Growing up in Singapore in the 90s probably meant spending your downtime in school battling your peers to a game of country erasers or kuti-kuti, and spending your pocket money on spicy tapioca chips and “whistle” candies at the mamak shop. Here are 7 more nostalgic foods, games, and sights you’d remember from your childhood.
Root Beer Float
Photo credit: CL Tampa
If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of A&W after their departure in 2003, you must be a 90s kid who remembers the utter joy of slurping up a big frosty mug of root beer float – poured straight from a tap, topped with a generous scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream.
Hiro Chocolate Cake
Photo credit: Foodwanderers
A fluffy sponge cake coated in chocolate, this simple snack was a real treat back in the day. Its affordable price tag also made it the go-to indulgence during recess break when you wanted something sugary instead of a proper meal – not that you’d admit it to your parents.
Choki Choki Chocolate Paste
Photo credit: Behypy
Just tear the tip and squeeze out the chocolatey goodness within. It may be miles away from Godiva standards, but that has never stopped you from getting your fill of sweet cocoa. Admit it; some of you have probably even spread the paste on toast as a cheaper substitute for Nutella.
Photo credit: Flickr
A popular form of recess-time entertainment, this simple chess game was especially well-loved by primary school boys. If you weren’t playing the game, you were probably crowding around your classmates to watch the battle unfold as they tried to break into each other’s stronghold.
Photo credit: Straits Times
It’s all about precision and agility in this thrilling game where players had to jump across a rope that gets raised higher and higher after each successful attempt. But what many would remember most fondly is the rope made out of interlinking rubber bands – part of the fun was looping these bands while chatting with friends.
Pre-EZ-Link Bus Rides
Photo credit: Straits Times and Singapore Memory Project
If you took the bus to school every day, chances are your student pass was plastered with concession stamps. Those who didn’t purchase the monthly stamps would have to slot a flimsy prepaid card into the bulky ticketing machine, select the fee (ask the driver if you were unsure), and receive a tiny slip of paper as proof of payment.
Singapore True Ghost Stories
Photo credit: NewNation
There’s no shame in admitting one of Russell Lee’s short stories has had you cowering under the covers as these local tales of paranormal activities were the cause of many a nightmare back in the day. The stories were made even more unsettling by being advertised as “true” recounts that took place in familiar places around the country.