The stories of my good ‘ol days
Throughout my life, I realize that every generation has their own things to say of how their good ‘ol days was. I heard it from my grandma, I heard it from my mum, I heard it from my brothers and sisters, and now, it’s my turn of unfolding the stories of my good ‘ol days.
Pocket money to school
I remember listening to my mum’s story of how she went to school where she has to walk a long way to get there. Bicycle is a very luxury item that time. Most of the time, bringing food from home for lunch, and if lucky enough, will get “2 cents” from my late grandmother as pocket money. 2 cents? I really wish to go back to those time where 1 cent still has its buying power.
And during my brothers and sisters era, 1 cent has already lost its buying power, and this time, its 5 cents turn. So same thing, my mum said that he only gave my eldest brother 20 cents to school. 10 cent for the rice, 5 cent for the drink, and 5 more cent for him to buy any junkfood on the way from school.
What did I get as pocket money when I was in primary school? 40 cents. 20 cent for rice, 10 cent for drink and 10 cent for me to spend, usually for junk food. Kum Kum, O-Ya, UFO ring, cigarette chewing gum, Ding Dang, Tora, chikadees – these are all the common name of junk foods that you can get that time. And most of them has goodies inside, usually toys. I remember Mamee those days used to offer a very attractive prize inside. It has this scratch and win card, where the most expensive thing that you can get is portable video game. One of my friend won that, and I so envy, and I kept buying Mamee. But all I won that time is this helicopter game, where you where the launcher at your wrist (wear it like watch), put the helicopter on the launcher, and use the plastic thing to put the gear, and the blade of the helicopter will spin, and it will fly in the air.
I just wonder how much kids nowadays get for the pocket money to school?
Yesterday, when I was having my lunch at Mc Donalds, I overhead the phone conversation of this one guy, eating not far from me discussing about his SPM result. Then I started to wonder, how lucky are teenagers nowadays.
It’s still clear in my mind, the day that I went to my old MRSM to get the SPM result. How I wish to inform my mum of what I get, but the queue at the public phone there just too long, and my mum keep waiting patiently at home where I only managed to tell the rest of my family of what I get only after I arrived at home. Those days, handphone is still at the size of drinking bottle, and only businessmen that needs to communicate while on mobile use it.
And today, it’s really easy. Whereever you are, you can get in touch with virtually anyone. I even received a call from my brother asking me whether I have any spare old handphone that I don’t use as his 12-year-old daughter wants a handphone for herself too. Oh my. I only get to use my first handphone at my age of 20 years old.
I like music very much. It all started with the “Anuar & Elina – Kain Pelikat” song, where this was my very first cassette that I own. Walkman is considered a very luxury item for kids like me to have. Thanks to my sister that time, she gave me her walkman that she bought when she was studying at Sekolah Tun Fatimah. Below is not exactly the model that I own last time, but pretty close, with very huge body and very big earphone. Hehehee. It’s very old school look.
I like Malay and English songs equally before. Singers and groups like Ramlah Ram, Zaiton Sameon, Francisca Peter, Shidee, May, Blackrose, XPDC, Wings, Search, Paula Abdul, Duran Duran, Vanilla Ice, Mc Hammer, Roxette, EMF, Wilson Philips etc filled my childhood and teenagehood with lots and lots of memories.
Have you come across this situation. You are listening to the radio, and the DJ played a very nice song that you don’t know the title. You really want to know the title, and you really want that song. So you have to keep listening and eventually, the DJ will say the title of the song.
It’s not easy to get songs that you like back then. Radio Music was one of my early saviour. Usually they publish the list of songs that will be played during “Pilihan Bersama” slot in the paper. You will know of any good songs that you like, and get ready to record it.
As a result, I have lots of blank cassette that I bought, that I will use to record the song from the radio. Well.
The sound is not that good, and sometimes you have DJ voice in it where those bastard DJ can’t wait for the song to finish before speaking. If that happened, I have to rerecord the song next time that it is aired. Sigh. What a hassle.
As the technology advances, there are Hifi system that has to tape slot, that enable you to do dubbing. Yes, dubbing, you play at one side, and you record at one side.
Below is the exact model of the second hi fi with dubbing function that our family owns. It’s Sony LBT-A10.
I don’t remember which model that we first own, as it got stolen 4 months after my brother bought it. Someone broke into our house. Huhuhu. It was scary that time, and I feel so insecure. Luckily it was only that hifi was stolen.
Anyway, with this dubbing function, you can borrow tape from your friend, and record it for your own.
Not being a native speaker of English, it is sometimes quite hard to figure out what the singer says while they are singing. I always end up with frustration of not having the complete and correct lyric everytime I tried to write down the lyrics of the song that I like (of that I recorded from the radio). So most of the time, I rely of this Galaxie magazine (it still exists until today), where there is a section for lyrics. I even cut it, and paste it in my lyric book. Hehehe. Those days.
Today, it is a very lot easier than that. Hey. What is that nice song playing on Era? Well, log on to www.era.fm, and the title of the song currently played is there. Oh. I like this song, I want the lyric. Well. Just google it. You surely can find the lyric. Print it if you like. Ok. I know the title of the song, and I already know the lyric. I want the song! I want the song! Ok ok. Just download the MP3. Walla. There you have it. All your music listening pleasure at your fingertips. MP3 eh. What a phenomenal thing. Even my 12-year-old niece knows what is MP3 and keep asking me to upload MP3 song to her mobile phone every time I “balik kampung”
Secondary school introduced me to another level of leaning. Yes. The very first paper work that we have to make. English teacher ask us to do one, BM teachers also the same, even our history teacher ask us to do paperwork. So, how can you get information to be put in? Well, those thick books in the library.
My college life, it is more challenging to do research and paperwork. All involved very detailed and technical information, about the physic and chemistry experiments, about the theory of knowledge of whether math and music can be considered as language or not, and about the cost of using linear and binary search, and how binary tree is so cheap in terms of doing search.
And again, those thick books and encyclopedias in the library are my main sources of information. How I wish internet is already available at that time. How I wish I can search from google of what is the refractive index of water and what joule is the melting latent heat for naphthylamine etc.
Well, all the above will surely be something that I will tell to the newer generation during my remaining years of my life.