Way before PSPs, Nintendo DS Lites, iPads and whatever kids have these days, we had GAMEBOYS. And they were the coolest things ever.
Mine was a super cool POKEMON version one that I am kind of ashamed to post up right now LOL. But I remember huddling under my blanket at night and playing it way after my bedtime, which kind of explains why my eyesight is so bad right now. Man were those screens dark!
Of course, with the gameboys came the classic games. You cannot imagine the feels I’m going through right now listening to the soundtrack below.
I remember in poly, my mates and I got into this hardcore tetris phase and I basically ruled at it. And I really have my gameboy to thank for it. It taught me many things: patience, diligence, logic, and, above all, an appreciation for long sticks.
Damn was that music creepy.
4. Pokemon RED/BLUE/YELLOW
I’m not sure how many pokemon there are right now, but back in my day, there were only 151. And Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow versions were basically all that anyone played. Damn those were good times. I’ve played them all but had a particular liking for Pokemon Blue, because I got that as a standalone cartridge (lol when’s the last time you heard the term ‘gameboy cartridge’) while the others were in one of those compilation cartridges.
Hey, speaking of cartridges, anyone remember blowing into the cartridge slots when they weren’t working properly? LULZ good times.
5. Sand playgrounds
When we weren’t training our pokemon to be the very best that no one ever was, we actually left our homes to play outside the comforts of our non air-conditioned homes.
I don’t remember if the one below my block was a sand playground or not, but I think it looked something like this:
But I also remember playing on the swings at sand playgrounds and digging craters with our feet every time we swung close to the ground ^^
I’m really glad we had those, otherwise our childhoods would have been filled with this:
Oh wow and merry-go-rounds and these rocky things that were stiff as hell, yet we always ran to one in hopes that they’d move more! LOL.
Once again, proving why sand > anything else:
(Those stiff rocking thingies worked the same way y’all!)
6. Mama Shops
Many of them have been replaced by 7-elevens or Cheers outlets by now, but I remember when Mama Shops were all over the place. In any HDB estate, there’d be at least one Mama Shop right there at one of the blocks’ void decks.
They were basically your most convenient convenience stores that would sell everything at dirt cheap prices. I remember a small bag of twisties was 30 cents, and those small balls of cotton candy were like 20 cents.
7. Iced gems
Then, I just knew these snacks as “the colourful sugar biscuits”. AND THEY WERE THE BOMB.
I remember biting off the sugared bits on top and tossing the biscuit bits away when my mum wasn’t looking. Heh. Man was I a sugar nut then.
8. Wang Wang Biscuits
Not wanting to sound like one of those idiots who insist everything was better in the past, but I swear to god, Wang Wang Biscuits tasted like 10000000000000 times better 13 years ago. Like they really spammed the shit out of the seasoning.
But now I suppose you get the ‘healthier’ version *scoffs*.
9. White Rabbit Creamy Candy
This was like the most contentious candy ever. The debate on whether the rice wrapper was edible or not was fiercely debated through the years. Neither camps would give in. It was tough.
Remember the melamine scandal? I think they pulled every single packet of White Rabbit Creamy Candies off the shelves here. Those were dark days.
10. Rainbow Paddle Pop
If I’m not wrong, these used to cost like 50cents or something. Super cheap and super amazing tasting!
11. The Ice Cream Man
We still see them in Orchard Road, but they don’t seem to get as much business as they used to. Back then, I remember an ice cream uncle who would park opposite my primary school every day at 1pm, which was when we finished school. And everyone would race across the road to get a slab of ice cream sandwiched between wafers or rainbow-coloured bread. My favourite flavours were cookies n’ cream and chocolate ^^
12. Zero Point
The next few points are actually what I remember from school (which was an all-girls school) so I’m supposing that guys wouldn’t relate much here. But these are such a huge part of my childhood memories:
The mantra “2-4-6-8, in out step out twist” is forever INGRAINED IN MY BRAIN. And we’d set like ridiculous levels for ourselves, where we kept raising the elastic bands higher and higher – I’m pretty sure the high-level kids were playing with the bands around their necks at one point. No kidding.
How To Play Zero-Point:
13. Five Stones
I was so into this I remember SEWING my own five stones. LULZ. Wow I had loads of time then didn’t I…
Check out this bad ass over here
If you don’t know what a Tamagotchi is, I’m sorry, you are too young and we can never be friends.
16. Freeze and Melt
Some people know it as ice and water, but I somehow remember playing this a lot as a kid. It was a variation of what we called “catching” where someone was “it” and they had to catch people. But instead of having the person caught become the new “it” the person had to freeze until a friend comes and “melts” her. And the game just goes on like that.
Aww I used to have a whole collection of these. I wonder where they went.
18. Autograph Books
Awww remember passing these books around class, especially during Primary 6 when we thought we’d never see each other again? Then we’d fill them up with our names, addresses, birthdates and sweet little notes on how we’d be friends forever?
19. Stamp Collecting
It’s funny. I still have my (pathetic) stamp collection. But most kids these days will never ever learn how to use a stamp.
20. Sticker Collecting
Hehehe I have a MASSIVE sticker stash. That I will never use. Maybe they can be heirlooms for my kids and future descendents. HAHAHA
21. Britney Spears
It’s kind of disturbing how much I enjoyed Baby One More Time now that I’ve realised how… sexual the whole sexy school girl thing was.
22. Christina Aguilera
“You gotta rub me the right way” Wow maybe these weren’t the right kind of songs we should’ve been listening to at that age huh.
23. Mandy Moore
For those of us who might be a little less mainstream…
There was the whispery Mandy Moore~
24. Backstreet Boys
Backstreet’s back, alright!
25. N Sync
JT’s hair ahmagahd :’)
You know what? I could go on forever with pop stars of the late 90s but I think I’m going to dedicate a whole post to that another time instead. Moving on!
Music piracy before it was piracy
Dude you thought Internet Explorer was old school? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
28. MSN Chat
Yes, MSN used to have a chatroom – and no I’m not talking about the message service that just got canned. Like a real chatroom.
Back when we still used “A/S/L” as an opener.
Oh god I feel so old right now.
HOW DID ANYONE KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON THEN?
I will never forget the “UH OH” sound alert.
OH WOW SOMEONE DID AN UH OH REMIX HAHAHAHA
Kids these days may think VCDs are old. Have they ever seen the good ole’ LASER DISCS?
If you ask me they should come back and be labelled ‘vintage’ just like records are these days. These are retro man.
32. Video Tapes
Kids these days will never appreciate the rewinding and fast forwarding of VCRs.
Kids have it too easy these days.
33. Non-cringe worthy local TV programmes
It might surprise many to hear this, but local TV wasn’t always a huge crapfest. Or maybe I was too young to recognise good shows from bad LOL. But these were some good series I remember:
(WHEN PEOPLE STILL SMOKED ON TV)
Under One Roof
34. Millennium Fever
The impending approach of the millennium year was really insane – everyone was insanely excited for it.
Fann Wong, Tanya Chua and… another person sums it up!
But along with the excitement came the idea that the year 2000 was gonna bring the armageddon along with it, which unfortunately did not happen.
BUT on May 5, 2000 the planets did align. Which was pretty darn cool.
35. But most of all, the best thing I remembered of the late 90s was that life somehow seemed so much brighter.
Because when you’re a kid, you really don’t need to worry about a thing.
And everything in the 90s somehow seemed to have more heart.
Then again, maybe we’ll look back on today and think about how the 2010s were great too.
Thanks for reading!