THE GOOD OLD TIMES: DEDICATED TO ALL S’POREANS BORN BEFORE THE 1980s

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 were rare and aspirin/panadol cured all illness.

We rode adult’s bicycle 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 canning” in schools.

NO ONE ever won the big prizes on “TIKAM”. It was a scam but it did not stop us from coming back for more.

Motorbikes were rode without helmets. It was rare to ride a private taxi. Taking a bus was luxury – we either cycled or walked to 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 of Aedes mosquitoes. We kept our spiders in match boxes and ready for a fight anytime.

With 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 condense milk. We enjoyed very sweet coffee, tea, and “ice kacang” but we were not obese because …… WE WERE OUT PLAYING 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 BUGGING 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, that is when we started to take notice of girls.

We have not heard of the word “chinese or malaysian or indian”. We only knew our friends by names. Their parents were Ah Soh, Ah Pek, 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….

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 $5.00 a month.

All parties were held in the void decks downstairs or in tents.

We felt pleased to see a policeman and we were always eager to tell police everything we saw.

Morris Minor and Volkswagen Beetle were on our roads…driven alongside Kingswood, Vauxhall, Opel and Chyrsler. Executives of companies drove Peugeot 504. 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 in the night, it was the only time to ask the Malay lady for a dance.

Ketupat were NEVER plastic wrapped.

Football was played barefooted in torn-filled “padangs”, rain or shine …, but still quah kim song and company made us proud, we actually beat malaysia team in malaysia cup!

The bayi mata instill fear and were highly regarded

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 “Ding Ding Tang” 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 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 innovations 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!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before things took a turn in the 80s.
And while you are at it, share it!

Have a blessed n nostalgic feeling going down the memory lane. Happy Golden Jubilee, National Day to One and All Bros!

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