Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Still remember your very first time…..?

Do you still remember the first time you chat online with strangers ?

It was 1996 then. I was a first year undergraduate, enjoying my first vacation in my university life. I was coding my own home page hosted on Geocities. Back then, all the html and javascript codes were written line by line on Notepad, instead of using application like Frontpage.

I was searching the internet for some cute icons that I can steal reuse and put on my website. Back then, there was no google so I was using a number of search engines like Alta Vista, Lycos, etc simultaneously. And somehow, I navigated to a site called “Alamak Chat”, which was a web-based chat room. Feeling curious, I entered a nickname and logged on to it. Upon logging on, I saw a main screen with quite a number of users chatting. That was actually the first time I entered a chat room. I dared not to chat. I just sit down in front of my PC watching the online conversation on the main channel.

Then suddenly, I saw a small box (or a window? I can’t really remember the details) flashing on my screen, indicating that someone had issued a private chat with me. I opened the window and started my very first online chat with the stranger. The other party was a gal who was three years younger than me and just finished her A levels. We chatted for around an hour. And we continued to chat for the next few days, until she recommended me to use ICQ (I was very suaku then, don’t know what is ICQ), and from then on we switched over to ICQ.

After my new semester started, we continued to correspond via emails and ICQ. And eventually we agreed to meet each other during my one-week term break. We met near my school library because I was a kiasu student and was busy studying during the term break. She was a pretty and petite gal, and was rather quiet. I brought her around the campus, exchanged gifts and then had lunch at the nearby shopping mall.

From then on, we remained in contact regularly via email, phone or ICQ, and went out for movies and dinner quite frequently. We remained as very good friends, though I wasn’t very sure about my actual feelings towards her. Eventually, she went over to Germany for undergraduate studies when she was year two or three in NUS. And slowly, we lost contact with each other.

The last I heard, she was still in Germany. Or maybe she is back in Singapore, I don’t know. I hope she is doing well and living happily. We started as complete strangers, and would probably ended as strangers. But I just wish to say, at some point in my life, I really liked her even though I wasn’t very sure at that point of time. And, wish you a happy birthday and stay happy forever!