Category Archives: hygiene

Olden Day No-Fly Zones

Back in the old kampong, wherever there was food, the environment would be abuzz with houseflies. 

Thus in every household there would be at least one food cover – usually a large one with a diameter of about one yard – to enforce a No-Fly Zone against the airborne invaders.

In those days, these covers were usually made of rattan, though some wire-mesh types were also available. 

Ever since moving out of the kampong, I have seldom seen such covers.  Perhaps, the general hygiene of the environment has been greatly improved, and thus houseflies have found it hard to eke out a living, and called it quits.

There are modern types that are made of plastic material, and have some degree of transparency.  Too bad for the flies – can see, can smell but cannot get to eat.

Coming To A Head & Exposing The Lice

In the old days, perhaps due to lack of knowledge of hygiene of the crowning glory, infestation by lice was quite common.

A cousin came back from school one day, scratching her scalp non-stop.  By the third day, her sister and her mother were also affected.  Things came to a head, when they discovered some tiny whitish creatures clinging onto their hair.

Fortunately, Grandma had a secret weapon, called the Sikat Kutu.  She ran the formidable fine-tooth comb through the tresses of all 3 ladies — one swipe after another, and many lice were exposed, dislodged and summarily quashed.

But that was not enough.  Kerosene was rubbed onto their hair to make sure there were no living remnants.  Other folks even used a very pungent antiseptic white powder.