Thursday, November 04, 2010


I was at Seri Melayu the other day and I complained about the cultural performances to a friend. I feel we don’t retain anything original anymore, in our quest to be ‘modern’ we spoiled our inheritance. Our Malay dancers don on costume so glittery you want to look away and the head accessories are all terribly plastic and colourful, they look so very RTM. So bling bling brocade-y that they lose the elegance - tacky and cheap. And the supposedly traditional music sounds too youngish pop for my old ears. I said, I wish certain things are kept traditional and let us be known for our well-preserved culture. Flamenco dance of the Spanish and Tari Pendet of Indonesia are maintained in its original form and substance, and appeal to tourists and countrymen just the same, if not more. Why cant we preserve our Joget Mak Inang?

And when someone described ‘teh tarik’ to our foreign guests as ‘tea that is a little bit bitter, a little bit creamy’, I immediately was reminded of ‘a little bit country, a little bit rock n roll’ and said that out loud and everybody gave me blank faces. Nobody at that table remembered Donny & Marie Osmond. I was such a huge fan that i was once a Marie Osmond myself. My friend said, it was like i just announced to them my age.

And I shouldn’t. A lady must never disclose her age. I don’t go around announcing that I am 40 this year! Nobody knows my age except HR Dept of my current employer, my many previous employers, Maybank, CIMB, Astro, ROC, JPN, JPJ, EPF, Socso and about 178,000 other parties. To avoid from letting out how much I have aged to others, I must avoid saying certain things. Examples:-

1) I always say, ‘See you tomorrow, Vic Morrow’. Vic Morrow starred as Sgt Saunders, a character from Combat! aired on RTM in the 70s. Great show, left many of us wanting to be soldiers and fight the Germans and their Shepards- or rather, allies.

2) I always complaint about how things don’t last like they used to be back when I was a kid. My mother’s wooden hangers for clothes outlived her. Even the plastic ones lasted for many many years. Now? They brittle so fast and break so easily. Don’t let me start on electrical items. I suppose, things are cheaper now but they have very short life span. But are they really cheaper? When I was in primary school, I paid 10 cents for a glass of air sirap. Now it is RM1. To get 10 cents for duit raya was a big deal, only the rich gave fifty cents! Now, kids scorn you if you give fifty cents.

3) I must never let people know that ‘technology advancement’ to me was switching from typewriters to floppy disc and Wordstar. Or the fact that, once upon a time, for many years I watched the black and white tv. And even then, we had to pay Lesen TV & Radio. And despite paying for the Lesen, the books were far more interesting than what was aired on TVs. And ‘Marina’ was the most advanced ‘cartoon’ ever in the 70s. They were the closest to 3D! And i had pen-pals through the Big Blue Marble, yes sir, i did! Sure helped me learn English. And i learnt Science from the Electric Company and manners from Cumi dan Ciki.

Big Blue Marble, Closer.... getting closer....

4) That I have seen 5 men took office as Prime Ministers of Malaysia.

5) I asked a shop for the Pisau Seposen, only to be told that Pisau Seposen is now 30 cents. Wah, so mahal, since when? Since many tens of years, I was told. That was a cut like one made by the Seposen Knife.

6) That I graduated from ITM and the logo was yellow and green with gears of various sizes.

7) That I did my degree in UTM Jalan Gurney. Yes, before they changed the road’s name to Jalan Semarak, and yes, before they moved to Skudai.

8) The fact that I know songs by Titiek Puspa, Lobo, Gaya Zakri, J.Mizan, Flora Santos, Sakura Teng, or that I was once besotted by C. Thomas Howell, Rano Karno and thought Lydia Kandou was the prettiest.
Tom Howell the looker!

Flora Santos herself!

9) The fact that Ella is about the same age as me (this is more to protect her than myself, she is below 15, really)

10) How my friends’ kids are of college age.

Must be careful or I will be carbon dated ! Sigh… to be a fossil!