be haunted... it can be very eerie.  I was onced chased by 2 big dogs while cycling up the hill at night, one of the dogs managed to put 2 big holes in my school skirt. Luckily I didn't fall off the bike and the dogs somehow lost interest in me. It was even more fun during my primary school days, me and a few other kids were sent to school in Tok Hadar's Datsun car. We were packed in the car like sardine! By the time I reach primary 5, my parents allowed me to cycle to school together with other kids, we would race our way to Sembawang Primary School. 

Plenty of things to do
Playing police and thief, marbles was one of the games we loved to play. I used to catch spiders too until I was bitten by a bunch of bees one day on one of my spider-catching trips. Zero-point .. i was never good at this but used to watch my friends play this. Another of our favourite game is teng-teng kapalterbang or hopscotch. Sometimes I would just ride around the kampung on my bike and then stop by Sungai Simpang (river) .. there's a jetty there that's a nice place to sit and enjoy the breeze and watch motor-boats or sampans cruising by. Offcourse I don't get to do this all the time :). The best thing about kampung is that we have lots of land space; I used to have a small garden patch at the back of my house where I plant potatoes, curry plant, durian, mango trees etc. One of my favourite activites is to help my mum burn the dried coconut leaves. I'd pile up the coconut leaves, lit the fire and then steal an egg from the chicken coop and bbq the egg hehehe ;P. I'd the feed the bbq egg to the chickens after that .. I know it's kinda cruel. Not that I have anything against the chickens, I love my chickens and even have names for them . 

Eat, Eat , Eat
One thing I like about kampung living is that there's so much food to eat errr ..  not that I have less food now §:Þ. . Our neighbours sometimes give us snacks or fruits and we in return give them jackfruits or whatever kuih my mum made.. During Ramadhan, we would receive lots and lots of kuih .. yummyy . There's never a shortage of food; on some afternoons I would cycle to Mak Ngah Norima's house to buy mee rebus, mee siam, mee hongkong or goreng pisang and sometimes I'd follow my dad to buy the best mamak mee kuah ever near the stretch of Sembawang bars. If we want more variety of food , there's always Mata Gate the food paradise. On hot days, I would go to Kak Soyah's house to buy air batu asam to quench my thirst. But nothing beats my mum's home cooked food, especially if she cooks the fresh tiger prawns, crabs, mussels that my grandfather brings back from his fishing trip. 

So really you can never get bored living in a kampung. I wish I have a kampung house to go back to right now !! Remember the Sudirman's song that goes Balik kampung oooh balik kampung ooh balik kampung hati riang .

My kampung house

Another view of my kampung house

Cik Joned (our neighbour) house

Pak Teh's house

My brother repairing my grandfather's sampan

Masjid Petempatan Melayu, still serving the people of Sembawang

Ngah Bujang's house

Chickens crossing the lorong :)



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