Monthly Archives: September 2018

Mama’s Mee, Ya ?

Mamma Mia, Here I go again,  My, my, how can I resist you ?” No, I could not, though I was slow to succumb.

Today’s memory scroll takes me to that old-time classic fried yellow noodle that was the specialty of Indian Muslims. It was my late mum’s favourite. 

Her particular delight was found at the small garden-like annex adjacent to the old Cathay Cinema in Penang (now Mydin Stores).  On many occasions, a trip to a movie at Cathay invariably culminated in a plates of fried Mamak Mee for her.

Penangites stake claim that they have the best Mamak Mee in the country but there is no lack of contending claims from elsewhere. Over the last 3 decades my taste buds have been tuned to the Singapore style, but I think the Penang version/s are still the best.

 

note : opening line is a pun on ABBA’s hit song “Mamma Mia”

Advertisements

“Ride Goes Before A Fall”…

In the old days, mini bicycles with tiny outrigger “training” wheels were unheard of.  So we kids who wanted to learn to ride bicycles had to take on full-size (often ‘grandpa’ type) machines.

The way to go was to grab the handle bar with the left hand, and the cross-bar with the right arm, and with some pushing along, tried pedalling, steering and balancing all at the same time.

Needless to say,  for the first few times at least, the bicycle did roll forward for a short distance before L-rider and machine crashed to the ground.   No problem – maybe a couple of bruises to the knees, elbows or palms.  We just brushed away the dirt and off we went again, and again, until finally, we tamed the two-wheeled beasts.

Joyful pride came after the falls.  

The BiC Deal in Ballpoint Pens

Few modern inventions have attained a status as ubiquitous as the ballpoint pen.  In fact, a “pen” has come very invariably to mean a ballpoint pen, bar none.

It was in my primary school days when ballpoint pens made their debut. The first ones were prone to leaking and often produced ugly ink blobs at the beginning and ending of pen strokes – resulting in smudges.

Then came along a brand call “BiC” which promised to produce neat, clean lines without blemishes. These pens had long, orange-colour bodies and caps that matched the ink colour. (I did not like the long, unwieldy body, which made it hard to “park” in a shirt pocket).

Not forgetting, of course, the catchy, “Bukan Blig Bukan Blok, ianya BiC” slogan.  Wonder if anybody remembers. 

Alas, today, BiC is lost in an ocean of also-rans.

When ‘W’ Was Not ‘Wilayah Persekutuan’

This may surprise many, especially those who are below 45 years of age (a/o 2018).  

I remember seeing, when I was still a kid, motor vehicles that had registration plates beginning with “W”.  The W stood for the “Wellesley” in Province Wellesley.  Whereas vehicles from the island itself had “P” plates.   This practice was discontinued in 1957. 

Oh, by the way, does anybody still remember where Province Wellesley is or was ?

17 years later, in 1974, the “W” series was resurrected, but then it was given to the newly-demarcated “Wilayah Persekutuan” or Federal Territory.  Sources said the new W never started alone; it began with WA, then WB,…… I think today the W series had run out.  I have seen plates with “V” series :  are these the successors?

Oh! No VD for me, please!

I’d Rather Keep The Hammer And The Nails….

Yes I could and I would, keep these to show my grandson.

While sorting my three vintage tool boxes, I had Simon & Garfunkel’s classic El Condor Pasa play in the background.  And then….

Lo and Behold, I re-discovered my old friend – the vintage Claw Hammer – and a bunch of semi-rusted nails, which I have not found occasion to use for probably 20+ years.

The hammer has been with me for probably over 30 years, and was one of the first tools I acquired upon re-locating to Singapore.  Perhaps it was nostalgia baggage from living in the kampong as a youth;  there was always something to saw, hammer and nail.  However,upon settling in Singapore, I soon discovered that  D-I-Y was trending as redundant and “uncool”.

In the last few weeks I had discarded a lot of “junk”, but I won’t be dumping these.

On Wings Of Gold

The Gold Wing GL1000 marked Honda’s foray into the “touring bikes” category and Honda sprouted wings of gold as it hit the motherlode in the US market.  It was quite a sight to behold – with a flat-four boxer engine with a water-cooled radiator.

Over the last 44 years, the Gold Wing underwent many upgrades and refinements, often with increased gross weights, physical dimensions and engine sizes.  The 2018 edition is a consummate melding of beastly beauty on two wheels.

The GL1800 has a 1800cc flat-six engine and even a reverse gear, plus a 7” TFT display, a hi-fi music system, and a host of apps, so that the rider and pillion companion can experience many happy hours on long rides.

Wow !  So, will the next version will have a bathtub and kitchen sink built in ? 

Angels’ Chaly

Back in 1977, my sister was sent to a school in rural Kedah, a few miles from Alor Star, after finishing her teachers’ training college course.

The “road” to her school was really an unpaved sandy earth path, with paddy fields on both sides.  The only way to go through was on foot, or with a bicycle or a motorbike.  My dad bought her a cutesy little Honda, which went by the name of “Chaly”.  It was really a bike designed for girls.

It must have been quite a sight for the villagers and farmers to see two Chinese girls (she and her colleague) making their way to the local school on these bikes. 

In fact I was told that her colleague was stopped one day and asked for her hand in marriage by an admirer from the village.