Memoirs – short write up
I read The Star today on Life in the 50s (not the age but the year of 1950s). Reading this took me off to my early years, yup.. when everything was so cheery.
I lived in a small kampong, quite remote that the nearest main road was at least 3km away. It was a typical kampong house that I can still vividly remember every corner of the area, creatively designed with a T-shape anjung offering us an ample space to run around. There was a little table in the middle of it where my dad used to write something on his book or diary everyday. To me the house was just nice for us, a small family of 6. It was breathtakingly surrounded with greenery – rambutan and mangis were among them.
There was no electricity (no fan no a/c…mmm….wonder why was it not hot during those times??) and no attached toilet. The toilet was some 50 meters from the house, imagine. So obviously, there was no TV and other fancy kitchen appliances. My mom cooked using woods and charcoals, and she had that little bamboo that she used to set up or control the fire, I remember how smoky the kitchen could get when she started blowing the bamboo. But no matter how ancient this is seemed, whatever delicacies that came out from there were always finger-licking. This was later upgraded to dapur minyak gas (gambar rama rama).
Our home was litted by one lampu minyak gas strategically hung in the middle of the house, and every now and then, my dad would have to adjust the lamp to brighten it. Sleeping time was a total darkness. We listened to radio and played among ourselves at night.
My dad cycled to work, bicycle was the only transport that took us around, and off course, one at a time. If anyone of us were sick, dad would have to cycle us to the nearest clinic which was about 7 km away. It was fun, sitting on the little rattan chair mounted on his bicycle, cruising all the way to the clinic.
Dad was fun, and his favorite thing to do in his past time was to pick on us and called us names. I didn’t know how my mom coped with that, coz most of the time we ended up crying. He went to work everyday, but not on a 9-5, so we didn’t really know when he would come home. Thus, there was always this enormous thrill seeing him coming back from work. I remember my brother and I went after my dad every time he came back from work, coz we would jump on him and hung ourselves like a little monkey on his arm to get him to carry us to the house.
Now that was my days I will remember till the end. A lot more but writing this will only make me missing the old days more and that will not help me, living alone here. My early life sounds like life in the 50s but it was not even close to that, it was in the early 70s.