Sunday, 18 May 2014

Those Were The Days........

From Colonel Mike Naser Taib:

Those were the days, my friends ....
Wong Peng Soon was our favuorite badminton player

Ghani Minat was our favourite soccer hero, and

Rose Chan was our favourite entertainer.

You are not cool if you do not have a long side burn, greasy hair (held together by Brylcream) with a floppy "bun" in front. Then you are either an Elvis fan or a Cliff (Richard) fan. You cannot be neutral.

Films by P Ramlee always enjoyed by all Malaysians. How can we forget classics like Do-Re-Mi and Bujang Lapok, and seeing P Ramlee dueting with Saloma on "Gelora", aaaaah ... that was something else.

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.

We can enjoy monthly credit "facilities" from our friendly neighbourhood sundry shop by using the little "555" book. This was the "credit card" of the day.

F&N orange was served in wooden crates and displayed on the table in the homes 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", Deepavali, Christmas or Hari Raya.

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 a mata-mata (policeman) for not having tail lights on our bicycles.

One noodle 'chow kway teow' cost 30 sen and we bring our own egg.

One 'roti canai' cost 15 sen and one banana for 5 sen.

We bought bangkali bread from the Indian roti man who paddled his bicycle around the neighbourhood with the familiar ringing sound from his bicycle.

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

Crop crew cut by the travelling Indian or 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 trunks, only birthday suits. No one laugh at you whether your "kuku bird" is small, crooked, etc.

On Sunday morning, listened to Kee Huat Radio's "Fantastic Facts and Fancies", andSaturday, "Top of the Pops", both hosted by DJ Patrick Teoh who always ended his show with, "Here's wishing you blue skies."

Saturday morning, go for cheap matinee shows at the Cathay Cinema, usually cowboy shows or Greek mythology like "Jason and the Golden Fleece".

The Cathay Cinema at Jalan Bukit Bintang [opposite the Federal Hotel]. First opened in 1959 with the film, "Campbell's Kingdom".

Father gave 70 sen for cheap matinee shows which normally started at 10.30 am on Saturdays and Sundays - 50 sen for the ticket and 20 sen for return bus fare, makan not included. Nobody paid 1 ringgit for the 'Reserved' seat.

Believe it or not, we had double-decker buses owned by the Toong Foong Omnibus Company. Whenever we boarded the bus, we would run to the upper deck to get a view of the journey.

The familiar double-decker Toong Foong bus

5 sen for kacang putih and 10 sen for ice "ang tau". Sometimes, ice ball only 5 sen "pau ang tau" and half red sugar, and the other half black sugar or sarsi.

Never, never, never talked 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 froze and the heart went "botobom, botobom ..."

Standard cure for headache, take Aspro. We took a lot of sweet stuff like candy floss, fizzy drinks, shaved ice with syrups .... and diabetes was rare. Salt added to Pepsi or Coke was a remedy for fever. Tonic water always taken at the first hint of Malaria.

First time used a modern toilet, I squatted on it as I was used to using the "bucket system" toilet. Our children will not know the danger of visiting the outdoor toilet at night, nor jumping in fright when the man collect the bucket while you are doing your business.

Toilet paper is torn up newspaper on a hook which you have to crumple first before applying. White toilet paper was an unknown luxury until I left home.

With mere 5 pebbles (stones), we could turn it into an endless game. With a ball (tennis ball best), we boys would run like crazy for hours.

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

We ate salty, very sweet and oily food, candies, bread and real butter, and drank condensed milk in coffee/tea, iced kacang, but we weren't overweight because we ran, cycled or climbed trees all day. We fell from the trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and still we continued the stunts.

We never had birthday parties until we were 21.

We never heard of "bumiputra" and neither "1Malaysia", because we were already one Malaysian.

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

We fly kites with string coated with pounded glass powder and horse glue, and we cut our hand on the string. Happiness is winning a kite with a local samseng. I forgot, we also have to make our own kites to suit our "fighting styles".

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

We had telephones which were really, really heavy weights.

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

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