Anyone still remembers "Pen Pal"? I think only those in their 40s and above are aware of its existence. With internet comes email, Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the social media stuff and this thingy called "Pen Pal" which had been part of our growing up years has regrettably becomes insignificant anymore.
I was in my lower secondary school when I started to have pen pals. It went on for few years. It was the in-thing then. During those days, many magazines targeting the young people would have a column which featured contacts of those who are keen to have pen pals. One particular magazine was the Fanfare if I remember the name correctly. Back then, such thing like spam was unheard of then. Home addresses and names of those who wished to find pen pals were openly published. Their hobbies and interests were also listed.
At my height, I had quite a number of pen pals but I can only remember one in particular. She is an Eurasian girl, quite pretty by my standard. I still remember the school she was studying (quite a popular school then compared to mine, a neighbourhood school). It was really fun and exciting to have pen pals. We had to personally pen down our thought, write it nicely to impress the other party and then post out. I used to keep all the letters from my pen pals and they are all girls. I don't have male pen pal for obvious reason. Unfortunately, this form of communication is fast fading away as people either email, tag, whatsapp or whatever using modern mode of communication. Sheepishly, I am now following the present trend too. Back to the favourite pen pal of mine, that Eurasian girl. We communicated quite regularly via letters. She even mailed me her school badge which I put it close to me. Each time, I would check my letter box for her letter and very quickly, I followed up with mine. I had her photo too. Did I send mine? Quite frankly, I cannot remember now. I was actually quite a shy boy. I did not arrange to meet any of my pen pal and gradually, the interest kind of fizzled out. So, no first date from any of my pen pal during my teenage years. Let's get real, I was too poor to go on date anyway. I was also afraid I would fumble with what to say. Alright, the latter was the real reason why I didn't date any of my pen pal then.
Lastly, I hope my favourite pen pal, that Eurasian girl is living well. She may not remember me now even if we happen to meet. The platonic relationship among young people where boys are keen to know girls and likewise is norm with youngsters, me included . "Pen Pal" is indeed an important part of my growing up life.