I miss CJCH - Exam Time
Then I started wondering if it was just in NTU that I saw these weird studying scenes. And I suddenly remembered.. long long ago.. when we were all tiny bunch of secondary school kids, back in the small CJC Hostel, things were like that too. CJCH is a small hostel of 140 occupants only, with only one common area - half of the ground floor. When you first enter the hostel, there is security counter and office on your right, with the laundry room behind the security counter. The floor tiles are small and pale yellow in colour. During SARS period, we used to line up in front of office to get our temperature measured before going to school every morning. Then on your left, there's a small newspaper lounge, and a small chapel with beautiful stained glass and electronic piano. Then you turned right into the common area. You see on your left, an IT room; on your right, a lounge with a lot of sofas. Then you walk further in, there's a turn on your left to the canteen. And then, 1 TV room with nice bean bags on your left, and 3 study rooms on your right. There is a piano in Study Room 2. We used to pay 1 dollar per hour for piano, and 3 dollar per hour for computer, till Brother Paul abolished it. TV room and IT room are closed at 10pm - that was how healthy we WERE brought up. All the studious people among the 140 who can't study in their own rooms study at these common areas.
During exam period, the atmosphere was great. You see studying people everywhere - the study rooms, in the canteen, the newspaper lounge, in the chapel, at the lounge platforms, in between the computers. And some of us did walk about while studying, the walking motion was believed to help digestion of books. But that time, I didn't consider these scenes weird. Cuz we all know each other. Even though some were not friends, but we definitely know each other's names. Familiar people are not weird people.
I suddenly miss mugging in CJCH so much. I remember those times when Melissa and Yoshiko grabbed the sofa cushions and low tables from lounge into the study room 3 where we made ourselves cosy there studying, even slept overnight there.
I suddenly remembered how I used to purposely study at the table seat in the first study room against the glass panel, so that I could catch glimpses of you, to just wave and smile and mouth 'hi'.
I remembered how I used to mug with Melissa at wee hours in the study cubicles in IT room, always telling Melissa to wake me up if I fall asleep, then immediately went to sleep after that.
I remember holding my notes walking up and down the slope.
I remember you laughing happily when someone asked you if you were looking for your chick - just when you guys didn't realise I was just behind you all, and how shocked you guys were after discovering my presence.
I remember the charred burnt pizza after someone happily innocently warmed a single slice of pizza in microwave for a good 5 minutes.
I remembered the physical fight between the Malaysian and the Chinese guys in the canteen over discrimination.
I always remember being scolded for sleeping late.
I always thought I am not far from these memories, but today, I suddenly realised, they are 5-8 years away from me now, only to be farther in the future.
I have thrown away a lot of things I had since secondary school. I have changed my MSN version and my hairstyle, kept my textbooks and newsweek in boxes, threw away my clothes, my files, my notes, my clock, my handphone. The last thing I want to throw away, is my memory of the past...