About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chapter 3: When I was growing up and now ..... Beano, Dandy and a Coke - salted, not stirred

Do you know who the cartoon character above is? His favorite food as you can see him eating was Cow Pie - yes with the horns and tail intact. Desperate Dan was the main character in Dandy comics. And Beano had some other characters.

If you do not, you're too young, go ask your mom or dad to buy you a beano or in this day and age, show you one online.

When I was growing up, it was a weekly treat to go get a comic book at the magazine vendor in Sri Intan in Pulau Tikus, Penang. It costs perhaps 15cents to 30cents, but the old man would always buy it for us.

And sit there and go through the magazine with a coke, salted, not stirred.

If you have not had coke from a bottle with some salt in it, try it the next time.

These were the days when you'd go out with parents to eat a 15 cent roti canai or a 15 cent thosai. Idli was not my thing.
There was a fried mee/mee hoon seller in Fettes Park that sold a plate for 20 cents.

And you would down that with freshly squeezed sugarcane water.

It probably had bacteria but we lived.

The plates, those famous melamine plates, not plastic but not glass. Some even served on bended aluminum plates.

We were out a lot, we seemed to have a lot of time.

Our parents were not always there for us. In fact, I think parents are more conscious about this quality time thingy nowadays then they were then.

They did not know what quality time was ..... the just did quality time when they had time.

Thus we are left with wonderful memories imprinted in our minds.

But as we grow, the big ego starts to be the devil's advocate.

And God get's set aside.

Money from the root of all evil become the root of all happiness.

Happiness becomes having the fanciest car, the fanciest phone, the fanciest gadget.

Sadness become lack thereof.

The world has become a sad place. You see it everywhere. People complaining about one thing or another.

The simple pleasures in life are not there.

People do not drink coke with salt anymore.

Now even coke is coke zero - emptiness like their lives have become.

You want happiness?

Seek simple pleasures, praise and glorify God daily, be grateful for each and everything in your life including the fact that you are breathing.

Do not over-indulge in heavy sweet desserts and a heavy fat laden meal and then order a diet coke or coke zero. Instead, have a salad and have a coke, salted, not stirred.

You still want a 50cent roti canai when everyone else charges a dollar? Come over to Bangsar, behind TMC, the best roti canai I have had.

Get away from that computer, from that facebook page, leave your phone at home and go out for a walk in the park or even to the nearest coffee shop and relax and observe others.

Get a Dandy or Beano or any of the newer comics (check out http://www.facebook.com/sheldongohart) and buy some new comic book.

We are all blessed, so be blessed rather than blur.

Take care and be well.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chapter 2: When I was growing up and now .... Television

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can't hit what his eyes can't see. Now you see me, now you don't. George thinks he will, but I know he won't.

When I was growing up, my dad was a very busy man. He was in a commodities import and export business which kept him in the office until close to midnight. By the time he came home, we would be asleep. And by the time we went to school early in the morning, he would still be sleeping.

He was a rather strict man, so we would be afraid to make noise and quietly slip away to school.

We did see him in the weekends and I remember many wonderful trip in the weekend, picnics at the beach or the botanical gardens or the hill station. Watching a movie - in premier class seat up in the balcony. Meals outside. Ice cream floats.

While we were the first to have a colour tv at home, in Malaysia itself, color tv only existed since 1979 when Tun Hussein Onn was the Prime Minister (my year is estimated). So we had one of those relatively huge black and white tv's with the speakers built in and 4 wooden legs and a shutter covering the screen when not in use. I still have that tv in my storage, likely still works.

My dad also had a small portable black and white tv, perhaps 12 inches at max, looking similar to the one above in his room.

The only channels we had were RTM 1 and RTM 2 and they were good truly 1Malaysia channels then, showing shows and movies in English, Malay, Chinese, Tamil as well as Hindi. Pretty much every show had an English or Malay subtitle.

Despite how busy my dad was, there were 2 television events he would never miss. He would even take his portable tv to the office if these events happened to be during the office hours which for him was like 10am to midnight.

The first even was any World Heavyweight Boxing match, and those days when Muhammad Ali was king, there was only 1 type of heavyweight title. His office mates would crowd around to see Ali fooling around with the opponent whether it was Bugner or Frazier or Foreman. In fact, the quote from Ali above was with his match with Foreman when he taunted Foreman of being so slow that he would not even see Ali.

Ali was a boxer but he was a showman. Like a circus in town or Russel Peter's nowadays. He entertained crowds, not just boxed.

Ali truly was the greatest of them all, he was the undisputed king. Many have come and tried, Holyfield, Tyson and few others but nobody comes close to Ali.

Another big even in my dad's tv watching was the yearly budget. He would be glued to every word of the finance minister. The finance minister during the black and white days that I remembered him really glued to the budget was always Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Finance Minister from 1976-1984).

Razaleigh was another entertainer, another person whom you could admire. Someone who was candid yet serious.

Of course, for my dad, the budget was important for business and to see if taxes and duties increased or reduced and what that would mean for the commodities that he was dealing in.

But nowadays....

I have no bloody clue who the World Heavyweight boxing champion is anymore. The last time I heard, there were now three different world boxing organisations and likely there are 3 unknown champions.

And to be honest, I bet most of you reading this also do not know who it is. Some will likely Google it. But for me, boxing has reached to such a boring state that I am not even bothered to Google and see who is the champion now.

And the budget.... don't even get me started on the budget. I was working from home the other day and decided what the attraction my dad had to watching the budget. Watching Jibby speak, I fell asleep.

The budget too has become so boring, so mundane, the same old promises, extravagant government spending, some ikan bilis (anchovies) thrown out to the public and like Bleh Bleh Bleh ...... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

So, what memories will we have of this generation? What memories would our kids have of us when they are our age?

Likely, oh my mom and dad were glued to Facebook, how old school is that.

And they would browse Internet for all information like it was God's truth.

Owh, and they watched satellite tv, through a dish, with Astro .... they would flip endlessly and watch stupid reality shows that were not even real.

Our parents may have been busy, but they showed us the great outdoors. When was the last time you took your kids out for a picnic or took them out to the nature (not the mall)?

Anyway, such is life. There is time to make a change, to be memorable, but do not wait thinking winter is still a long time away and there is still a lot of time.

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man on the moon.
"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then, dad.
You know we'll have a good time then."
Take care and be well.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chapter 1: When I was growing up ..... and now: A perspective from the aged.

I have not written for some time but lately there has been some direction and some inspiration that I may start writing again.

I have been writing some snippets of how somethings were whenh I was growing up and how things are now, some personal stories and some just stories.

But a good start to these would be a reflection of an old man that someone had sent to me recently and I have shared in Facebook.

You know. . . time has a way of moving quickly

and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young,

just married and embarking on my new life with my mate.

And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago,

and I wonder where all the years went.

I know that I lived them all...

And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams...

But, here it is... the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...

How did I get here so fast?

Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember well...

seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people

were years away from me and that winter was so far off

that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like...

But, here it is...

my friends are retired and getting grey...

they move slower and I see an older person now.

Some are in better and some worse shape than me...

but, I see the great change...

Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...

but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks

that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day!

And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory!

Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so...

now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared

for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability

to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!!

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...

this I know, that when it's over... its over...

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...

things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done.

It's all in a lifetime...

So, if you're not in your winter yet...

let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think.

So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly!

Don't put things off too long!!

Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today,

as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life... so,

live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...

and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things

that you have done for them in all the years past!!

"Life is a gift to you.

The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.

Make it a fantastic one."

Live it well.

Enjoy Today.

Do something fun.

Be happy, be thankful.

Take care and be well.