Reunion – Class of 86

For years, I am so used of being called “Joe” that I almost forgotten my Chinese name. Even my mum doesn’t call me by that name, she calls me as “Peng”. The only time when someone calls me by my Chinese name is when they are really angry with me.

You can imagine the surprise look on my face when someone called me by my Chinese name on the street. Instinctively, it must be someone from the past. Someone close and someone familiar.

It was Wei Qiang, my kindergarten friend. He was one of my closest primary school buddies and the captain of our volleyball team from 1985-1986. Wei Qiang led the team into the National Finals – one of the proudest moments in my childhood. (Don’t think my parents know about that.) Those were our happiest and most glorious days. We were the champions of the Eastern District. Our team was the most successful volleyball team in Kuo Chuan Presbyterian school. We were the legends. (Too bad, most of the guys were in the all-boy class, we didn’t get any special attention from the girls.)

We went on our separate roads after PSLE. His family moved out of the neighborhood and we lost contact. The last time we met was almost 20 years ago at the Air Force training school. He was an officer cadet and I was servicing my last months at the admin dept.

I was so happy to see him! That familiar smile, the familiar bond of yesteryears. It felt so good to embrace a lost brother of the past. We exchanged our Facebook IDs and I connected Wei Qiang with the rest of the old PBS boys and girls.

Last Sat, some of the PBS boys decided to gather at Jago Coffee Shop. Francis Toh (another kindergarten friend of ours) is the owner of the famous Jago Carrot Cake stall. Simon, Joachim, Wei Qiang (Eric), Caofa (Victor) and I decided to give Francis a surprise! After all, they haven’t meet for over 25 years!

Over the past few days, Facebook reconnected all the primary school friends. We setup a alumni group. Photos, stories and secrets were shared. It is a great feeling to see the old clan of yesterday active today.

Fate was kind to me for a second time. I bumped into another old PBS friend, William, on my last night in Singapore. Life is just so amazing. Just when you thought your old friends are a past distant away, they turned up at every corner unexpectedly.

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