Category Archives: bullock cart

As Big As A Bullock Cart Wheel

That was the size of our 5-sen coin !    Ha ha !

In the days past, when I was not so old yet, this was a favorite metaphorical hyperbole to describe situations, where someone had a grossly sheepish under-appreciation of the prevailing market prices.

Do we still use this kind of expression ?

Well, for those who do not know, back in 1967 the 5-sen coin was much the same size as it is today, but it packed a much more powerful purchasing punch.  With it, we could buy 2 Hacks cough drops, or a glass of sweetened ice-water, or perhaps even a piece of ketupat.

Now ?  Five sen can buy almost next to nothing.  Even the use of a public toilet costs 30-50 sen per wee wee. Haiz.  In fact, some vendors would not even accept more than 3 pieces of 5-sen coins per transaction!

Chariots Of Firewood

I came across this photo on the web and it immediately transported me at light speed back to my days in the kampong (and decided to play pun with Vangelis’ 1981 song).

We used firewood to cook our meals and boil our water.

Nearby my house (Butterworth) was a sawmill – called Sim Lim – and my dad would go there once a month to buy odds and ends of timber discarded by the mill.   And then hired the services of a friend who owned a bullock cart, to haul the load of wooden pieces back to our house.  I think the whole package deal was 10 ringgit.

Once the “chariot” arrived, everyone in the family joined in to unload the wood, for later processing.   Those wood the days, of fun – you may say.