Smells like teen spirit…

Nope, it certainly does not smell like teen spirit. As a matter of fact, many old people smell of it, old women in particular. A Kuching friend once called it the “Foochow perfume” (Now, don’t shoot me! I wasn’t the one who said it! LOL!!!)…

Minyak cap kapak

This is “Minyak Cap Kapak” or Axe Brand oil or what we call “hong eyew” (wind oil). It seems to be some kind of panacea; they use it for insect bites, headaches, stomachaches…and if you have heat stroke, some Amazon-like Foochow woman lady would come and pour a whole lot of it on your back shoulders and neck and pinch you black and blue. When I was still working, sometimes I would get bitten by a mosquito or something and all I needed to do was to ask around the office and without fail, there would be some lady who would fish a bottle out of her handbag…and let me use it.

Students would keep a small bottle handy in their pencil boxes to apply when their heads started to spin and some would even apply some on their eyes when they felt sleepy so they could stay awake. I did not mind this…but I could not stand the other type – green in colour with a strong horrible smell. Somehow, I do not seem to notice its presence that much these days. Maybe people do not use it anymore? I wonder if those of you who are younger are familiar with this “Minyak Cap Kapak”.

And since I’m recalling things from days gone by, you may remember the radiogram that I was talking about in an earlier post. Later in the late 70s, I bought one of these in Singapore…

SHARP portable hi-fi stereo

This is a SHARP portable stereo hi-fi. Someone was saying the other day that stereophonic sound reproduction was the in-thing in those days. This set is quite heavy, despite the claim that it is portable…and it incorporates a radio tuner with an FM band, MW (medium wave, now known as AM) and short-wave bands…and a cassette recorder/player. In those days, we could record songs playing on the radio on blank cassette tapes, so to prevent that sort of music piracy, radio announcers/deejays had to “speak over the songs”.

I had just started teaching in a rural town then…and that set was used during school assemblies, talks, forums, meetings and even parties! One can tell from the size of the speakers that it was loud enough. So at parties, we would play the songs on cassette tapes, thus eradicating the problem of the stylus jumping grooves during the “chu tor liao lor!!!” (the house is falling down) phenomenon! For the uninitiated, these are cassette tapes…

Cassette tapes

…or at least, the cassette cases, and this is what a cassette tape looks like…

Cassette tape

There is a very thin tape rolled up inside a plastic casing…and you should not fast-forward or rewind it too often as it would stretch the tape and spoil it. If it gets stuck in the rollers, you must get it free carefully because it may break easily…and that would be it! Bye, bye!!! If you keep it for too long, the brown coating may come off and stick to the playback head in the player and ruin the sound production. In a nutshell, it had a lot of problems…and eventually gave way to the compact disc (CD) as you know it today.

Well, that should be enough for this time. We’ll go for a walk down memory lane again some other time… 

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

26 thoughts on “Smells like teen spirit…”

  1. haha, i still remember those days when i had to record music onto cassette tapes…

    don’t make fun of minyak cap kapak – they’re real life savers sometimes… 😀

    Piracy!…And now download from internet, eh? Hahahahahahaha!!!!…U “hong eyew” kaki too kah? That will drown out all ur expensive perfume then! What a waste! LOL!!!

  2. It gets frustrating when you own tonnes of cassette tapes. You gotta listen to all of them from time to time, or you start seeing white powdery things on the tape. MOLD.

    On a side note, do you know which daniel i am?

    White? Tot it’s brown…the chemical from the tape!…Oops! U’re not the nice Daniel!!! U’re the punctured one…with all the body piercings!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

  3. I am a big fan of minyak kapak. It is a must with me while taking my exam (PTK lor!). I always wet my tissue with hong eyew and sniff it hard while taking my exam. I am a serious addict and trying to get into any rehab centre that can help me to get rid of the bad habit. My pa always threaten me that I will get nose cancer some day. Seriously, I really have to get rid of the bad habit.
    I still have a few of that radio around my house and one boxes full with cassettes. Worth more than a thousand RM of cassettes in it and now so useless. Dun know what to do with it. Can it be a priceless items one of this day?

    Gee! Here’s a “hong eyew” junkie!!!…U’re not Foochow by any chance, are you? LOL!!!….Cassettes, too new lah! Maybe keep for your grandchildren, they’ll have a value then! But must have player to play! Like video tapes! Quite hard to find a player nowadays as everyone’s into VCD or DVD liao!!!

  4. I remember once long time ago my mum tried to matchmake this guy with this lady . The lady was already waiting at our house, but the poor guy took a long long time to present himself till we thought he is not turning up! At last he appeared and smells of’hong yew’ to the max!! apparently he was very nervous, so STP,guess if the matchmaking is successful or not?LOL!!!

    I heard of that guy…but I can’t exactly put the finger on who he was. Was he the one you got married to? Gee!!! This would be the best selling point for “hong eyew” then!!! JeremyC, KNB…go and grab a dozen bottles today!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

  5. ‘REAL LIFE SAVERS’…gee jeremy c..this should be the slogan for Hong eyew..
    –apply generously …99.999 % no breath test will be required man.
    –apply in areas where you may have in contact with perfumes. only a DNA test can implicate you.
    3. ..and the list goes on…. ha ha ha ha

    …I don’t have or use one though …

    YES..cassettes…the begining in the era of piracy and Pasar Malam????

    stella..:now you know eh!!! He just came back from Mission Road for happy hours…smart guy ha ha ha ha

    No comment!…I guess sale of “hong eyew” is going to increase suddenly! Hahahahahaha!!!!

  6. minyak cap kapak- truly a life saver,
    i used it to keep my sanity intact during classes when my coursemate emits nasty B.O.’s…without it, i swear i would’ve killed that guy. Hehehe

    You mean “hong eyew” strong enough to drown out B.O.???…All this about it being a lifesaver. Should have used The Fray’s “How to save a life” as the title of this post! Hahahahahahaha!!!!

  7. Hi STP,

    #*%&@@@!!! and for your information, it is not me! So please do not mislead your bloggers ok! n to K.Penyu Who just come back from Mission Road, I never knew that road still exist?!!And I really have no idea what u are talking about!

    Oops…sorry!!! I can vaguely remember the story but I can’t quite recall the parties involved. So not you lah!!!…But I think in the end, the poor guy was stuck with the nickname “hong eyew”, right or not?…As for kpenyu, just ignore him lah!!!!…What do u expect from a “law eya buruk”…and sometimes I suspect he’s not quite sober!…And what are all those symbols? Any reference to smelly private parts? ROTFLMAO!!!

  8. I still remember the Minyak Cap Kapak! It’s the best. I still have a bottle of it at home. And cassette tapes – I still remember how I have to press the rewind or forward button to choose my favourite song unlike the CDs where you can just choose the track you like.

    Another die-hard “hong eyew” user!…Yes, but this hi fi set of mine as auto track tracking. Just press a button and it will stop at the end of the track, keep pressing until u get to the track you want, but must count yourself! LOL!!! Those were the days!

  9. OMG the cassette tape & the radio … i still remember when i had the time of my life trying to copy & write the song lyrics. rewind, play, sing, rewind (to listen again)& play. gosh!!
    The “Minyak Cap Kapak” has an interesting story for me… our homeroom teacher banned us from bringing “hong eyew” to school because we played a practical joke on one of our classmate. yes we actually put it on chairs, tables .. ok i know it was wrong but back then, teenagers being teenagers we just couldn’t help ourselves.

    You did that?…I did that too…and then all the tapes got spoilt! LOL!!! Last time pirated tapes very cheap – RM3 only!!!…And we did that “hong eyew” prank too!!! Gee! We had fun, didn’t we? Harmless practical jokes!!!…And btw, welcome, jazz! Your first time here? Do drop by again!!!

  10. why foochow perfume? lol.. foochow or not we use it. hehe the green one called minyak angin seri wangi? the colour very nice wor.. and smells good too. phew.. good thing this is not a food post!!!

    That one you’ll have to ask my Kuching friend. She said last time in college, lots of Foochow students and they all smelled of “hong eyew”. The green one smells nice??? Ewek!…I hated that!!!….No photos of nice food to share mah, so post on other things lor! Hahahahahaha!!!!

  11. STP..its more like SIBU perfume…as some commented.

    An air stewardess friend once told me so…and they hated the SIBU flights then bcoz of this smell..mabe as your friend say ..all there got B>O> Kah???..chris : no violence please..he he..not sure aout now though…but still ok..ier than Liulian I am not aware of any Ban impose anywhere..

    auto tracking no good for live concert tape.habis tape

    Yup! The auto tracking needs blank spaces in between songs to auto-stop!!! (See, Stella! Sometimes, just ignore him better! Let him ramble on with whatever he wants to say! Hahahahahahaha!!!!)

  12. when I was in form 4-5, the bad hats would use minyak kapak to mask the smell after they had a cigarettes behind the toilet, or so I was told lah.. I just observe…. ah.. then came chinese new year when we would take turns to install “time bombs” (Big fire cracker tied to a lit mosquito coil).. ahh the good ol school days… :D. During my time, there were less cassettes in circulation.. we use CDs, easier to dodge spot checks as they can be hidden in between the pages of books! St Joseph Boleh!

    Gosh! U were bad!!!…CDs not good for padding ur butt when you went for caning hor? Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

  13. …and I know of many people in Sibu who apply them to their rokok…for the menthol effect

    Yes! I know that too!!!…It does contain menthol actually!!!

  14. Hahaha!! All this ‘Hong-Yew’talk lah!all getting into people’s head, really ‘taw-hong’! Well, the matchmaking wasn’t successful, can’t remember who the girl was, but the man we knew, got married to someone else, i think he met her himself one not matchmaking, n i think this guy shld be a grandpa now, not sure.

    It’s all fated! Jodoh!!!…When it’s going to come, it will come! When it’s not going to come, no matter how you wait, also no use!!!…What about u? Ur eldest girl graduated yet? Working?….Any chance of u becoming grandma soon? If I remember correctly, you were quite young when you married, right or not? Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

  15. i hate the hong eyew smell durng my younger days esp. in MAS fokker flight when the flt going to land-guess thats the remedy for airsick too.. Now am getting used to the smell its helps when you have a fever or headache I always have one in the house. my 2 girls bring them overseas too..ya real life saver.dont make fun of it.

    There…another use of “hong eyew”! Relief for air sickness! LOL!!!

  16. Eh.. no use putting CDs on the arse…. G Lee would ask us to strip to the underwear.. Left a bloody good 3 stripes.. literally.. I think that can be classified as physical abuse lah. “hello telenur?”

    Hah!!! Bad! Bad! Bad!…Good boys like me never got caned! LOL!!!

  17. we were in the coach during our China Gulin tour-somebody vomit-the smell was horrible I spray my Miss Dior perfume-did not help at all-my old man had this minyak CK..that is the only thing that can drown that smell and we shared among other tour members too. Remember to have one handy in your bag when you are travelling.

    Yet another use!…Not only can drown out B.O. but also the stench when somebody pukes! Go get your bottle today!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!

  18. Was expecting Nirvana, Kurt Cobain…. end up reading about foochow perfume instead. Hahah…. hardly use that stuff. Dont really mind the smell though.

    Hahahahaha!!!! My post titles memang hebat hor! Nirvana summore! Not bad for an over-50-year-old!!!

  19. Looking at that boombox, then at my mp3 player makes me feel old. I always wanted an oversized walkman to put on my shoulder.

    I think those hip-hop breakdancers or the sk8ter boyz usually carry boomboxes like that!…And is this ur first time here? Welcome and do come again!

  20. don’t play play, you still see those cassette being sold today.

    Yes, they’re still available here too….at Jumbo, the shop at Kin Orient etc. Cheaper and more affordable than cds mah!

  21. eeeeuuwwww.. don’t come near me wearing minyak cap kapak 😀 i hate the smell. so people just love it for no reason, they put in under the nose because it’s kind like a habit for them, not that they need it to unblock their nasal or what..

    For all we know it may be addictive!…At one time I was literally stuck on VICKS inhaler!!! Hahahahahaha!!!!

  22. Ya lah! married at 16 now have 12 grandchildren! So what about you, you become Ah Kong yet?? See what all this ‘hongyew’ is doing?LOL!!!

    Aiyor…still at the hong eyew post! LOL!!! I married late, remember?

  23. And why all this interrogation? Don’t tell me you are also planning to set up a matchmaking site now! Are you collecting information now? FYI, daughter graduating end of this yr, working parttime now, n no she is not married yet!You thinking of matchmaking is it? But remember no ‘hong yew’ guy qualify ok?

    Let’s discuss the “too khar” first!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

  24. My hubby also a fan and my daughter brought a bottle with her for those stomach ache times! Myself, I believe in Sat Sun oil…magic oil for everything cuts to rashes. 100% effective for baby nappy rash. I must say overnight effect

    Never heard of that? Buy at pasar malam kah? Hahahahahaha!!!!

  25. If I use minyak kapak on my skin, it will go reddish in no time at all, especially on my face.. I’ll go for minyak kayu putih instead or vicks! Hehe…

    I had tonnes of cassettes – original and dubbed but had to throw them away some time ago since they’re unusable… some of the songs can’t be found on the net 😛 nor in the local music stores… haih!

    Ya! Gerrie has been looking for one song I had on cassette before…but no luck!!!

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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