Growing old can be a pain in the ass (and other parts of the body as well) and it's not something that we can easily avoid no matter hard we try. No amount of ointments, lotions and rubs can restore that vitality and strength that we once possessed. The physical aches that we suffer are somehow incomparable to the longing that some of us have when we reflect on our youth and the carefree times that we had. Sometimes, that longing can be more piercing than the sharpest of blades and more. Many people have discussed in blogs and forums how simpler life was when they were younger and I couldn't agree more. We did not have a lot of money back then but we were okay. We did not have a lot of facilities to make our life easier but we managed to get by. Most of us did not have university-educated parents but they made sure that we got proper education. We had to help our parents before or after school yet we never complained. We only got hand-me-down clothes yet they were clean and mended. Reading those entries and comments sometimes makes me want to go back in time at least for a while just for old time's sake. If you grew up in Malaysia in the 70s and 80s, I'm quite sure you will be familiar with most of the things I've listed below. Generally you can be considered almost (with the emphasis on the word 'almost') middle-aged if :
1. bas mini (the most famous was Bas Mini Wilayah @ BMW) or 'bas loncat' was your choice mode of transportation.
2. you know what a 'basikal Chopper' or a 'Pasola' is.
3. you envied the guys who rode their Yamaha RX-S and got all the girls.
4. the first novel that introduced you to the concept of the birds and the bees was 'Mona Gersang' or something similar to it (I wonder if anybody still keeps a copy).
5. Syed Sobrie, Razis Ismail, Ogy Ahmad Daud or Mazuin Hamzah was your teenage crush.
6. Mimaland was the choice theme park to have fun with your family and friends (it was the only one that was family-oriented).
7. Aliph was your favourite brand of shoes (if you were a Mat Rock).
8. your favourite local sitcoms were 2+1 and Pi Mai, Pi Mai Tang Tu.
9. you were inspired to become an athlete by Marina Chin, Zaiton Othman, Rabuan Pit, Istiaq Mubaraq and Nurherman Majid.
10. Mum 21, Cuticura and Amami were the talcum powders in your household.
11. you went to ITM and not uITM.
12. you often refer to UPM as Universiti Pertanian Malaysia.
13. you know what 'tudung dakwah' means.
14. you went home early because you were afraid of 'Hantu Kum Kum' and 'Hantu Kepala Anjing'.
15. you attended 'usrah' during weekends with your 'brothers' and 'sisters'.
16. Minah Karan and Mat Spanar were derogatory terms you used to refer to the factory workers (a big salute to you guys and gals for your economic contributions).
17. you listened to FM Stereo or Rediffusion.
18. you hung out with friends at Pertama Kompleks (KL) or Komtar (Penang) or Yik Foong (Ipoh).
19. you skipped school to play Pacman, Pinball and Space Invaders at video arcades.
20. you once owned a pair of bell-bottoms, carrot-cut jeans or a maxi dress.
21. you competed with your friends to see who could solve the Rubik Cube puzzle first.
22. your favourite reading materials were Gila-Gila, Remaja, Siri Bercakap Dengan Jin and Variasari.
23. typing and shorthand were two favourite courses to take while waiting for SPM results.
24. you learned cursive writing using your fountain pen at least once a week in primary school.
25. you remember fondly watching the latest movies at these cinemas : Lido, Cathay, Odeon, Ruby, Majestic, Rex or Princess.
26. on hot days, you bought 'ice balls' wrapped in newspaper or 'ais krim Malaysia' to quench your thirst.
27. you played marbles, batu seremban or galah panjang and went to catch fighting fish or spiders.
28. your Home Science teacher and Discipline Master were the most feared people in school.
Time has changed and most of the things I've listed above are no longer known to many, especially the younger generation. Some things are better left forgotten but certain things will always be kept fondly within our hearts.