Last Updated on 2019-10-18 , 10:25 am
Remember those carefree days when all we did was hang out with our friends and eat? Those really were the good times.
McDonalds’ at Junction 8 (J8)
Previously, I had no idea why this particular Mac was always filled with secondary school students. Now I know the reason. Macs was always seen as the “better” food place apart from the hawker centres and the school canteen.
Also, this outlet was convenient for students from the North because of the buses and trains that brought us to J8 within 10 to 15 minutes. Gossiping and laughing while stuffing fries into our mouths is still something I reminisce about. I am sure that many of you would understand that even walking past this outlet is a trip down memory lane.
This arcade was a hit with all the boys who did not want to go home after school. A popular game at that time was Daytona and until today, you can see all these prepubescent boys trying to beat each other at driving. The shooting games were also very popular and many times, you will see these boys shooting at each other instead of on the screen.
Today’s kids are going to think we are ancient but hey, who cares. These neoprint machines located at the arcade in J8 were filled with students and we had to wait our turn.
It was always fun to go into the machine, do weird faces, choose the background, draw and paste images. No amount of Snapchat can beat this experience, that’s for sure. All the machines were in either Japanese or Chinese so long story short, I learnt a new language.
Toa Payoh HDB Hub
Although it looks like a pretty empty place, that was where I spent a big part of my secondary school days. It was not so much of the shopping but rather, it was the buying of an ice cream from MacDonalds and just sitting on the stairs while talking.
Many of us would also have memories of buying clothes from there because they were cheap and in trend. It was also quieter than J8 which made it more pleasant to walk around.
One of my favourite memories, I remember how hanging out in playgrounds was the “in” thing. To make things better, Bishan and Toa Payoh have a lot of big and nice playgrounds such as the iconic dragon playground at Lorong 6.
Chilling with your friends, complaining about school and gushing over our crushes made playgrounds a great hangout place. Not to mention, the slides were a whole lot of fun too!
Toa Payoh Stadium
I, for one, will never forget this stadium. Many secondary schools around Bishan/Toa Payoh usually held their Sports’ Day at this stadium. If you, like me, had participated in the competitions, you too will hold very fond memories of this place. The shouts of encouragement, the cheers of the different houses and the snacks made Sports’ Day one of the best school days.
After all, there were no classes. Also, after the event ends, you will see a huge crowd of students in PE attires at Toa Payoh HDB Hub because that’s where all of us went to hang around and have a meal at MacDonalds.
Buses 153 and 105
What’s on a bus? A lot, actually. These two buses were taken a lot by students living in the North because they go to many places in Bishan and Toa Payoh. Plus, these buses go to Toa Payoh bus interchange which is located at Toa Payoh HDB Hub. It is no question then as to why these buses are always filled with hyper secondary school students.
Bus rides are fun especially when you get to sit and at the back of a double-decker bus. It literally sets the room for boys to kick around a soccer ball (it’s not a good idea, please don’t do it) and for girls to push each other off the seats for fun.
Complaints from residents
With Bishan and Toa Payoh being densely populated, there are many residents who live near the secondary schools who apparently love complaining. Students running out after school -unruly behaviour. Boy and girl at void deck -trying to make babies. Students walking quietly to the bus stop -suspicious behaviour. And these are not made up. Like really, we could be studying and there will be a complaint that we are holding a gang meeting.
These complaints led to many of us being scolded for no apparent reason but the best part of the whole thing was going to one of our hangout places and thrashing the person who complained. Will never forget that.
Bumping into friends
This one is definitely something I miss. As J8 and HDB Hub are popular hangout places, you are very likely to bump into your friends regardless of whether you are out with your family, another group of friends or alone. If you are alone, it is no doubt that your friends will ‘jio’ you to join them. I guess in secondary school, you really will never walk alone.
I am sure all the girls will remember this one. It was just something about the cute grey bears and pink backgrounds that made this place well, precious. For Bishan/Toa Payoh students,
J8’s Precious Thots was the go-to place to get a gift for a girl. From cards to mugs to accessories, this place had everything you need. Needless to day, it does hold a lot of precious memories.
That was a nice trip down memory lane, wasn’t it? It definitely made me want to go back to my teenage days.
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