Thursday, June 29, 2006

Blast From My Past Pt7 - Joyful lazy memories

I long for the days when I would go to Padang Merdeka in Melaka for a 6am morning jog and then roti canai after that. Or when I would kick around a ball with my cousins and friends at the field. Then, a man in a straw hat would lug around a big biscuit tin filled with Menglembu kacang. A RM1.00 worth of kacang would come wrapped in newspaper. Those days, the indian kacang putih men would still go around carrying a special table on their heads. These tables would have different compartments filled with groundnuts and vadai with green chillies (damn syiok).

In the afternoons, as we lazed about at home, the old lady kuih vendor would go around the neighbourhood peddling her wares using the old 'kandar' i.e. 2 rattan baskets on each end of a long wooden staff on her shoulder. Satay vendors would go around town selling their offerings in a similar manner... they would carry around the charcoal grills as well as small stools for customers to sit/squat on at the side of the road as they dug into the satay.

As kids, we found various ways of entertaining ourselves in the afternoons; playing games like variants of hopscotch and the peculiar 'AEIOU - Benggali I Love You' game.

The sugar cane man had lots of junkfood for sale... from the red pickled papayas to satay fish on sticks. The kedai runcit owners back then kept their small change in a Milo tin which is attached to a pulley at the ceiling and a weight would hold it up away from thieving hands. 10sen those days could buy you a handful of Jacob's Cream Crackers (which tasted much better before the 'new' formulas were implemented). Then again, 4 sweets when for 10 sen only. Ice kacang was 50 sen.

I had weird habits when I was a kid... I did stupid stunts like running in front of oncoming lorries just to hear the drivers horn and swear at me. I also liked to play with the cangkul (hoe) a lot in the backyard. I would go out in the searing heat of 1pm and play with the soil at the back of the house with the cangkul and didn't seem to care if I developed blisters on my hands.

I loved sitting through the slide show advertisements before a movie in the old cinemas. These slides would be filled with ads from various retailers in the vicinity of the cinema. Almost always you would get a jeweller or optician advertising their wares. Some of these old colourful slides came with a voiceover. Then after these slides, we would get the liquor advertisements. Some of the more memorable ones are the ones by Guiness Stout (Ungelete Nalete or something like that) - Guiness Stout Is Good For You! These adverts also featured a lot before and during the Hindi/Tamil movies slot on Saturday afternoons on RTM2. Another that was close to my heart was the Anglia Sandy one which featured that bald guy who used to play Bong the English teaching clown on TV Pendidikan.

Ah well...