Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Those Were The Days, my friends. We thought they'd never end...

Photo of Mary Hopkin who sang the hit Those Were The Days.....source

What started as my grumble about not being able to buy a simple bar of SOAP became a torrent of memories. So many recollections of those 'good old days' were triggered that I decided that some of those tales should become a blog on their own. Ya, I know that most of you who come visit regularly would have read them. But for future visitors who might otherwise not go into the comments section they would miss all your sharing of days gone by. Good memories should be shared and marked in books (blogs) so that they are never lost.

So sing along to the tune of Those Were The Days as we share times that are forever part of our lives....

...................................Actually, these days you just can't buy JUST an egg anymore. They've got to be cholesterol free, antibiotic free etc. Same thing goes for stuff which you use everyday. Try looking for an ordinary bar of SOAP. You won't find any. There are lots of beauty treatments, facial washes, cleansers but no SOAP. Right?....Patrick Teoh

Talking about soap, I yearn for the Popinjoy (green colour with a parrot sign)that I can no longer find in my local kedai runcit....soowm

Was that Popinjay or Popinjoy? I remember that soap. Green packaging with the picture of a bright colored macaw.......................Patrick Teoh

Popinjay soap is still around. Getting nostalgic? I remembered

1. Fung Keong school shoes;
2. ice bola from canteen;
3. 3 ladies brand cologne;
4. kickapoo (I think still got)
5. Green Spot
6. 555 cigarettes;
7. Amami(talcum).............................Helen

.... does anyone remember Huntley & Palmers Gems and Marie biscuits when they were sold in those rectangular tins which came with a little metal cutter to open?


Lucozade before it became a trendy soft drink?


Woodward's Gripe Water before they discovered that it contained alcohol. GASP GASP GASP.....How could they do that? Fed to babies somemore....string them up. But then generations of us grew up having taken our regular tablespoons of Woodward's and we seem none the worse none the worse none the worse none the worse.




Darkie Toothpaste before political correctness killed it

Bata Badminton Master shoes

4711 Eau De Cologne

555 notebook to record credit at sundry shops

Players Gold Leaf and Craven A cigarettes and Abdullah 37 cigarettes with that silly TV commercial and song...........Abdullah Sarm Sup Chut

Rock groups used to advertise petrol. Remember Caltex Boron?......................Patrick Teoh

My daddy used to tell me about about sinful BB Park, strip queen Rose Chan and screening of x-rated movies in public cinemas
..........................................TV Smith

Those political rallies were great. Back then we didn't have Malays, Chinese or Indians here. Only Malayan/sians. So everybody got fucked. In the speeches I mean. When it was deserved and relevant lah. Ahhh...the good old days...................................Patrick Teoh

I've always thought I'd live and die in Malaysia. Now, I'm not so sure any more. I live in North America at the moment and while I don't think I'll give up Malaysian nationality, that isn't a decision carved in stone...................................Anonymous

I think u can still buy Popinjoy soap in TESCO. Anyway,I remember some of these old stuff:

the pre-printed song requests dedication cards that we sent to get our dedications and
messages on the radio and the times when it was cool to have weird names like James Collin Wong,Ronny Atkinson Khoo, Robert Vincent Lim, Sally Serina Tan etc. etc...

Rough Rider's cigarettes that my grandma used to smoke.

The Straits Echo newspapers

40 sen third class cinema tickets...............................................JasonL

(Oh yes, those names....William Elvis Honda Tan (anyone remember him? His other claim to fame apart from his name was that he got married on a Honda motorcycle. Made the pages of The Malay Mail.), Rocky Alison Teoh, Rickson Lim, Theresa Elvise Liew (who went on to become a psychologist). Anyone remember any more of those names from that period?

Popular cigarettes during a time when smoking was the coolest thing...

Rothmans King Size; Benson & Hedges King Size; Player's Gold Leaf; Consulate Menthol (Cool as a mountain stream); Matterhorn Menthol...........................................................Patrick Teoh

my late grandma use to have a kind of soap what we called sabun cap kapak. u can purchase it at any kedai runcit and u can decide how much do u want to buy. 30 cent means slighly small, 60 cent a bit bigger. it has strong smell too.... some call it sabun potong............................Sherinna

Does anybody remember drinking NAAFI beer at 80 sen for a large bottle of Anchor?
When you could buy a brand new Mercedes Benz 190D for RM18,000?
When you could safely drink water from the tap?...........................................Patrick Teoh

What about the "pak yow" man who came to the house and my Mum would get me to go out with empty bottles to buy kicap which he pumped from this metal container................Anonymous

bringing eggs from home to the char loay teow man to fry with the koay teow. In my days, char koay teow with egg cost 50 sen but if your brought your own you pay only 30 sen......................Patrick Teoh

....the little girls and boys peeing in the cinema aisles - I've seen it many times, even my mum asked me to do it cos' she's doesn't want to miss any part of the movie by taking me to the restroom.........................................JasonL

.....does anyone remember Arthur's Cave in the Merlin Hotel? Jackie's Bowl which was the first ever disco in the country? Time Tunnel?....................................Patrick Teoh

.....Tikam-tikam; a game of chance where for 5 sen, you choose a piece of folded square stuck on a board. Prizes range from a stamp to RM10 cash.
Cut-off paper dolls which comes with two sets of clothes. For variety, we design our own cut-out clothes complete with hats, shoes and handbags. And house then between the pages of the school books............................................kathrina

My favourite childhood games were playing "bak gu li"(marbles), seven stones, "Pepsi-Cola one two three", Police & Thief, "Kali-toi", "One Leg", "high jump" over a long rope strung together with rubber bands........................................arkane

Those Were The Days was one of the most requested songs but at the top of the request list was Patches by Dickie Lee......................................Patrick Teoh

One was a man with his bike and cart who sold "tok tok mee". He hit two sticks to make the "tok tok tok tok" sound, to announce he was in the vicinity. An elderly lady used to carry two baskets on a yoke to sell a local kuih called "faan shue taan" made with sweet potato; .....and stood by the roadside to eat "lok lok". Fishball, seafood, quail eggs on skewers dipped into boiling soup to cook, then dipped into chili or sweet sauce.................................................Min

Grab a picture card each (usually Ultraman) and slam it against one another's palm. High Five style. Then the winner is decided the 'closed' or 'open' card on the floor...........The other craze was to stack up those cards and knock them down from a distance, bowling style. Using a Japanese slipper, of course. Each fella would hone his skill to perfection yet with his own terrror stance and special method of holding the slipper before it was thrown. Much like a Samurai........... Are those metal box Oxford Instrument set still being used in schools these days?...................Then there was also this bizarre 'watch fight' where we will lock the crown of our spring winding watches against one another, and see which one dies (stop ticking) first.................TV Smith

........yeah, i also remembered the kites flown on glass coated strings. Used to cook the glass shards in "kongkong" tins at the back lane......we used to play a game where we stab the thing (compasses) between our fingers (while the palm is flat on the table) at fast speeds to prove that you are not chicken....................................................Arkane

....reminds me of the Central Market where every stall owner knew what the man of the house would buy daily on his way back home and then on Sunday buy for the weekend lunch and dinner. Those guys, the stall owners knew each of us like we were all from the same kampung. They knew what each of us wanted in what combination from the type of fish to the spices which would be mixed for you on the spot.....AnakKL

These memory lane tidbits are priceless! Should be a blog by itself :) .............................TV Smith

So now they are. Thank you for visiting.


rkaru said...

When I was small, in my kampung, whenever there was a Chinese funeral, we'd stand by the roadside. The funeral procession would always be preceeded by men in costumes on stilts. With their stark make-ups, I would be scared stiff of them, but stood my ground cos my older brothers told me, if I cried, or even pretend to cry, the family of the deceased would give me money as they go by.

Till today I dont know wether my brothers were pulling my legs cos I never got a sen.

Buaya Of The East said...

Playing with "s", the kind of plastic that attaches to one another and see who throws the furthest.

Or the Car and plane cards to see who has the more powerful plane or car cards.

Old card games like Old Maid, Happy Family, Snap...

patrickteoh said...

I do remember those BIG Chinese funerals. With marching bands, stilt walkers et al. But never heard of any bystander getting money for tears. I did attend the funeral of a classmates grandfather. They were a wealthy family so it was a BIG funeral (see above). A group of us sort of represented the class, dressed in our school uniforms. Best thing about that day was after the burial we all got to sit down under a tent and feasted on Roast Pork. I remember it was yummy. Didn't tell my mother that I ate though. She would have flipped that I ate stuff at a funeral. When I got home she had bought some pomelo leaves and insisted that I mandi with the leaves in the tong.

Buaya, can you please explain that plastic game you wrote about in a bit more detail?

lecram sinun said...

A friend's father was caretaker of the Chinese cemetary in Cheras. So, we (our neighborhood gang of 5) would often turn up at funerals with the best food... without knowing the deceased. Sick and wrong. I know... but damn it was fun when I was 14.

BTW... love your idea of the memories of "how things were." It was sort of something I was and am striving for myself with my "Picture Daze" editions. (links available in the sidebar of my blog.)

Finding Me said...

I remember when I used to tune in to Radio 4 FM98.7 in Penang as I lay my head down to sleep....Hearing his voice over the small transistor or cassette player that I had..(well I gradually upgraded it to Walkman), while I prepare to board the train to dreamland... it is somehow soothing....and assuring. I think it was a nightly thing. But I do remember that one of the programme that he hosted was a call-in ghost story programme... past midnight... so it was pretty hair raising listening to callers calling in.

Guest who he is ???

Rain said...

Black & white TV (the later model with the sliding "doors"). Peyton Place, The Waltons, Happy Days, that show "Paladin" with lyrics that go: "Have gun will travel.."

Who hasnt heard of Rose Chan then. My parents would talk about her shows in the "New World Fair" on Swatow Lane Penang. And how some of them hid under the stage and peeped btwn the planks for a "free show". (chuckle).

Forgive my crassness, but I remember the old toilets in small kampungs with its own little shed, with the "tong" that's emptied once every few days. For a 5-year-old little girl, the thought of falling down into a pile of shit did seem quite scary then. haha.

I grew up listening to Radio 4. Besides Kee Huat's Fantastic Facts (Penang got Kee Huat Radio mah :), there was the other chirpy voice of YY shrieking "Good mornin" from 6am onwards. And also, chuckling when a certain favourite DJ scolded some silly listeners. ;)

lecram sinun said...

BTW... has anyone covered "ais balls"? Loved them but being "limb challenged" it was a bitch to handle without freezing the "working hand."

Also, the "utang book" at the neighborhood grocery store.

Are there still Gurkas selling stones on the sidewalk?

arkane said...

Glad to see that this thread has been turned into a blog.

"Thanks for the Memories...the truth has set me free...."

I remember the 'S' game that buaya mentioned. They were bright colored plastic links shaped like "S" or "X" where you can link the head and tail into a long string in any way. it's up to your imagination how you want to link it.

hehe...the black and white tv with the wood casing. there is still one unit at my parents house. the tv is gone but the casing is still there, being used as a cupboard.

the "tong" toilet is not only found in kampungs. when i was in primary school, i stayed at my grandma's in the heart of georgetown, penang, in one of those pre-war houses which btw are still around and are earmarked by the gomen as a heritage site. they also used the "tong" back then. yeah, it was real scary at the thought of falling 4 feet into the big "tong". every few days, a truck with built in compartments will come and take away the "tong" through an opening at the back lane and put in a new one.

TV Smith said...

Yes Lecram! The ice ball can be a bitch with one working hand. LOL.

Anyone remember Bakat TV? The forerunner of Malaysian Idol. The contestants included Paul Ponnudurai (now big time in Singapore), Frankie Cheah (now record company tai kor and Nyonya restoran owner), Sudirman (now dead), Jamali Shadat (now robbery victim). There was no SMS voting, so the results were fairer.

Then there was that bizzare but lovaable Empat Se Kawan the multi dialect sitcom...

FoggyDuo said...

I dont have too many such memories of M'sia, as I left when I was 4.. but would you believe, in SINJAPOH, 25 cents pocket money for a day! Enough to buy nasi lemak or mee siam and still have enough left over for sweets and a drink.

Anonymous said...

i remember you can drink cabonated drink with salt contained in "brand chicken" bottles in most kopitiam in towns - tailim

patrickteoh said...

Hi foggyduo. During my time it was 20 sen for school and I could still buy a drink and a bowl of noodles at the school tuckshop. These days they sell rojak for RM2.00 at my daughter's kindergarten.

Lecram, I'll tell you ice balls were a bugger with 2 good hands. Either your hands froze or your lips suffered hypothemia. Take your pick. But they were worth it, ya? The "Gurkhas" are still there in Chinatown but these days they tend to be rip off artists passing off Made In Taiwan stuff as genuine Nepalese. Some of these flers have started appearing in the security business since 9-11. The KL Hilton, KL Convention Center are at least 2 places in KL that employ 'gurkha' guards. No kukris though.

Oi! If you baargers want more nostalgia with great photos go visit lecram's blog. It's the coolest...

Finding me, yes I remember that Radio 4 programme too. It was called Midnight Magic and it only appeared on Wednesday nights from midnight to 3 a.m. And long before Tom Cruise got the idea they interviewed a vampire. "Live". Can't remember the name of the deejay though:-) BUt if you remember it as Radio 4 you're a youngster. It used to Radio Malaya English Service and then The Blue Network and then only Radio 4. The latest morph saw the station becoming TRAXX FM. By far the worst name.

Rain, thanks for bringing back memories of those big assed TV's that came in what was known as consoles. Big, polished wood cabinets with sliding doors behind which a B&W Grundig or Philips or Ferguson or Nordmende would reside.They looked much better than the plastic jobs nowadays. TV that was also functional and decorative furniture. And exercise machine too since you had to walk to it to adjust volume, contrast, change channels. In the old days we didn't have much choice since there was only one channel. But some of us would twist the channel know anyway just to get in some practice. Then they invented the remote controller. Shit! Speaking of which bucket toilets were what I used until I left Ipoh at age 19. My father's shop-house had that. Some nights I would be squatting over it and then without warning the bucket would be yanked out by the "night soil" collector.....sudden tightening of sphincter muscles and an excruxiating wait for a new bucket to be slit in. Fun? Sure. Part of growing up back then. Nowadays what do 'they' get to remember? Visits to Mega Mall?

Empat Sekawan........yes. The forerunner of Ah-Ha, Jangan Ketawa etc. All dead except for Hon Ying and Lai Meng.
Speaking of old radio/tv series does anybody remember that Cantonese story teller on Rediffusion named Lee Dai Sor or in Canto Lei Tai Sor. He was a legend back then. Wonderful trad story teller. Martial arts tales told just with the human voice sans sound effects or visuals. Art.

I remember that I was on the judging panel for one of the early talent shows on RTM. Dunno if it was Bakat TV. May have been. Anyway, I was on that contest which had Sudirman winning second prize I think. Frankie Cheah may or may not admit it but he started his EMI recording career because of a song that I helped to popularise on The Cool And Swinging Show on RTM. The song was Cheryl Moana Marie by New Zealander, John Rowles. The song was a minor hit in NZ but I liked it so much that I played it constantly on my programmes. It soon became one of the most requested songs on REdiffusion as well as RTM. When EMI launched Frankie Cheah that was the song they picked. Frankie is now a millionaire and I am........ah well I'm happy:-)

Helen said...

I remembered the Redifussion. I listened to Lee Dai Sor and then those creepy ghost stories!!

When TV came (B&W), I watched Six Million Dollar Man, Little House on the Praire, Peyton Place (I was 2 young 2 understand but I still watch so I dun have to sleep), The Streets of SF, Barnaby Jones, Combat (hate it), Kojak, Gunsmoke.... Actually at that time, I do not understand much English.. but I hentam anyway!!

patrickteoh said...

Carbonate drinks with salt??? Oh yes! I know what you mean. Kopitiams back then always had a bottle of table salt on the table. Usually the salt was in an old Brand's Essence of Chicken bottle with a broken spoon or a wooden spatula in it. Why? Back then a lot of people liked to put a pinch of salt into their Coca Cola's to bring out the fizz. So that there won't be too much wind la in the drink. Wind as we know is not good for your system. Never did like Coke. Sarsparilla was by far the better drink. Sarsi rules OK!

Kathrina said...

Kathrina said...
Remember toffee-like homemade milo mixed with susu cap junjung concortion? So sweet, my teeth ached just thinking about it.
When masak-masak was cooking fish (caught from the nearby longkang) over real fire? We cooked ours with kerosene when we ran out of coconut oil!
Or rubbing rubber seed on the floor and 'burning' each other with the heat generated from the friction?
Playing soldiers and daring each other to jump from a height of 10 feet? By some miracle, there were no broken bones!
Yoyo was homemade by running the sring through the center of the same susu cap junjung top. Damn dangerous especially when you sharpen the edges!

P/S: Patrick, why you put my earlier comment in bright yellow? Cannot read lah.

yumseng said...

Those were the days indeed, Patrick. I fondly recall the following:

1. Pen-pal columns in magazines. Comes complete with bios (name, age, address, hobbies, and photo) of prospective pen-pals. The snail version of today's blogs and email.

2. Bell-Boy bubble gum - love the interesting graphics printed on wax paper found inside.

3. Colourful tattoo transfer sheet inside a packet of chewing gum. Place tattoo sheet on upper arm, dabble with water until completely soaked, press and hold firm onto arm for a few minutes, peel off and viola, instant tattoo. Used to drive my folks crazy.

4. Beautiful graphics (Astro Boy, SciFi art, cartoon characters, etc.) printed on thin-plastic transfer sheets. Select picture, overlay sheet on paper (usually a blank spot inside textbook covers), then scratch vigorously with a coin or fingernails to transfer the picture onto the paper.

5. Collect metal caps from Brands Essence of Chicken bottles to redeem for valuable gifts.

6. Collect coupons found inside Dumex Milk Powder cans to redeem for crockery sets.

7. Collect picture cards of various dog breeds found inside a loaf of Sunshine roti. One card per loaf.

8. Collect pictures of various fish printed inside the labels of condensed milk cans (Milkmaid brand). Cut and paste these into a scrapbook provided by the milk company. Some pictures are rare and much sought after. Hence, a great marketing ploy to increase sales.

9. Popular black-and-white TV shows: Danger Man, Highway Patrol, Man from UNCLE, I Spy, Get Smart, The Fugitive, Thunderbirds, Three Stooges, Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Mission Impossible, Batman, Lone Ranger, Bronco.

10. Comic books - Beano, Breezer, Dandy (sorry, may have gotten these names wrong), and various World War 2 combat graphic-art paperbacks. Of course, mustn't forget the Superhero comics (Superman, Spider Man, Thor, Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, Captain America, etc.).

11. Famous radio/Redifussion Chinese storyteller, Lee Tai Sor. Loved his daily stories of Chinese kungfu warriors and their exploits (gong wu, Water Margin). He always started off with the sentence: "The last time, we finished with ..." (Cantonese - siong yut chee, chau kong tou ....).

12. The travelling cobbler who repairs old, worn shoes right at your doorstep. An economical way to make your shoes last forever.

13. The yim gai low - the man you seek to castrate your backyard rooster and transform it into a "sang gai" (practiced by the Chinese, supposedly to make the rooster bigger and better tasting).

gier said...

I'm not that old, but I do remember listening to Patrick on the radio. And I remember the duck thing.

Primary school in PJ, I could buy sirap in cup for 5 sen.

Also, off-topic but when I saw the mention of Gold Leaf cigarettes, the first thing that came to my mind was:

Go On Lie Down, Let's Enjoy Another Fuck ... heh.


Konek Engkau Naik Tak,
Tak Naik Engkau Kata?
Kalau Engkau Nak Tahu,
Tunggu Nanti Engkau Kena.

There's one for Marlboro too, but I can't remember.

*sigh* word games in the days before Playstation.

Buaya Of The East said...

If I remember it correctly, the "s" game is about taking one piece of the "s" and throw it on the ground. The next person will take his "s" and lambung. if the person's "s' hit the first guy's one, then he keeps both of them. so the bigger you link it the higher the chances you hit it. but if you don't hit the first one, then the next person who hits it, no matter how long it might be will take all.

also don't forget playing tops. We used to make out own tops with jambu tree wood and a nail. Then use Sarsi (they rock!!) bottle caps with a hole in the middle to tie a string. Draw a circle in the sand or floor and take turns to knock each others tops to see whose break first. I remember sharpening the tip of the nail until it's so sharp when I put it in my pocket, it cuts my thighs. Also another trick when you can master flinging the top to make the top fly into your hands while its still spinning.

Oh yes... the midnight magic part too... However I recall Patrick keep saying "That's not scary!" hahahaha

patrickteoh said...

What the heck is this "s" that you guys are talking about? Still don't get it leh. Ya I remember those tops with the razor sharp nails. And you put one in your pocket? Lucky you're not talking in a high pitched voice today.

Yum Seng, pen pal columns still exists today. I see them all the time when I am flipping through mags like URTV at the Indian barber shop. Thanks for the bubble gum mention. It brought back a name that I've been trying to remember since this nostalgia trip started here. I used to enjoying chewing this bubble gum which when I was little cost 20 sen a piece. A fortune at that time. Really tasty and blew really huge bubbles. It was called Double Bubble and it was imported from the USA! Ya I did the water tattoos too. Back then Dumex had really good quality crockery sets for redemption. And the petrol companies used to compete with each other by giving free gifts for fill-ups. Stuff like drinking glasses, soap, toys etc. No wait. You fill a full tank you got something instantly. And Danger Man! Now that was a TV series worth watching. Intelligent, thrilling, thought provoking timeless. Patrick McGoohan went on to make the cult series The Prisoner which was a spin off of Danger Man/Secret Agent which became more popular than the original. Theses have been written about The Prisoner but that's another interesting story for another time:-)

Thanks also for bringing back the Yim Kai Lo. I'd forgotten completely about him. I'll bet nobody else reading these comments have ever heard of a Yim Kai Lo before. By the way, Yum Seng how ancient are you really?

patrickteoh said...

Oh yes I forgot to thank gier who said...

"I'm not that old, but I do remember listening to Patrick on the radio."

So you think you're very funny issit? LOL

Kathrina! You remembered!!! Those rubber seeds can generate enough heat to burn skin! Ouch!

Mel T said...

Do kids still play "five stones" nowadays?

I used to love listening to ghost stories on the 'lai dee foh seng' (rediffusion), scare myself silly and not dare to venture to toilet after listening to a programme. Sigh. Gone are those days. Nowadays, we are subjected to wannabe DJs with fake 'kwailo' accents. If not for Fly Guy saving the day, we'd all be tortured silly with bad radio programming and boring ads. By the way, when are you getting back on air to continue the vampire interviews? :-)

Also the mobile wet market...I remember mummy used to buy fresh foods from a guy who drives a small lorry past the backlane of our house. What a great service! Somebody should revive this!

What about the 'NASI LEMAK' fler who comes around every morning yelling at the top of his/her lungs while you're trying to sleep???

lecram sinun said...

Here is something that I always thought was uniquely Malaysian - "open house"! Just wondering how much (if any) this has changed. I remember hopping from place to place and eating until I could eat no more.

Any "toddy" outlets these days? I remember getting my first "kolek" at the tender age of 13 in Sitiawan. I think it was 25 cents at the time.

Let's see what else... playing tops, fighting fish, fighting spiders, fighting kites (damn, a lot of fighting) and swimming and playing in mining pools in the Kampung Pandan area.

Ahhh... the "kachang putih man" who carried his slotted desk on his head.

lecram sinun said...

A few more...

Lonkang Diggers - came to the neighborhood to clear the silted longkangs twice a week.

Cow Dung Man - would hawk karosene cans of bovine pooh-pooh for a buck a can.

The Barber on the Bike... enuff said.

Also, the best wonton mee (in my opinion) was a little stall in the Peel Road area. The stall was in front of the house and was built over a monsoon drain. The old man financed 3 sons for university in Australia and the UK. One of them after graduation came back and took over for the father... much to the old man's chagrin.

LMF said...

oh oh there's also another ciggy brand that i think chap-lap already

TV ad used to be very nice.

patrickteoh said...

Yes I do remember Kingsway. A little. Tell lah why the TV commercial was so nice.

Well while we're at it any other cigarette brands from the old days that have gone up in smoke?

nor'aini said...

mr patrick...

you yourself is the good old days..and u r maintaining that until one of your many fans....until today.

remember the radio drama..fajar di bumi permata..i love the background music....

remember..smoke on the green grass of home....or tie a yellow ribbon on the old oak tree...while drinking ais cream soda in the dark bottle....

CR_X said...

I remember the advertisement for Amami talcum powder. Love the jingle and the girl! What a beauty!
It would be wonderful to view the ad again....

yumseng said...

Aiyoh, Patrick, I am not that ancient-lah. But in Yoda-speak, I would say:

The Honorable Tai Ko, you are
The Humble Sai Lo, I am

I am somewhere between the "Young and the Restless" and the "Old and the Senseless".

I remembered these cigarette brands from the old days (I may have their names wrong).

- White Horse
- Capstan
- Consulate Menthol (they gave out free vinyl EPs with a single catchy tune).

Do you remember the "Pearl & Dean" ad-agency trailer shown in cinemas before the start of movies? The clip starts with a close-up of a big, slowly rotating globe, then pulls back and zooms out to reveal an arch of tall Roman Columns framed against a deep blue sky and the words "Pearl & Dean", accompanied by a brassy fanfare that crescendoes out? Whenever I think of cinemas back then, this always come to mind.

twotablet said...

So what happen to the good ole days ah? Where has it gone to?

patrickteoh said...

Yum Seng, do you remember those EP's that came with magazines? They were like paper thin floppies and in different colors.

Yes I do remember that old Pearl & Dean trailer. Their current one isn't that much better:-) But the one trailer that always irritated the hell out of me was the Shaw Brothers one. The one with the spinning carousel in psychedelic colors accompanied by this loud distorted fanfare that sounded like they lifted it off an old WWII radio broadcast.

White Horse isn't that old la. But Capstan is. So is Rex King Size. And Kingsway. Any more?

So you're calling me Old And Senseless are you? Baarger!

nor'aini said...

mr patrick...

you yourself is the good old days..and u r maintaining that until today...

Shall I take that as a compliment:-)

Lecram, Open House is still much a unique Malaysian phenomenon. It still goes on to this day. One of the good things about Bolehland. But politicians have taken it one step in the wrong direction when they hold Open Houses in hotels and convention centres. I haven't had toddy in a government toddy shop since I was 18 years old. Do they still have those I wonder? I would doubt it since religion and 'tolerance'crept into Malaysian politics. But I had some good toddy when I was treated to a seafood dinner at one of those seafood 'palaces' out in some place near Klang recently. Tasted full of memories. Swimming in mining pools is still a deadly pastime with kids dying every year for the privilege. The kacang putih man with the 'desk' on his head is only a memory now. Anyone have photos?
Cow dung man? Never heard of that one. Got ah? Buy cow dung for what ah? And longkang diggers are a thing of the past. These days you won't get anybody come do that until your house is flooded over. Another hawker success story...the fler selling beef ball noodles with minced pork on Jalan Silang must have financed the entire clan through university doing medical degrees or rocket science. They have also bought over the entire shop lot which sits on what must be prime, prime real estage in the middle of the city.

Someone on TV Smith's blog described it best when talking about accents on Malaysian radio. A mixture of Cockney, Manglish with a touch of Massala. The nasi lemak man is now replaced with the "Old news paper" man. Just as loud and even more irritating. Sadly, "watching" the radio is now a skill lost to all.

patrickteoh said...

Two tablet, the good ole days? Where have they gone? Well, if we do things right we shall continue to make more and nurture them daily.

lecram sinun said...

Hey Patrick... go ahead and steal the game. I'll be putting up more links to those who have played later today.

cyber-red said...

woah that's a lot of reminiscing goin' on.

*hands patrick an ice-cream cone*

yumseng said...

No-lah, Patrick taiko. Where got call you anything not nice, ah? Sorry if you misunderstood my comment. In fact, I'm the old timer trying to make sense out of things these days, sigh ...

I missed the lively sideshows performed by travelling medicine men-cum-sifu's. Back then, especially along Ipoh's Osborne Street (aka Durian Street), it was easy to spot them peddling Chinese herbal cure-all concoctions. They put up loud, kickass sales/healing demos with swords, spears, and skillful acrobatic acts. Very convincing and highly entertaining for us kids. Nowadays, I hardly see these acts anymore. Wouldn't it be great if they can concoct an elixir for all our ills today, make believe or not?

Guy in the glass said...

Does anyone remember playing a game with a long stick and a short stick? I used to play it with my friends and classmates whenever we go to PD or just any field where one can dig a small hole. It's called konda kondi and I don't see it played nowadays. I blogged on "how did we survive our childhood?" on Oct 09 and someone provided me with a url linking to "warisan budaya Malaysia" website describing this game (

Kat said...

F&N Sarsi, coconut sweets (those small cylinders wrapped in colourful cellophane) and kuaci (usually found in cinemas...not those weird, flavoured stuff they sell in big paper bags nowadays). Where can we find good sarsi nowadays?? The cordial is crappy and tasteless, and soft drink version is equally as bad.

Blue skies and everything nice, people........

BTW, prices of cigarettes were about RM3.60 a pack 15 years ago and now they go for RM7 plus. How much were they in the good old days??

patrickteoh said...

Oi! Yum Seng. I joking only ma. No need to sigh so loud lah:-) Those medicine men with their shows are a thing of the past I think. The last time I saw them was in Pudu Lane about 15 years ago. Damn choon one la their shows. Elixir for all ills? Got what. It's called the NEP ma:-)

The long and short stick game I remember. Only saw girls playing it though.

Kat, F&N Sarsi still got what. Taste the same doesn't it?

Smokes that I remember then cost RM1.80 for 20!!!

Actually Patrick Teoh never said "Blue Skies and everything nice". What he said was "Blue skies and nice things":-)

patrickteoh said...

Since Kat brought up nostalgic candy, does anyone remember the baarger who sold rock candy on a big tray balanced on his head? You order then he used a hammer and chisel to chip off the amount you buy.

That coconut candy was called Yeh Chee Tong wasn't it?

Dinda's Sharing said...

Wow..this blog is so great! I am Patrick's God Sister,Lynda, British, and have lived in Penang for 24 years, so I can actually relate to a lot of the above!
I was fortunate enough when I arrived on this Island in 1981, to live with a very dear old British plantation manager & his wife. It was like living in the 50's! The house had no fans or aircon as it was designed to always be cool.
At 6pm sharp, out came the 'flit' spray. A recycled can contraption that one pumped and it emitted a smelly liquid rather like todays 'Ridsect' to stop the mozzies...yes they had mozzies in those days too!!
The wife wore long dresses in the evening for 6.30pm 'setengah' (small glass of gin and tonic) on the patio with guests. The excuse being that the 'quinine' in the tonic prevented malaria. (any excuse) Oh! and not forgetting the tid-bits 'markarn kitchils' (imagine this with a very plumb British accent)Which consisted of small samosas (now known as curry puffs) and pisang goreng..
Following which we would all gather around the Phillips radio, which had to be turned on and warmed up (valves inside!) for the BBC world news which one could hardly hear...I just liked the start up music...
After dinner we would watch 'Hari Ini Dalam Sajara' RTM news at 10pm..and then the TV station closed down....
I also remember the weekly shopping trip to Ali's (Barkath Store) on Beach Street to get provisions. They had the soap that everyone here has mentioned. They would cut a piece off and wrap in newspaper. You could either choose regular soap or carbolic.
Same applied for butter. It wasn't pre packaged...they would cut it from a big block and weigh it and wrap it in grease proof paper. I was always intrigued with the way they so neatly folded the ends of the packages.
Eggs..yes they were just eggs which came from chickens bums...some even still had the 'poo' on them. Couldn't get fresher than that!
Ahhh those were the stress, no computer, no mobile surfing channels (there were no remotes!)
We had a Redifusion set up too with a box and a dial on the they still have them?

Yes...there is still a 'toddy' shop in Penang on Cantonment Road. Mostly tri-shaw riders there (hence the reason I never take a trishaw!) One has to bring ones own jam jar. Don't know how much it costs but it used to be 20 cents. I tried it once (on ice) and it wasn't too bad!
We still have the Indian bread man going around on a very heavily ladened motor bike..and they do still have roti Bengali...delicious with left over curry gravy!!!
I too loved Popinjay soap (sandalwood fragrance) If any of you still crave the smell..try going to an Indian sundry shop and get a soap called Royal Saffron Sandal is very similar....
Yes...those certainly were the days my friends!!

MaN|acZ said...

Dear Uncle Patrick, you still remember your favourite caller on Radio 4, Mr. Low Beng? I remember whenever I listens to your show, he'll usually call up and gives his 2 cents worth.

Well, 'Toddy' still can be found in some seafood restaurants around here in Banting.But, its quality may vary from different restaurant. I remember the first time I tried 'toddy', I drank too much and throw up my dinner. (since then have become 'toddy'phobia, hehe)

About candies, one of them that is still around, is the "san zha tang", it's like dark red in color, usually in a round shape. wrapped around by an easily torn paper wrapper. taste a bit sweet. usually they have sunflower logo if I'm not mistaken. Nowadays, they have different packaging liao, i think I saw a rectangular shape "san zha tang" before.

Kids in those days used to have trees to climb, rivers to catch fishes, big place to play "galah panjang", and all that.Nowadays don't seemed to have a lot of opportunity to do that anymore.Pity them.

patrickteoh said...

Yes i do remember Mr. Low Beng although these days he's gone all quiet on the radio. Some of you might even remember the other 3 flers who called Radio 4 almost on a daily basis. Kenny Lim, Hans Schaeffer and Charlie Lim (Beng Choon. All 3 have passed away.

I remember San Zha Tang to be 5 sen a pack and they were larger packs than what you get now for 50sen. Inevitable I guess.

Climb trees? Catch fish? Play "galah panjang"? They're all still available. The thing is these days children have not been introduced to games like these. Parents "do not have the time" to play anymore and resort to shopping malls and Toy R Us.

Tigrrr said...

I remember 'KALKITOS', and I remember the ad on TV. Gotta love those transfer sheets. I think they were around $1.50 (considered way too expensive in those days).

patrickteoh said...

Hi Dinda. Thanks for sharing your memories from a slightly different view point. Heh heh's good to hear the word 'setengah' from a Brit:-) Brings back memories of all those sweaty Somerset Maugham(sp?) novels. I believe those 'flit' spray cans are still available for sale at some Chinatown shops. Ya they were a memory from childhood too. No, Rediffusion boxes with that famous black dial (A channel for Chinese programmes; B channel for English and Malay programmes) are now just a part of history. The station was bought first by Tan Sri Azman Hashim and now is owned by The Star. Speaking of which isn't most of the print and electronic media in Malaysia owned by the ruling political machinery? Would this be allowed to happen in any developed country? Think about it. Scary.
I remember that toddy shop along Cantonment Road in Penang. It was just a stone's throw from my Aunt Ai Choo's house and that was where I had my first taste of the brew. Glad to know that it is still around. Any of you Penang bloggers interested in taking a photo of it and posting it online? Actually I hate the smell of sandalwood soaps.

Anonymous said...

This is so awesome. Patrick, I 'm not sure who's older u or me but we have many a times enjoyed the entertainment you provided with your disco machines at various company annual dinners. My nostalgia lane would be:

. having a 'chicken rice ball'snack after school. These days when I visit M'cca, I hear they have specialty shops manufacturing chicken rice balls.
. the game played with a long and short stick was known as 'charm kueh thow'in Mçca.
. both condoms and chocs were sold in wrapped gold coins in mamak stalls.
. when trishaws were known as taxis in Mcca.
. yes the 30c char kwei teow if we brought our own egg, which we stole from grandma.

Anonymous said...

For the old timers still shaving, the Gillette & Nacett brand shaving blades are "gone with the wind" and the only surviving blade now is the Indian made Topaz (still a bargain at 70 sen for 5)

And collecting empty cigarettes boxes were once upon a time a hobby and I can recall only the “Rough Rider” brand. Are there any surviving smokers that can name other brands then?

What about finding the strongest lala shells for crushing against your opponent ones on the palms?

Where have all the tops spinning gone? Placing them on a circle and trying to split them open and learning the skill to spin a top and lifting it to turn on your palm.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Patrick for the memories. Have always been a fan of yours since the days of "Kee Huat's fantastic Facts". I remember then it was on at around noon on Saturdays and I was just a teen in Kuching then.

Always tuned in to you and Jasmin for your daily morning jokes and silly antics years ago. Sad to hear all those regular callers have passed on. We (the missus and myself) really enjoyed those mornings and we used to listen in the car on the way to work.

Yeah, 60 sens for a packet of Kolo Mee and 50 sens for 3rd class cinema seating. So more tried to sneak in with friends when we were low on money! A walk of 2 to 3 miles to Kuching town from home is common then. We still have those B/W TV with sliding doors and would you believe it, it still work!

Glad that you've started blogging as well! Cheers!

Smelly Mawar said...

gosh...reminds me alot of the good old days, though im not dat old, just grew up in an environment where my grandma used to use and do alot of things still. lk d 555, soap, and the tikam i played!!
thank u!

soowm said...

We mentioned about the food & the products we missed. How come no mention of teachers, those forgotten guru besar, cikgu disiplin, and the naughty things we do at school

Bustaman said...

I remember Popinjay and also a medicated soap , ASESPO. Before Panadol, there was ASPRO and for rashes there was Nixoderm.
555 State Express replaced Craven A (Rokok Chap Kuching). Befoer Salem, there were Consulate and Matterhorn.

Anonymous said...

This nostalgia lane is starting to turn into a highway of memories! I feel compelled to chip in, seeing as everyone's so exuberant and excited. Patrick, the child in each of the contributors came out to play, and thanks to you they seem to be having a merry time!

My recollections:

1) Old movies like P. Ramlee's "Anak Ku Sazali" which made me cry. And the lovely demure..with a waistline to die for...Also unforgettable chinese actresses like Hung Bo Bo, Siew Fong Fong, Chan Po Jue, Sit Kar Yin etc with their loh-see-tau (screwy hairdo !)

2) Children sliding down the banks of the Kinta River, oblivious to the dangers, not minding the burns on their backsides, only wanting to see who gets to the bottom first, and dragging broken cardboards back to the top only to slide down once again...

3) Sitting in the cinemas with paper cones filled with softboiled peanuts, and in the background, sounds of "click*click*click"...people gnawing at packets and packets of kwa chee !

4) Reading all kinds of comics at the stalls...Loh Fu Ji in particular. They even provided small wooden stools to sit on, and at night, u could sit by the roadside under those lightbulbs, totally absorbed in those books, and breathing in all that carbon monoxide from passing buses and cars !

This is one highway where no toll is collected...thanks for opening it Patrick!

patrickteoh said...

Thanks Bustaman and Chow Mui.

Good that you mentioned Nixoderm, TB. The answer to every pimply teenager's problems back then. I wonder.....of course these days they have stuff like Oxy which cost much more. And smell better. I remember Nixoderm smelt really bad. But it cleared pimples.

And ASPRO....yes in the pink wrapping.

From re-reading all these comments I get the impression that a lot of the 'commentators' are from Ipoh la.

Chow Mui, thanks for bring back that memory of sledding down the banks of the Kinta River. I had forgotten totally about that. If kids tried that today they'd be arrested by the City Hall goons I guess:-)

Did you know that HK film star, Fung Po Po lives in Ipoh? And Siew Fong Fong.....hmmmmmmm another sexual fantasy from my teenage years.

BTW, Chow Mui, there is a toll on this highway of memories. You have to share a memory each time you visit. Thanks for yours.

Anonymous said...


Patrick, did u know that this happy thrill of sliding down river banks on cardboard is quite popular in many other countries as well? I have seen Thai kids gleefully whizz down the in New York roughing it in a similar style but on a grassy slope in a park...and even adults in Aussieland on discarded bits of boxes! The only difference doing it on the Kinta River banks in those days was that one had to watch out for sundried cowdung!!

Seeing as there IS a "toll' to pay afterall, here's mine:

**watching in horror and fascination at how the chicken lady in the market slaughter her quick twist of the neck before nimble fingers work deftly to pluck off a few feathers, and finally one swift slice with a sharp knife before tossing the twitching bird to one corner ! Nowadays kids dont see this anymore I think....they must think chickens grow on supermarket shelves!

BTW fantasising about Ms Siew Fong Fong only means your testosterones were at a healthy level in those days...let's hope they still are!

lecram sinun said...

Patrick, got a new HNT up (something to choke on your morning coffee... lol!)this week plus a post reflecting on your current post right under.

Dinda's Sharing said...

Dinda here again..I remember my ex-husband introducing me to Nixoderm in UK (small green coloured round container of white smelly 'stuff' which he brought with him from Malaysia) a cure all for everything! It was wonderful...and still is. Now that I live here I can buy it from my local Sundry Shop along with Zam-Buk..which is an ointment 'Cure All' for skin rashes etc...

BERNARD said...

Also cannot get Old Spice and Vitalis. However in Nassau, Bahamas got these. U want Old Spice or not....can get you a bottle when I return 5Feb06. Cheers lah.

Anonymous said...

anyone recall the smelly (urine) cinema and sometimes bitten by bugs from the seat. only 40 sen 3rd class seating. not forgetting the national anthem ritual. STL

ducky said...

sweet memories indeed, taiping mari, in the market they use to have this squating char kuey teow man where he fried the kuey teow sitting on a very small chair, likewise you also sit on those as well, in mydays there were only 4-5 left, my mum said then there was abt 10.
patrick u remember janet ambrose of radio 4, i can't say i like her, talk more than the songs she played. american top 40 by casey kasem.
playing with bottle caps, u need 5 of those, remember. how about a game called "melump" not sure how to spell, played on a badminton court, need 4 players on each team.
magazine called something "movie" where u can collect puzzles pieces and stick them together and redeem 2 free cinema tickets from shaw brothers cinema.
rubber and plastic figurines, where u tried to hit each other pieces.
no highway, tpg-kl takes abt 6-7 hrs.
rolling inside a empty oil barrel.
my primary school, small plate of nasi lemak 10 cent, some rice with a small piece of ikan kembung!
tv series etc i remember from then, swat, 8 is enough, combat, 1982 world cup, misbun sidek, rabuan pit, soh chin aun (datuk/dato')great stuff, when i was pround to be a m'sian. lost those colors many moons ago.

ali allah ditta said...

Hi Patrick,

I used to listen to U,those days in the 80's,the morning show with Yasmin Yusof on my car radio while driving to work. Sometimes I stayed put in the car till your show is over & used to get warning notes from my boss for being late.

Oh yes,your midninght session was even much better esp.when U start telling ghost stories & the listeners too told their ghostly experience. Hey! what about starting a ghost story session over your blog & lets all of us enjoy it?

By the way,my grandfather used to ask me to buy rokok for him & the sentence he use to say..."nah ambil duit lima kupang ini dan beli rokok LIMA SEDERET & yang lebih hang beli coklat"

Well...those were the days rokok LIMA SEDERET pun sudah tak ada. For U young guys guess rokok LIMA DERET tu rokok apa?


Ruben said...

Hi Patrick,

I was never a fan of your radio show, but i used to like radio city. I also liked you on stage. (particularly in executive spa) but i simply enjoy ur blog.

anyhow, i simply can't believe it. After reading ur recent post 'those were the days'i had difficulty accepting the facts taht u guys who are twice my age share very similar childhood to mine. the street games from tikam, konda kondi, guli, the ultraman cards, etc - to those cool foodstuffs... of course by my time came, it was much more expensive, but still a fraction of its price today..

i still play gasing and kites whenever i go to the eastcoast for holidays..

i remember smoking most of those fags u guys mentioned, but not all. btw they still sell consulate menthols in singapore

its sad, for as much as i love computer games, kids today will never experience life before the damm computer. sigh ' those were the days'

magus said...

Hi Patrick

I wonder if you still remember those occasions you used to host those Redifusion "treasure chest" shows held live in the Long Say building on Burmah Road (opposite the CRC field) in Penang? I remembered winning twenty over bucks when I sold you a chest I won after answering some questions; I still remembered how lucky I felt when the chest opened to show a brinjal. That was the first time I met you.
Talking about cigarettes, I remembered how I used to go to a nearby "keling ah tiam" to buy non-filter Luckies for only 90 cents for a man who lived next door. He used to give me a dollar, (the one with the picture of a fishing boat), and I get to keep the 10 cent change which would get me a bowl of tok tok mee at school.
And at school, during english classes we used those books from the Oxford english series that got thicker as you progressed from std. one. And how we used to read, "this is a man, this is a pan, a man and a pan, a pan and a man", and that way we learnt our english. And of course books by Enid Blyton like the Secret 6, the Famous 5, etc.. and we went to school on a tram in Penang (they still them along some routes in Hong Kong)
Those old days were a lot gentler. We were poorer then but we were a lot more real.
As for chinese medicine, there was that black coloured oil "hoi kau yau" in cantonese which we used to rub on wounds and cuts; and that wonder powder called "look kau sum" (693 in cantonese).
Then there was that cinema hall at the Great World Park (now where Komtar is) in Penang which allowed free access at the main hall's left and right sides for those who couldn't afford the ticket; no seating was available but what do you expect?
And how about 10 cent kopi-oh which the adult can share with his kid by pouring some of the stuff on to the saucer?
those were indeed less complicated times.

patrickteoh said...

Eh Bernard, Old Spice still got leh. I think. So you're holidaying in the Bahamas again. Lucky devil.

They are trying to bring back the playing of the National anthem aren't they? When they decide which version they want to use lah that is:-)

Ducky, the magazine you are referring to is Movie News. Janet Ambrose? Sure I remember her. But I am trying my best to forget. Since you mentioned squatting by the road side to eat, does anyone from Ipoh remember that rojak man across the street from the Sun cinema. He used to sell his wares sitting between two baskets on the 5 foot way. His claim to fame was that his rojak was ver expensive. For RM5.00 you'd get a very small plate of cut fruits with a small cup of sauce. You dip the fruits in the sauce. It was not uncommon for customers to spend RM20 (a really princely sum in those days) for rojak. I ever only tried it once. Don't know what the fuss was about. Years later I learned that it was called "marketing":-)

Can't say that I have ever heard of Rokok Lima Sederet. What is that?

Thanks for remembering Radio City, Ruben. Yeah I had some great times there. Haven't even been back to the building since I sold Radio City. Hey, Ruben since you liked seeing me on stage, come and see Julius Caesar. December 2-11, KLPAC.

adam said...

"lets go to the zoo, there's lots of things to do, and the food is finger licking good..."

just came back from a holiday in malaysia and decided to relive that old jingle when, to my horror, there aint to KFC in the zoo anymore! its now been taken over by marrybrown. however, the tong sampah around the zoo still bear colonel sander's mug on it.

ps. break a leg, caesar!

Jim Beam said...


Michael Bolton was in Genting yesterday. Did you go up to witness the show? :)

patrickteoh said...

Michael Bolton??? Nope I didn't go to "witness" the show. I am not a fan. Did you enjoy it?

Jim Beam said...

Hahaha...thought you would say such a thing. I remember you used to moan and groan whenever you had to play one of Mr.Bolton's song on air. Anyway, didn't you have the choice NOT to play it?

Nope, I'm not a fan either.

Anonymous said...

I remember this radio advert ...
T.O.N.I.C. C.H.O.P. G.A.J.A.H.

Tonic Chop Gajah ...

hehehe ........

Anonymous said...

Check out this Pearl and Dean tune, brings back a lot of memories of shaw cinemas.