Category Archives: lifestyle

All Routes Led To Puduraya

Of course this is an exaggeration (not all roads led to Rome, even in its heyday).  But this was the base terminal from which many express buses from all over the country operated.

During the 4 years of my studies at UM (1975-79), I called at this “mother-of-all-bus-terminals” at least 2 dozen times, as I travelled between Kuala Lumpur, and home in Penang.

Back then, it was already a hive of hyper-activity.  The upper floor which housed numerous ticketing booths and eating spots was always swarming with travellers of all shapes, sizes and colours, as well as hordes of bus touts crying aloud the names of almost every major town in Peninsula Malaysia.

The lower floor roared with high decibels of engine noise and fumed with diesel smoke from the arriving and departing buses. 

Those were the days – I have not been back there since 1980.

Feet Of Clay vis-a-vis Feet Of Clay

Folks of my age would remember the ubiquitous wooden “Meat Safes” where we kept our foodstuff, and also pots, pans, bowls and dishes.  While these stood on solid ground they had the proverbial “feet of clay” as ants could easily climb up and  somehow help themselves to the food.

So to counter this “ant-surgency” threat, the four legs were usually shod with Moat Bowls made of real clay (glazed and fired).  The moats were filled halfway with water.  These formed effective barriers which the pesky 6-legged fellas found it hard to bridge or breach.  

These clay moat bowls are a rarity now, being replaced by molded plastic ones in the later years.  The moat concept however lives on — those who have pets at home know what I mean.

The Big Picture

As CRT Television maxed out about 15 years ago (at 33″), manufacturers sought new technologies for larger screens.  One of them was the Rear Projection TV.

However to me, it was at best a desperate attempt to squeeze the last drop of juice from an antiquated set of know-how.  The screens were large, no doubt; with sizes going up to 60 inches diagonal (maybe even larger).   But they were huge boxes.  And the resolution, clarity and contrast were poor, to say the least.   Perhaps there was consolation to the owners who could demonstrably and unmistakably prove to their neighbours and visitors that they were people who could see the big picture….LOL.

I contemplated buying a set before, but the thought of having an Incredible Bulk of a box eating up half my living room was simply unbearable.

Come Rain Or Shine

These sturdy old-fashion Oiled Paper Umbrellas could be counted on to offer all-weather protection with 100% confidence.  The earlier ones were plain, with no decorations or colorful patterns.  Only the ribs were painted, with a dark green color on the outside.

[A far cry from flimsy modern double-collapsing or triple-collapsing contraptions, which are waterproof only if the rain is not serious, and threaten to be gone with the wind in face of strong gusts.]

But these were bulky and heavy and a hassle to lug around everywhere. The last time I used one was probably in the middle of the last century, when I carried one to school on wet days.   Two or even three children could easily be accommodated under one of these brollies.

Phantoms Of The Opera

My friends asked me whether I have watched The Phantom of the Opera – I said I started to watch only perhaps about 30 years ago, and ever since I have been watching it or them almost like once a week or so.   LOLX !

On quite many occasions, I got startled when the actress showed up unexpectedly as I walked into my bedroom or bathroom.    I fell off my bed during the first encounter.

Years later, ever since my daughter got out of school, I got to see more episodes on two different channels now……

In any case, I prefer the Contemporary to the Classic…hehehe

Metik2 Bulu Ayam, Lama2 Jadi Bogel

In the past, when we wanted to cook chicken, we would buy one fully-clothed (-feathered, excuse me) live specimen from the market, and then take it home for slaughter.   I will spare my readers the gory details.

Once victim had fully given up the ghost, we submerged it in a big pot of boiling water, for several minutes.  (Not too long, else the skin would peel off as well).  After that, it was hauled out, and the process of feather-plucking would commence.

It was tedious, but as kids, we had plenty of fun.  The big feathers came off first, then the tiny ones, which sometimes required a pair of pincers.

Nowadays, automated machines could render the dead fowl completely naked in a minute or two.   Careful, don’t fall inside one !

Saw Near And Yet Saw Far

My late Mum came back one day from the now-heritage class World Optical Co.,(at Leith Street, Penang)  with a funny pair of spectacles.    These had a semi-oval patch on each glass.  She said, “Now I can see near, I can see far”.   I thought that was cool….until..

The Day of Reckoning had been creeping up on me surreptitiously and then it dawned on me suddenly that I had crossed into The Other Side Of Mid-life.   My optician said, “Uncle, your eyes are flowery now”.   The fact that I was 4-eyes was bad enough – what, 6 eyes ?

Happily, by that time, progressive multi-focal technology had arrived.