Author Archives: happyrecall

About happyrecall

Just a very plain old man, with some knowledge of English

Bath Tub On Wheels ?

As I was in the bath tub this morning, an old memory flashed by.  Yea, I recalled seeing a very cute, stubby motorcar in my early primary school days.

It was a 2-seater, with a convertible top (at that time, I thought it was funny that the car had no roof) and the driver seemed to be yanking a stick that was stuck to the steering wheel (I did not know that was called a ‘column shift’ gear stalk).

The other interesting feature was that it had the spare wheel mounted prominently (almost ornamentally) at the back. Last but not least, the  other four regular wheels were half-hidden by the body panels.

Even at that tender age, I had mischievously thought the car looked like a bath tub on wheels.

I later learned it was called Nash Metropolitan.

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“Silver and Gold Have I None, All My Textbooks Give Thee I…”

At the end of Standard One in 1962, my kampong neighbour and good friend, Mike, came over and asked me if I could pass on all my textbooks to him (he was one year my junior). 

Well, we were all poorer than church mice then.  However, the good old neighbourliness spirit kicked in, and gladly I passed him my early childhood inheritance (with full approval of my parents).

One good turn deserved another.  After Mike finished his Standard One, he passed “his” textbooks to his younger sister (one year his junior), and lo after she was done, she returned the entire heirloom to my own younger sister.  Of course by that time, many dogs had left their ears on many of the pages, with an occasional paw print here and there. 

This Re-use and Recycle practice went on for several years

Chill In From Down Under

It is now unimaginable for anyone buying a car – new or preloved – that it would come without an airconditioner built-in.  Yet, up to the very late 70s, airconditioning was an optional item.

And so, my very first full-size car (a 2-yr old Mazda 323 Hatchback) did not have one.  After sweating it out for a couple of months, and with my hair blown into a bird’s nest after each ride (windows had to be down), I decided enough was enough.

A trip to a workshop, and about RM1,400 poorer, ah ha, got me a brand new Sanden kit installed, with the blower/evaporator unit mounted under the dashboard.  Cool !  Wow, “to chill it out” had taken on a new wonderful literal meaning.

The first stop after that was to go over to my GF’s home and pick her up in cool comfort.

Sweetness In Sickness

For kids of the 50s~60s, falling sick now and then – perhaps a bout of fever, coughs and colds — was commonplace.  We just took some off-the-shelf oral medication and had some good rest in bed.

Of course, oftentimes, our appetites went awry for a season, and none of Mummies’ special delights could tempt us.  No worries, though.

There was this Sweet Old Thing that came in a light blue tin – yes, Glucolin.   It was principally Glucose – sugar that could quickly get into the bloodstream, without burdening the digestive system too much.  It claimed to contain other nutrients – but who cared; it was sweet and nice.  At least it made the sickness bearable…LOL

Photo here shows the packaging as I knew it when I was a kid. I have not seen Glucolin for decades – maybe it is no longer in fashion.

How It All Began — “A Man And A Pan”…

Flashback some three score years, when I started to received kiddie lessons in rudimentary English.  Back then, there were no nursery or kindergarten classes.  So my late mum – with her very limited knowledge of the language – took it upon herself to each me the A,B,Cs..and slightly beyond.

I remember most clearly a textbook called “The Oxford English Course For Malaya”.  The opening pages showed a man and a pan. And so off we went ranting : “A man; a pan; a man and a pan; a pan and a man”. 

Alas, I cannot remember anything past these items.  It would be nice to get hold of a copy of that vintage book.  As a consolation, I went to Google, downloaded some old photos, and re-created the cover with Adobe PS, printed it out and pasted it on a dummy book.

If Yan Can Cook, So Can I

If there was any one person who has made light work out of a Wok, he was Martin Yan – whose “Yan Can Cook” series made its debut many years ago. 

His contagious, affable chatter in heavy Hongkong-accented English  — while his hands performed the deft cutting, chopping and stirring work — deeply endeared him to his audience.

The climax of each show was undoubtedly that rhythmic “chop-chop-chop-chop…..chop-chop-chop-chop…” rapid-fire slicing action on the chopping board, which always drew a huge applause from his audience.

He is something of an inspiration for me, each time I have to cook a meal.  Cooking is not something I am good at nor love to do. So, to survive each session, I would subconsciously provoke myself – if Yan Can Cook, So Can I”

Don’t ask me for recipes – I just follow my feelings

Look Ma, No Props !

In 1962, Malayan Airways inaugurated their Silver Kris jet service with a single De Havilland Comet 4, leased from BOAC. 

Renamed Malaysian Airways in December 1963, it expanded the jet services by propping them up (pun intended) with two more BOAC jets.  By September 1965, it had purchased a total of 5 Comets from the British company.   These jetliners, each powered by 4 “Ghost” turbojet engines, cruised at 800km per hour and well above 30,000 feet — much faster and higher than what propellor-driven planes could do.

For financially well-endowed folks who were not afraid of heights, and had a need for speed,  a new label was conferred upon them – the jetsetters !  

Malaysian Airways morphed into MSA (Malaysia-Singapore Airlines) in 1966, with the Comet fleet serving regional routes in South East Asia.  The entire fleet was retired in late 1969, and replaced by newer ones, viz., the Boeing 737 and 707.