Riding a bicycle was necessary for all us children. We lived deep inside the countryside and the nearest shops were in Chong Pang Village about two miles away. To reach Chong Pang (named after the landlord – Chong Pang), I had to traverse an undulating dirt track inhabited by dogs that took great pleasure in making my life a gauntlet of hells. That is another story.

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*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2011 ***


  1. Carroll is good. That or Dr. Your Highest Greatness Boswell, your majesty sir. But nothing in between. 🙂 A bottle of red wine sounds good to me. Manhattan was a frightening place to me the one time I was there. I get intimidated when there are more than a hundred people in one place. My oldest daughter lives near there and likes to go into the city. I had always thought of Singapore as a nation consisting of a single large city, but you speak of rural areas. How large a territory is Singapore? We have an “adopted daughter” (= close friend) who knows a family in Singapore and is hoping to visit there in the summer. It is strange to think you might even see her and not know it was her. The woman she knows is ethnic Chinese and lived in this town for a few years due to business/professional duties; we met her at church.
    The local university here (while we are a small town of 8000 there are two universities here so that the students out number the townies 2 to 1. One of the two universities has an aeronautical engineering department; I teach math at the other university.

    1. Okay “Carroll” 🙂

      Singapore in the 1960s still had rural places – but not anymore. It is one very modern city state now. There is so much to say about our little island, perhaps if you Google it…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore

      Coming from Singapore, we can fit into any metropolitan city. We are such a cosmopolitan city it would be strange for any Singaporean family not to have friends in the west…

      Cheers, Eric

  2. I never did learn to ride a bicycle when I was a kid. It was optional for us since we lived in a town after we left the farm. I didn’t learn because my father tried to teach me and his method of teaching made me want to not learn; it was like teaching a person to swim by throwing him into the deep water. As an adult I did eventually learn to ride, but I never felt confident enough to enjoy it. The bike I was supposed to learn on was at least a smaller one so I didn’t have the struggle to fit on it as you did.
    Skating was a skill I did learn, roller skating in the south. Up here where I live now ice skating is the thing. Ice is a common commodity up here, but ice skating is really hard. There is no friction whatsoever and it is all I can do to stay vertical while holding onto a rail, much less trying to move. I think falling on ice is the only natural process that happens faster than light.

    1. Where I grew up, in a Singapore village, learning to ride a bicycle – like learning to climb trees – was a done thing for boys…

      Yes, sometimes the teaching methods of an adult (usually too anxious for our good) turns us off from an activity which we would otherwise have embraced.

      We have (had) indoor ice-skating rinks in (tropical) Singapore and I could get by – but didn’t really enjoy it. Cycling remains an enjoyable activity > I have two bikes (one a trainer and another, a racer). My son is also an enthusiast > he is living in New York now and recently I shipped his racer to him.

      Now I alternate between daily brisk walks and weekly road biking.

      I suppose you enjoy some regular physical workouts..

      1. Yes, I walk to and from work, about a mile and a half each way, rain or shine, snow or ice. And I walk any other chance I get. I could do mountain climbing around here, there are some small mountains not far away, but my knees are bad. Still I enjoy walking. And gardening is another hobby which gets me active and outside.
        Where in NY is your son? NY city I imagine. I also am in New York state, so if he is in the city we are only 400 miles apart, neighbors by global standards…

      2. That’s great – looks like you get plenty of exercise.

        Adamson lives in Manhattan, NYC – check out the post in my blog > My Son the Poster Boy > http://wp.me/p1YE83-wb

        Nice chatting. Logging off for the night – a bottle of red wine is waiting for me 🙂

        – Eric

        P/s How would you like me to address you > Carroll, Caleb or Sir 🙂

  3. Had bad experienced when I was young riding a tricycle down a slope. Fell off the tricycle which left a bad scar on my right thigh.

  4. I never ride the awkward style one. I act smart and cycle on top like yah yah. I think the bike feels I’m showing off – toss me off into the grass patch, my face straight into the sand, landing on my haunches. Very funny, after that I just know how to ride.

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