Jessie jots...

In response to Azleena, Ying San and Jane's blog posts, here's my version of what teenage years was like in Convent Bukit Mertajam. I felt obligated that I should share my part too.

Lets start out with a picture of 5 Sc 1. I knew that the 5 Sc 2 peeps would be displeased with why they were number 2 when they are the top students. Sure enough, I see one of your reaction in the post. LOL Naturally, I just fit into my class without thinking I should be in number 2 because number 1 sounds good to me. Oh well, many years later... nobody cares if you even pass SPM. So why bother with class ranks.

Here you can see our famous Head Prefect, Ooi Jan Lyn (I agree with you Azleena, I see yellow spots in her). And our very own soft spoken, always girly Yow Nian Yi and MOI, wasn't having a good hair day obviously. Oh and that Puan Jamilah, was always so obnoxious with us. She hissed at me when she found out I got Grade 1 for my SPM result, saying "Selalu main-main pun boleh dapat Gred satu". Alah.. jeles ke? lol

Another one of the rare pictures I have of us in school uniforms. I was so glad I packed this in my bag when I left. If I didn't bring these pictures with me, I would have forgotten how everyone looked like nor myself. I can remember faces but forgotten names. However, I can point out a few - Hong Tsui-Han, no glowing glasses this time. Su Ying getting some attention it seems. She was always one of the tallest and get to stand at the back. Azleena sister is in this picture too. Miss Shu Yen smiling widely over there, and still look the same to me from Jane's picture. And oh hey, where's Jessie? hehe! Ya, I get to sit down this time. Was a secretary for our Kelab Perpustakawan.
I took art tuition with a High School teacher at that time. Little did I know, I was already attending to my calling in art. LOL yeah right. But I stubbornly went on to get a degree in Psychology, not like I was bad at it but it was just not my cup of tea. Anyway, my art teacher from Taman Bukit Indah, Uncle Koay secretly submit my artwork to the International Japan-Malaysia art competition. Unlike Uncle Koay, he called me one day to inform me about my work having won third prize for its age category and told me to attend the ceremony. I was 17 in this picture, posing next to my artwork at the Dewan Sri Pinang. Looking very delighted not of the winning mind you but I get to skip school for the receiving the award. That was awesome-r than getting an award! HEHE

The next picture is kind of off topic but still in the context of being a teenager. I thought some of you might be interested to see what we do as rascals. Su Ying and I spent a lot of time together. Mainly because my sister was quite a party pooper when she was younger, so Su Ying was my best answer to boredom. Here, we are at Cameron Highland. I remember driving my dad's car recklessly and stumbled across a field of PUDINA, yep... you got it, Mint leaves. As a veggie lover and that we eat food of all kind, we jumped out of car like we won a million dollars. My youngest sister took this pic of us, stealing some of the mint leaves for later consumption. We had it with sambal as ulam... man I can still recall the fresh taste of the leaves .

Here are some kawan-kawan (friends) of all kinds at their best post and best suit. These pictures were later publish in the year book.

Oops... the last one is Kok Khai from High School. Don't think he put on fake boobs to get into Convent, did ya? I thought you might be interested to see what he looked like at his prime time.

These pictures easily brings me far back, down the memory lane. I can't help but to be emotional about it. I didn't spend the 12 years in Convent Bukit Mertajam like most of you did, but I have to admit, it was the best school I've ever been. I was in Convent BM from Standard 1 to 3 and left to other states in Malaysia because of a change in my dad's career. I lost contact with everyone I knew. I mean, back then, phone is expensive and e-mail is of non-existence. Marlina Sara used to call me when I was in Terengganu but she got scolded for the expensive phone bills. So we had to stop chatting. :P

Then I went back to Penang when I turned 14. At Form 2, I came to know some familiar faces again - Jan Lyn, Josephine, Ziying, Shuh Jiuan, Aida, and others. But we were all too distant to be friends out of a sudden. I was very vulnerable, no longer as flexible as I was being sociable. I still make some good friends though. And started rolling ever since.


Naturally, when speaking of high school, I would be recalling fond memories of my dearest friend, Soon Chia Yee. Her maiden name is Nelly, or at least her parents call her that. We used to car pool, do our homework, cycle, jog, trek, call boys.... basically, do everything together. When we graduated from high school, we enrolled at KDU together. We would see each other everyday for lunch break, she would drive me to shop for her latest quest in fashion and we would hang out at the Foyer in KDU just watching people and secretly dissing at the way they dress. Oh those poor people.

The picture below has a long story to tell. It was a memorable night for me. It was a life changing night. I was begged to go to this KDU ball night back in year 2000. I remember not wanting to go because I was too lazy to dress up. Chia Yee pestered me. She didn't accept any of my excuses. I told her I don't have any clothes but she would pester me until I have no excuses to give. When I told her I don't have any car to go shopping, she came at my doorstep with her car and helped me look for an outfit. We probably had a few weekends where we were just looking for MY outfit, instead of hers. She didn't even have a chance to look for her shoes, which is why she was wearing mine.

A lot of weird things happened that day. To cut the long story short, we managed to get to the Ball Night in time with an outfit, Chia Yee thought fit me best. I can't say I am the best fan of her fashion sense but ah whatever, we had so much fun dressing up and giggling all night long. The ball night came with an intermittent. So everyone got up and went out of the hall to get some pictures of the scenic beachside. I got lost in between when the girls were rushing out. I stood there lost, searching high and low for them but couldn't find anyone I knew. I stood there in between the people for quite a few good second, when suddenly the crowd quiet down as it disperse in front of me. As people walked away, my eyes led me to the empty spot and led my eyes to our very own Harvard-look Yew Wai dressed in his well-made tux with a polished James Bond look that was to die for. It was the night, I saw him at a different angle. It was the day I wanted to give him a chance.

He came up to me and say hi, and chatted a little. Since he was so well-groomed, I felt like such a tramp for wearing a see-through blouse. I got so nervous, my hands were cold and I avoid his eye contact hoping that someone would find me and excuse me from his electrified, sizzling eyes. I kept looking for the girls but found myself locked-into his handsomely all-white crested, plain straight enamel-ed smile.

To no avail, no one came to rescue me. So I have no choice but to excuse myself in like a 10 second chat but it felt like the longest time because I was so mesmerized with that smile. The rest of the story was history.

If not for Chia Yee pestering me to go, I wouldn't have seen Yew Wai at a different light. I wouldn't have fell for him. I wouldn't have any chance to meet him. It was really fated.

Below is a picture of Cheng Vern Vern, Chia Yee and I at our table.

The day before she left for Perth, I drove her out for supper late at night. We talked about the future, what it's going to be like now that everyone was going overseas. We talked about who will have kids first and who would be the best mom. And as usual, we laughed and giggle at the silliest jokes. But that's how we kept our friendship alive.

When I drove her home that night, it was quite an uncanny experience. She was very quiet, unlike other times when she was normally very optimistic and bubbly. She broke down in tears when we arrived at her house. It was my first time seeing her so emotional. I looked at her strangely, thinking she was just being silly. She said to me "I am so afraid I can't see you anymore". I shrugged off at her remark, I said "You will get to see me... we have holidays!" She continued to cry, and told me she will miss me. We bid farewell and I being naive, went home without thinking twice of what she said. Of course now, it made sense.

I like this last picture of her a lot. This is how I remember her to be - sweet and bubbly, a person who cares and shares. Sometimes I blame myself that I influence her to go to Perth but I know it was not entirely me to be blamed. Chia Yee left the world in year 2001 and I must admit, I still grieve over her. She gave me dreams every now and then that it's always so vivid, I can remember what she said and what usually happened next, is always so true. One incident, she told me in my dreams about her brother's wedding and that her dad bought a new car, that is black in color. I didn't think much of it until my mother, who frequent her house area, saw that black color car parked outside her house. My mother told me about it and later, also acknowledged her brother's wedding - that's when I started to believe my dreams were not just dreams.

Last Saturday I had the priviledge to see a psychic. Yew Wai and unintentionally stumbled across a lady psychic who happened to be at a convention center to promote what she does. I thought it'll be interesting to see if some of my dreams were true. I asked the psychic, "Do you see anyone with me?" She replied, "Your friend connected to you through school said she shared a lot of giggles with you." She assured me that Chia Yee is with me all the time, through presence and in dreams. The psychic later went on to say, "She said she miss you a lot".

The moment she said we always giggled, my tears started streaming off my face profusely. I got too emotional to talk, I had to walk away.

I miss you too Chia Yee.

I apologize for writing an emotional entry but this incident just happened last weekend. And my memories is still fresh from that assurance. Thank you for your understanding.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful and heartfelt piece of writing.. thanks for sharing!

love, san

Anonymous said...

A very meaningful and sweet posting... this is such a heart-warming post and it was a really nice stroll down memory lane. I finally made my way into commenting on your blog and I just wanted to add in that I was nervous as heck when I saw you standing alone at the hallway of Bayview Beach Hotel during the KDU ball night. I should slap myself for not having enough guts to make the next moves. Thankfully, I had a second chance at making a move just before Jessie left to the US and siezed it without thinking further. :)

-Yew Wai

Jessie C said...


janediva said...

This post is so beautiful and very well written. Chia Yee is indeed your guardian angel :)

Jaysern said...

OMG you have a picture of pok pok khai, my ex-classmate!

What do you mean "in his prime" .. is he not in his "prime" now? :D

I completely lost touch with him .. are you in touch with him?

Jessie C said...

Hi Jaysern. LOL I didn't realize pok pok khai is your ex-classmate. Yes I still keep in touch with him. He's now in Russia, should be a doctor in no time. Now he look a lil haggard, nevertheless still handsome. Metabolism is high, body is strong, and skin is radiant - isn't being 17 your prime time?

Jaysern said...

totally. his response would be, "pok your head lah!"

interesting... can you tell him I'd like to get in touch with him?

also tell him that i have health insurance and already have a doctor, and i promise i'm not trying to bum free healthcare from him--like i bummed free exam answers from him in high school :D

i hear that for men, you're prime is in your 30's -- that's when you're more established, got a career, money, what not, and as long as you haven't been slacking in taking care of yourself, you should be pretty healthy!

Azleena said...

wow... ini confirm la demam berjangkit :P

I can feel your soul, written from ur heart :)

hahaha.. the reaction about the Sc2 was just to highlight the zaman kegemilangan of our keganasan.. :D~ its quite funny oso to think about dat now

pn.Jamilah... yaaa.. I can never forget that yellow Bean car of hers...

perpustakawan.. hahaha... the library is so small (still at the same place now), but the librarians were nice coz i practically kenal most of em, hahahha (yaa.. my sis too :P)

ChiaYee, I never got to know her well in school last time, and I thought of her as a quiet, sweet girl. From ur story, she seemed sweet yeah.. but not so quiet eh? :D I remember the accident, HueyChin passed away in the same accident. I attended her service in Berapit's Buddhist temple, quite a number of us were there and I can still feel the depth of having lost someone you knew.

It must have been tough on you since you are so close to her even until now, your heart still speak to her.. She was very lucky indeed to have had a friend like u and vice versa.

I dont think its a too emotional of an entry, it is a beautiful one, that teaches us, who are still here today, of the beauty of friendship and human relationship... and makes us realise how we cannot take ppl and things for granted...

(my comment is tooo long rite... ayyak.. sorie eh... :P)

Jessie C said...

Azleena, your comment is very long (hehe) but it is worth reading every word. You touch my heart in every way, understanding my feelings from top to toe. I really appreciate you emphatize with my feelings.

Yes, it has been difficult for me and still is at times because I don't quite have a closure when she passed. A lot of people were mummed about it and quite often, I always "she is gone, just let go". But I like talking about her and often time, hard to find the steam vault to do so. So, thank you very much for acknowledging. :)