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A recent trip to Bangkok (before the protests started, thank goodness!) triggered a strange trip down memory lane. How ironic that being in a foreign country should bring fond memories of my Singapore-based past!

At Suan Lum Night Bazaar, I encountered a classic VW van parked in corner, choked full of goodies from my childhood. Its interiors were lined with faded comics books in their pop-art inspired glory and the van was doused with warm yellow light – inviting and cosy.



With much glee, I recognised familiar items from the plethora of knick knacks laid out. Colour pieces of tikam-tikam were in clear containers, gleaming like translucent plastic jewels. Wrapped candy of all shades and shapes looked too pretty to eat, sticks of flavoured cigarettes laid side-by-side innocently in the midst of everything else – it was certainly a visual feast for the eyes.



Everything looked so sacharinely sweet and colourful, I must have gotten tooth decay just looking at the spread. It would be extremely tacky to say I felt like a child again, but truth be told, I was grinning like a six-year old.



Chatuchajak Weekend Market also unravelled some old school magic in this quaint store tucked in the hustle and bustle of fervent bargaining and activity.



I found toy cameras, kaleidoscopes, windmills, plastic planes and old card games. But what amused me the most was this stencil ruler hidden under all the other toys.



As a child, I must have entertained myself to no end by stenciling repeated patterns of swirls. Just looking at the stencil ruler, I really appreciated the simplicity of the item – it’s nothing spectacular, honestly. It does not rely on batteries, it is two-dimensional and consists of an acrylic sheet and edged grooves.

The sheets of drawings produced with the ruler during my younger days only reminded me how much more complex life has become. And it is probably pointless lamenting how things are so much more different now, but that warm, fuzzy feeling of having these toys at my fingertips again – absolutely priceless.


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