I remember when we moved out of that little flat and into a bigger one with 2 bedrooms, a living room, a tiny kitchen and a toilet/bathroom at the back of the kitchen, I was around 5-6 years old. It was a government rental flat and the block was only 4-storey high. We lived on the top floor and each square of our ceiling boards was painted in different shades of blue, yellow, and pink. I’m not sure if it was the same in all the other flats but it stood out in my mind 🙂
The block had about everything we needed, like a coffee shop, a stationery shop, an Indian grocery shop that sold just about everything including toys, sodas and freshly shredded coconut and I believe there was also a clinic too but the memory of that was hazy. The wet market was just across the road and it had a hawker centre next to it where we could get cooked food easily.
I remember looking down the railing at the back of the flat some days and saw some gruesome killings downstairs. It was the back of the coffee shop below and that was where the cooks slaughter animals for their dishes. Sometimes I would see a huge turtle being slaughtered, its blood spilling all over the floor. Strange enough, it didn’t spook me. Guess the practical side of me knew it was for food even at such young age. And yes, turtle is a delicacy, though it is mostly used for medicinal purpose, like turtle soup doubled boiled with Chinese herbs 😉
We were quite poor, what with my parents having so many mouths to feed (all together there were 8 kids but my 3rd elder sister passed away at 3), so there was no television in our flat. What we did was we brought our little stools to the flat next door and sat in front of our neighbour’s TV to watch our favourite Chinese drama serial, called The Bodyguard (保鏢).
I don’t know why we found this particular drama so interesting and exciting. Sure, the sword fighting was exciting, at least to a 6-year-old, but then again, there wasn’t much fighting. It was just yakking away, and when it came time to raise the swords, someone would call out ‘STOP!’ (in Mandarin, of course LOL). Then you’d hear the sound of horses approaching but you almost never saw a horse, you would just hear a neigh or a whinny or hooves stomping on the ground. But we were kids, what did we know?
So we sat there completely enthralled by the black and white movie. In fact, I was so enthralled that the image of this heroine picking at red and green beans, trying to separate them using chopsticks in almost every chapter, got stuck in my mind even after all these years. She was told that it could help her attain great martial arts skills and I was too young to wonder how that could be.
I had no recollection of how the serial ended and if the heroine finally managed to avenge her parents’ death, probably because the drama dragged on and on like most Taiwanese dramas tended to do and I soon lost interest. Either that, or our neighbours moved away LOL I remembered falling asleep in front of the TV screen at times. Picking red and green beans just didn’t cut it and to add to that boring scene, the screen was black and white LOL
Here’s the theme song of the drama and some footage of the show. Thank goodness for Youtube and the people who took time out to upload videos such as these 🙂
保鑣 張玲 Uploaded by 914311018