Translated by LIM YAN TING
Sin Chew Daily
MELAKA: Among the toy collection of Chong Thiam Heng, this could be a very simple one made of simple materials and is easy to play with.
First, flatten a bottled drink cap, then poke two holes in the middle of it and pull a string over the holes. While the string is being pulled with the hands, it will tighten and lax, and the bottle cap will spin rapidly in between the two ends of the string.
These disposable bottled drink caps made a favourite game for children of yesteryear. For poor children who could not afford to buy carbonated drinks, at least playing with these bottle caps was not a bad idea at all.
Easy but potentially dangerous
"The edges of these caps could be very sharp when they are flattened and spinning rapidly, and can potentially hurt people. Children make use of the sharp edges to cut each other's string. If the string is cut once but not broken, it would then be the other person's turn to cut. The game is very fair; one person at a time.
"We usually kept a few caps inside our pockets. As for the string, the Buffalo brand would be perfect."
This game is very easy to play with but it could also be very dangerous.
"We never thought of the dangers when we were young. Of course we are now aware that the game is actually very dangerous.
"The weird thing is that we never heard of anyone getting injured because of this thing."
Kids see the happiness, not the dangers
"Big kiddo" Chong Thiam Heng, 53, is still very much attached to the old "childhood toys" he used to play with when he was young. Even though these games are simple and could be dangerous to play with, innocent kids only see the happiness but not the dangers.
"Even though I was poor and led a very simple life, I had a very satisfying childhood because of the many playmates I had."
Seen by his playmates as a "leader," Chong always led his group in games.
"Everyday, we would discuss at the end of a game what to play the following day, and would then go home to prepare for it. Since I was the 'leader,' I would normally have to innovate new ways of playing games and make them as interesting as possible before I went to sleep.
"The following day after school, we would dump our schoolbags at home and rushed for our games, and would spend almost half the day playing."