Have you ever had one of those days when out of the blue you thought about your childhood friends, or that primary school classmate and wondered what became of them?
I was in the shower this morning thinking about blogging, and out of the blue I thought about my primary school classmates!
Well, of course I am always reminded of one classmate in particular because my daughter is named after her. The classmate my daughter is named after was Denice Katherine Hepburn. She was Australian and was my classmate during most of my primary school years until her family returned to Australia. Her father was the manager at SESCO back in the days when SESCO had a little building right in downtown Miri, near where Park Hotel is right now.
I remember how mean some of us were to Denice. She had curly red hair, with lots of freckles on her face. Some of us called her "white bum". The thing about her was that she dished out what she got, and her favourite phrase was "Sticks and stones will hurt me, but words won't".
I liked Denice and she even invited me to stay with her one weekend, because that weekend was her birthday and there was going to be a birthday party for her. It was a big deal for me because at 11 years old, I had never spent any time away from home before that, and I remember feeling homesick the whole time I was at her place. Also it was the first time I had stayed with a white family. The thing that struck me was that they didn't eat dinner! We had tea, and that was it.
Denice loved to watch Hindi movies and listen to Hindi songs. I remember her calling the cinema because we wanted to go watch a Hindi movie, but she got the day and the time all wrong and so we never went to see any.
I couldn't wait to get home after the birthday party, and Denice's mother was kind enough to take the time to drive me home right after the party.
Another primary school classmate that I often think about is Yvonne Davidson. Yvonne's mother was Indonesian, and her father was English, I think. She was my classmate until I was in Primary 3, because her family moved to Kuching after that. She was the smartest girl in my class and was more advanced than any of us, and when we were in Primary Two there was talk about promoting her to Primary Four. She played the piano, and it was from her that I developed an interest in playing the piano. I begged my mother to send me to piano lessons but my mother said the classes were too far away, and we couldn't afford it anyway. That was that.
I don't know if I'll ever meet either of them again, or if they'll even remember me, but who knows eh.