Monday, February 16, 2015

Pak ong chia and rickety buses of yesteryear, and 'goats' that got my goat!

I always look forward to reading ST correspondent Ho Ai Li's weekly Sunday Times column, This week in 1965: 

Many of the featured events and snapshots of everyday life then still resonate with me. I was a gangly, callow teenager then. For instance, I recall vividly the pak ong chia (pirate taxis) my father used to pile the family into, eschewing the regular taxis:

Still on the public transport system of the 1950s and 1960s, I remember rickety STC buses like this one below. If a bus was packed, I sometimes had to hang on to dear life at the open doorway until space was available inside. Fighting one's way out when exiting the bus was another story!...

Tired perhaps of the unreliable pak ong chia, my father eventually bought this second-hand Morris Minor (below). Seen here are my mother, my sister How Eng and two of my nephews, Seng and Beng:  

Picture from Tan Seng's collection.

Back to Ai Li's column. This snippet from last week tickled me:

Beefy determination! Cow peh cow boo, man.
Yes, I remember the cows and goats! There was also this Indian man plying his trade... goats' milk. His goat would accompany him.

In a couple of days, it will be the Year of the Goat for ethnic Chinese Singaporeans. And goats are still everywhere (at least, during the Lunar festivities):

Traditional-looking goats

Not so traditional-looking goats

Ewe! There's even some "animal of choice mix-up"!

Finally, this one got my goat!

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