The Good Old Days
(Dedicated To All those Born in 1940’s, 50’s , 60’s
Without any maids, our mothers cooked, cleaned and took care of the whole family. They still had time to chat with neighbours.
Everyone had candy floss, fizzy drinks and shaved ice with syrups. Diabetes was rare and aspirin/panadol cured all illness.
We rode adult bicycles to school, the richer ones had their own mini-bikes. Ironically, we all had problems with our brakes, and after running into the bushes a few times, we learned how to solve the problem.
Prefects were a fearful lot …more fearful than the teachers. Detention class was like going to prison for a day. We had “public caning” in schools.
NO ONE ever won the big prizes on “Tikam”. It was a scam but it did not stop us coming back for more.
Motorbikes were riden without helmets. It was rare to ride a private taxi. Taking a bus was luxury – we either cycled or walked everywhere.
We drank water from the tap and NOT from bottles.
We spent hours in fields under the sun, playing football or flying kites, without worrying about UV rays. It did not affect us.
We roamed free catching spiders and did not worry about Aedes mosquitoes. We kept our spiders in match boxes and ready for a fight anytime.
With a mere 5 pebbles, girls played endless games and with a tennis ball, boys ran like crazy for hours.
When it rained, we swam the drains & canals to catch “ikan keli”, none of us were dissolved in rain.
We shared one bottle of soft drink with friends, NO ONE actually worried about catching anything.
We ate salty, sweet & oily foods, bread had real butter and sometimes condensed milk. We enjoyed very sweet coffee, tea, and “ice kacang” but we were not obese because……. WE WERE OUT PLAYI NG ALL THE TIME!!
We left home in the morning and played all day till hunger drove us back home.When needed, our parents knew how to find us. NO ONE actually watched over us and WE ALWAYS WERE SAFE.
WE DID NOT HAVE HANDPHONES BUGGI NG US. We rode bikes or walked over to a friend’s house and just yelled for them!
We did not have Playstations, X-boxes, Nintendo’s, multiple channels on cable TV, DVD movies, no surround sound, no phones, no personal computers, no Internet. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! Our TV was black and white.
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and we still continued the stunts.
We did not have birthdays parties till we were 21, which is when we started to take notice of girls.
We had not heard of the word “Bumiputra”. We only knew our friends by names. Their parents were Pak Cik and Mak Cik or Uncle and Aunty.
In Badminton, we did not change the shuttle as long as it was in flight. Regardless of how many feathers were left in the shuttle, our game continued… but still Wong Peng Soon and Punch Gunalan made us proud in Badminton.
Match-boxes were always “chilly” or “king kong” brand…to own a box of matches from a hotel was something great.
Regardless of whether we could afford one, we always knew Maths tuition was $10.00 a month.
All parties were held in the Town hall.
We felt please to see a policeman and we were always edger to tell police everything we saw.
Morris Minor and Volkswagen beetle were on our roads…driven alongside Kingswood , Vauxhall, Opel and Chrysler. Executives of companies drove Peugeot 504’s. Japanese cars were considered “inferior”.There were no traffic lights only roundabouts.
The whole kampung came together during kenduris and all took turns to “kacau dodol”. Chinese, Indians and Malays were all part of kenduris and all of us spoke Malay.
Our favourite local performer was Rose Chan and the Beatles were the most popular band. John Wayne’s westerns on Sunday, cheap Matinees were 25 cent per show.
Malay weddings had joget sessions at night, it was the only time to ask the Malay ladies for a dance.
Ketupat were NEVER plastic wrapped.
Football was played barefooted in thorn-filled “padangs”, rain or shine… but still Santokh Singh, Soh Chin Ann and Mokhtar Dahari made us proud, we actually beat South Korea in football!
JPJ testers instill fear and were highly respected …
Susu lembu was delivered to our house by our big, friendly and strong “Bayi” on his bicycle. All “jagas” were “Bayi” and no place got robbed.
“Laksa” and “Putu Mayam” man came peddling. “Kacang Puteh” man walked balancing on his head top, 6 compartments of different type of murukus. We played “gasing”, made our own kites & had kite fighting with glass glued threads and made wooden guns & used seeds from plants for bullets.
Kang Kong was free…easily harvested by the riverside. “Kembong” was 30 cents a “kati” and nobody wanted “ikan pari”. When the Circus came to town, everybody went to see it. It was the best LIVE show I ever saw. Usually we did not have to BUY fruits; they were self planted or given by neighbours or friends.
The idea of parents bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. Our parents actually sided with the law ! Nobody knew about child psychology ! Yet this generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 40 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned……HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
And YOU are one of them!
CO NG RATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kid 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.
Sent from my iPad
Beautifully told. Those were the days.