The day we lost half an hour

My first entry into the Singapore Memory site:

The year we followed West Malaysia into GMT +8:00 was the year I started secondary school.

We had until then been happily existing at GMT +7:30 when the government of Malaysia suddenly decided it would be a really good idea if both West and East Malaysia shared the same time zone.

I remember news reports of school children complaining that they now had to wait for school buses in the dark – as the sun had not yet risen at that (half) hour – and of some other school children who turned up half hour late for school on 2 Jan 1982, because somehow, they had not heard about the time zone change.

The bicycle kick that could

I was asking mrbrown yesterday why a bicycle kick in football is called a bicycle kick. It doesn’t resemble a bicycle, and when the kicker executes it, even if correctly, it doesn’t look like he/she is riding a bicycle, unless you count riding a bicycle upside down and about to fall off and hurt yourself.

That aside, we watched a video of what’s possibly the most famous kick of that kind, executed to perfection way, way back in 1993, at the National Stadium, in the Malaysia Cup, by Singapore football legend, V. Sundramoorthy.

It rates as one of the best goals ever scored anywhere. And for Sundram to find the back of the net still beggars belief: The striker has his back to the goal (obviously coached to do so) and a looping cross from the right floats at above head height, beating three short defenders as a result, and asks for a ridiculously spectacular and accurate kick to be attempted because, what the heck, when nothing is ventured, nothing is usually gained, and Singapore was 7-nil up against the hapless Bruneians anyway.

And so it came to be, a goal that was scored with what they call a bicycle kick that has become the stuff of legend, in a stadium that an entire generation already doesn’t remember.

Watch it (there are about three slo-mo replays too) at the Singapore Memory website. And if you’ve got memories of your own to contribute to the site’s collection, simply sign up and write!

From the White Horse’s mouth

Losers of the "Make My Head Look Most Like A Watermelon" Contest pose for a picture in Shoalwater Bay, Queensland, October 2005

I was enlisted in December 1988, just as the Army was changing their combat helmets from heavy steel to high tech Dupont Kevlar, and apart from my dog tags that said I was allergic to penicillin and triple antigen vaccines, my medical docket had this mysterious ink stamp that simply said, “W.H.”


Who scared who?

That used to be the catch cry among some of my mates at uni. You could call it the Singlish version of “Who Dares Wins”, only it meant daring each other to do really stupid things, like going up to a guy with a ponytail in a club and yanking it and running away. (Bonus point for getting the ponytailed guy thrown out of the club because the bouncer thought he had fallen because he was drunk).

Different challenges these days, and under a more decent sounding title: “I will if you will“. Check out our friend Nadya’s call to arms:

Can or not? Who scared who?

The Best is in Days of Yore

Last night I attended the 126th ACS Founder’s Day Dinner and had fun catching up with my classmates (Class of ’85), discovered that Gerald Giam is an ACS boy (Class of ’93), as is Lam Pin Min (Class of ’85).

We also spent some time trying to recall what Messrs. Lam and Tan Chuan-Jin (Class of ’85) were like in school. Luckily for them, we couldn’t remember much.

It was also a good thing I arrived really late, at the 2nd last course of the sharksfinless Chinese dinner, and avoided the time-honored tradition of present ACS boys and girls trying to sell all manner of school memorabilia, merchandise, and solicit donations from diners.

Please hor, school very big already. No need to annoy old boys paying $100 a head to catch up. All you’re doing is training the kids when they grow up to sell tissue paper at the hawker centre.