Wong Peng Soon was our favourite badminton player. Rose Chan was our favourite performer.
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.
F&N orange was served in wooden crates and displayed on table during Chinese New Year .
Eating chicken was a treat that happened only once on Chinese New Year and once on "Chap Goh Meh", Deepavali or Christmas and 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 mata mata (Policeman) for not having tail lights on our bicycles.
One noodle 'chow kway teow' cost 30 sen and we brought 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 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 trunk, only birthday suit. No one laugh at you whether your "kuku bird" is small or crooked.
On Sunday morning listen to "Kee Huat" Fantastic Facts and Fancies and Saturday night Top of the Pops DJ was Patrick Teoh. (He can't deny he is vintage) Saturday go 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 pays 1 ringgit for the 'reserve seat'.
Kacang puteh man came apeddling , 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. 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 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 freezed; heart went "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 I used a modern toilet I squatted on it for I only know the bucket 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 when you are doing your business. Toilet paper was torn up newspaper on a hook which you have to crumble first. White toilet paper was an unknown luxury until I left home.
Riding in the back of a taxi was a special treat.
We went to the jungle to catch spiders without worries of Aedes mosquitoes. The worst disease you could get as a child is 'lock jaw' which every child knows is caused by rusty nails.
With mere 5 pebbles (stones) would be a 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 & oily food, candies, bread and real butter and drank condensed milk in coffee/ tea, ice kacang, but we weren't overweight because we ran and cycled all day. We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and we still continued the stunts.
We never had birthdays parties till we were 21. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and just yelled for them! When parents found out we were caned in school, it's certain we would get another round.
Parents always sided with the teachers.
We fly 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 samsing. I forgot, 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.