Friday, September 21, 2012



Ah...those were the days, my friend, we thought they would never end...but they did, for better or worse or neutral!

See if these faces and places and phases mean anything to you.

Rose Chan was our favourite performer.

Wong Peng Soon was our favorite badminton player.

Because we reared Siamese fighting fishes, the seller was our idol.

Driving license renewal was by pasting an additional slip at the back of a small red booklet.

Susu lembu was house delivered by our big  friendly and strong Bahiii ............. on his bicycle in a stainless steel container.  The container cap served as a funnel.

Kacang puteh man came a peddling , walking and balancing on his head  6 compartments of different type of murukus ...and we barter our old exercise books for a paper cone of kacang putih.

F&N orange was served in wooden crates and displayed on table during Chinese New Year.

M&M 's was called Treets.

Eating chicken was a treat that happened only once on Chinese New Year and once on "Chap Goh Meh".

We always carried in our pocket a packet of fire crackers during the Chinese New Year
We always carry a one ringgit note at night in case we are stopped by mata mata for not having tail lights on our bicycles. 

One noodle 'chow kway teow' cost 30 sen and we had to bring our own egg.
One 'roti canai' cost 15 sen and one banana 5 sen.
We bought bangkali bread from the Indian roti man who paddled his bicycle around the neighbourhood with the familiar ringing sound.

Sometimes we bought Cold Storage bread wrapped in wax paper. Spread the bread with butter and kaya wrap with the wax paper and to take to school.

Crop crew cut by the travelling Indian and Hockchew barber; 30 sen a haircut; all the way to the top. Reason--- easy to dry when curi swimming.

During weekends went swimming in the river, no swimming trucks, only birthday suit. No one laugh at you whether your "kuku" is small, crooked, etc.

On Sunday morning we listened to "Kee Huat Radio Facts and Fancies" and Saturday night "Top of the Pops" with top DJ Patrick Teoh.

Saturday went for cheap matinee usually cowboy shows or Greek mythology like Hercules.

Father gave 70 sen for Cheap Matinee screening at 10.30am on Saturday/Sunday; 50 sen for ticket, 20 sen for return bus fare.  Nobody paid the scandalous 1 ringgit for the 'reserve seat'.

5 sen for kacang putih and 10 sen for ice "angtau". Sometimes ice ball only 5 sen "pau angtau" and half red sugar the other half black sugar or sarsee.

Never, never, never talk or mixed with girls until Form 5.

Learned the waltz, cha-cha, rhumba, foxtrot and offbeat cha cha from a classmate's sister.

First time dancing with a girl nearly caused the heart to go "botobom, botobom"...

We survived with mothers who had no maids. They cooked /cleaned while taking care of us at the same time.

We took aspirin, candy floss, fizzy drinks, shaved ice with syrups and diabetes were rare. Salt added to Pepsi or Coke was remedy for fever.  Tonic water was taken at the first hint of malaria.

As children, we would ride with our parents on bicycles/ motorcycles for 2 or 3. Richer ones in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

The first time some used a modern toilet they squatted on it for they only knew the bucket toilet.

Our children will not know the danger of visiting the outdoor toilet at night nor jumping in fright when the man collected the bucket when you were doing your business.

Toilet paper was torn up newspaper on a hook which you have to crumple first.  White toilet paper was an unknown luxury until you started work.

Riding in the back of a taxi was a special treat. 

We went to the jungle to collect rubber seeds without worrying about Aedes mosquitoes.

The worst disease you could get as a child was 'lock jaw' which every child knew was caused by rusty nails.

With mere 7 pebbles (stones), we would enjoy an endless game. With a ball (tennis ball best), boys would run like crazy for hours.

We caught guppies in drains / canals and when it rained, we swam there.

We ate salty, sweet and oily food, candies, bread and real butter and drank condensed milk coffee/ tea, ice kacang, but we weren't overweight because we ran and cycled all day. And usually walked to school.

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and we still continued the stunts.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and just yelled for them! 

We didn't know what was a "Bumiputra"......

When parents found out we were caned in school, it was certain we would get another round. Parents always sided with the teachers.

We flew kites with string coated with pounded glass powder and horse glue and we cut our hands on the string. Happiness is winning a kite fight with a local samseng. We also have to make our own kites to suit our 'fighting style'.

We are the last generation to know how to use logarithm tables and slide rulers.

AND I believe this generation produces the best parents because we remember the hard times.


You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the government 'regulated' our lives for good !!

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

P/S: -The big
font used is because of Long-sightedness or hyperopia!

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