Thursday, 7 March 2013

Those were the good old nostalgic days

                       Wong Peng Soon was our favorite Badminton player 
                          Rose Chan was our erotic dancer/performer idol.
                       Rearing Siamese fighting fish was our favourite pass time.
                             Parents seldom interfered, it's their pass time too.
Susu Lembu (Cow's milk) was delivered daily by a big, strong and friendly Singh man from a neighbouring village. The containers were not clean looking; however no one fell sick over drinking tainted milk.
Kacang Puteh peddler sold the old time tidbits in cone shaped papers -torn from pages of Yellow Pages. 
F & N Orange, Sarsi, & Cream Soda bottles snugly placed in wooden crates for display during Chinese New Year days.
                                          M & M's was called Treets.
Eating roasted chicken was considered a rare treat; it happened only during festive days.
Lighting up fire-crackers was no big deal, the adults loved doing that. The policemen would avoid roads where villagers and town folks having ball of a time, lighting up fire-crackers....
           Char Kway Teow for only 30cts, we brought along our own eggs.
Roti Chanai for only 15 cts! Mana boleh dapat ?
Banana? Only 5 cts each Sir!
Roti man came a calling without fail, every day, rain or shine! If he went back to India for a month, a replacement would be arranged. 
Ah, the ever good scent of bread and kaya, the sweet fragrant pandan leave bread spread would entice you to eat more.
If you were a scouts platoon leader or monitor in the school, lots of students would follow your hair-style.
Swimming in the river - no problem, so long your parent didn't know about it. You swam in your undies. Mom would wonder why your undies were always wet. But no sooner, the kids had become expert swimmers. Later we were told that crocodiles were sighted sometimes around the riverine areas. 
Batu Road, Kuala Lumpur's Kee Huat HQ where Patrick Teoh was the DJ for Fantastic Facts and Fancies and Top of the Pops to broadcast to eager listeners. That was when we learned of the enchanting songs of 'Patches', 'Sealed with a kiss', 'You have to go', 'Ginny comes lately' and 'End of the world' etc.
Shaw Brothers' movies of Kungfu fighting, romances, cow-boy themes and Greek mythology attracted us in the weekends when tickets were 25cts to 50cts, bus fare at 20cts and Ang-Tau Ping at 15cts - made it within $1 budget. It was also the time we began to look at girls, when we commenced our secondary education.

We'd never danced until after Form 5. Picking up the intricate dance steps from classmates' older sisters. However if there were any parties with music, dance and a bit of food, we'd beg to be invited. Paid a little bit of cash and attended the dance parties like wild swamp of bees.

Mom was wonder woman; she cooked, cleaned the house, did the laundry, and most of all, brought up the children. Maid? Never dreamt of, unless you're from a wealthy family.

Aspirin was the cure all wonder drug. It tackled ailments like stomach upset, headache, fever or sore-throat; no fear. AIDs, not existed yet.
Boys were not afraid of the shiny little crawlie-the black spider meant for fighting. You kept them in match boxes stuffed with green leaves. They were found among the fragrant pandan leaves.
The bicycle had been the commonest mode of transport for all, boys and girls, old ladies and men. The mean machine was most environmental friendly, and parking? So long you don't park in the middle of the road. And guess what? We all went dating on bicycles!

The ubiquitus bucket-styled toilets during the
 early years before the 70s for all households.
Toilet papers - just the old newspapers that you'd read one day earlier.
When the municipal worker came to clear the
human waste in the late night hours,
you'd better stay away from the toilet.
             Girls' favourite pass time with 5 small little pebbles or stones.
             For boys, a tennis-sized ball would keep them sweaty, running
             helter-skelter all afternoon.
           Guppies could be found from the drains along the country roads
           or even behind your own house. They were easily bred and reared.
                                   We climbed trees and had some falls;
                          broke some teeth and bones, and suffered bruises;
                 but remained heroic stunts.  We ate salty, sweet and  oily food
                   with lots of carbohydrates but were not overweight because
                                       we ran or cycled all day long.
                       Birthdays were celebrated when we turned 21 !
                                      It's grand occasion alright.

Bumiputra? What Bumiputra? We were not segregated or classified as such or otherwise. Before 1957 we're all Malayans, after 1963 we're all Malaysians. All of us were born locally, as well as  
our own parents; except for our Mamak joker clown Mahadi Kutty, whose father hailed from Kerela, India. Most of our Malay friends could speak Hokkien and some of us could speak a smattering of Thai too, when we had Siamese neighbours. English and Malay mixed with all dialects and Chinese Mandarin were our common communication tools. Two of my Chinese primary schoolmates could even speak Tamil! I was in awe when I overheard one Indian old lady spoke to a Chinese woman loudly in fluent Hakka when I went to buy vegetables at a local wet market recently.
              When our parents found out that we had been caned in school,
                          we got another round of rattan treat at home.
                        We did not need to dress in full regalia to fly the kites.
                        So long it's good weather with strong wind, we would
                        fly the kites. Of course we got to make our own kites.
We were the last generaion to learn how to use logarithm tables and slide rulers.
                            The first simple Casio calculator surfaced to
                                 make waves among university students. 
                                            It cost around $36 a piece,
                                      quite a handsome sum at that time.
                       Telephone sets were huge and heavy weight instruments.
                                  Lines were clear but not much household
                                                 could afford to own one.
In the mid 80s the mobile handphones were introduced.
Motorola and Nokia were the competing giants with Ericsson trailing
to market ferociously their electronic gadgets.
The heavy handsets were costly, about RM2000 a piece.

Many thanks to Dorris Chan for sharing

Alan CY Kok  

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