The hungry years…

Life was not so easy when I was in Singapore in 1973…

S'pore Botanical Gardens 1073
*At the Botanical Gardens, Singapore in 1973

I did not have much money then, so I had to scrimp and save so that I could buy nice clothes and dress up to the nines…and also have some money for my “social activities”. Like those Roman sandals I was wearing in the photograph? I remember I bought those at Change Alley, Raffles Place…which, if I’m not mistaken, no longer exists today.

Well, I tried not to spend a lot on food then…as a result of which, I lost weight and became so very thin that people thought I was sick with terminal cancer or something.Β This photo was taken a few months after I had gone over to Singapore…..with a good friend of mine, Jane…

With Jane, Dhoby Ghaut, Singapore - 1973
*Dhoby Ghaut, Singapore – 1973

She was stopping over on the way to England to embark on her nursing career. We had lost touch all these years…until recently, when we got reconnected on Facebook – along with her sisters, all of whom were very close friends of mine from our radio-listening (requesting), dancing and partying days. They are planning for a reunion next year…and I am certainly looking forward to that.

Anyway, back to what I was talking about, I was renting a room at one of the HDB flats at one end of Beach Road and right next to it, in an open space in the evenings, they had hawker stalls selling food that was more affordable for the likes of me. I remember ordering this…

Chinese sausage & onion omelette 1

…omelette fried with sliced Bombay onions and thinly-sliced lap cheong (Chinese sausage) for only $1.00…

Chinese sausage & onion omelette 2

…to eat with rice.

Those were the hungry years…


Author: suituapui

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

37 thoughts on “The hungry years…”

  1. LOLOL… I cook this stuff pretty often. The only diff is, I used those chic sausages that’s usually leftovers from bfast. I hate to see food goes to waste. 😦 My late grandmum used to tell me the food will be sad and cry if we didn’t finish it.

    Yup…nice to cook omelette with sausages too… Ya, me also. That’s why everytime have to comb through the fridge to see what my missus has inside for a long time already and try to use to cook something. But sometimes already spoilt or moldy…have no throw, no choice! 😦

    1. You’re like me. i kinda recycle the food. usually the leftovers from breakfast or dinner. So sayang the food if just throw them each time kenot finish. Summore, not everyone lucky like us. 😦 So many starvation in the world. We should not waste food, ever!

      Yalor…you must search for this very touching video on youtube: Chicken a la carte…really meaningful and will pull at your heart’s strings. I shared it on Facebook…

  2. Ps: Was that lap cheong from Annie?

    Yes…last one left. Missus had been using them to fry rice or fry noodles. So, I fried with egg for dinner lor… Mustn’t let it go to waste! πŸ˜€

    1. Wah… lap cheong with fried rice. LOL… reminds me of Mommyling’s fried rice! Kakakkakaka….

      I still have one left – from the lot that Annie gave me. I think I will either fry rice or kway teow with that. Hers very nice…not so hard like those I buy from the shops and the taste is nicer too.

  3. To everything there is a season…..looking back m sure u r glad to know u have ‘been there,done that, worn that’! certain fashion when u r young,u wear,people say wah! so ‘groovy’ 70’s slang or now it is termed ‘cool’ but when u get to a certain age, some fashion worn, just can’t get away with it.. like i can’t picture u with ‘bell bottoms’ now…Wah! your old photos u looked really slim then, a little bit like Taylor Lautner! hahaha!!!

    Ummm….who’s that? Aiyor…waistline was only 32….now around 48!!! *pengsan!!! πŸ˜€

    1. Taylor Lautner? wahahahh. STP, thats the werewolf guy in the movie Twilight.

      Oh, that one! Not a fan of Twilight, so can’t remember the name. Only know which one’s the werewolf…or what he looks like.

      1. Ooh… so u’ve seen the movie then. hehe. Anyways, nice shirt….. Flower Power! Blends in nicely with the plants surrounding you. lol!

        Nope…I haven’t. Just bits and pieces on Astro. Flower power? The shirt in the first pic’s actually the Stars and the Stripes – very American! LOL!!!

      2. Yea… looks abit like the guy who played the werewolf in Twilight. LOL… I bet you’re somewhat a wolf back then… mwhahahahaha~

        Playing with words, I see! No, I was such a nice and decent guy… Still am! LOL!!! πŸ˜€

  4. haha that’s what I do now as I spend money on clothes too so to compensate on that, i have to cut down on food. I don’t want to grow old later and regret for not dressing up nicely when I was young. So is your friend Jane still working as a nurse in England? where is she working?

    She’s retired now. She did tell me where she is right now…but I can’t remember off hand. Hah!!! Looks like young people are all the same – scrimp on food to spend on clothes… πŸ˜€

  5. That shows how much u earned over all the years.. from a pauper to a “Big Taukay” now… don’t say you have no money er, how to achieve a 48″ waist, u tell me…

    All around the waist, I tell you…all around the waist! That’s where all the money went…so now, still as poor as a church mouse! Hahahahaha!!! πŸ˜€

  6. Gosh! You’re thin! You look like a mob from a Bruce Lee movie! (I watched some Bruce Lee movies while I was on a bus heading to Kuching to Sibu..LOL). You are such a lucky person to have travel outside of Malaysia often. Gonna try the recipe when I have the time.

    Well, study hard…get good grades and you may get a chance to go abroad. So hit your books now!!! Anyway, with the cheap airlines these days, going abroad is really quite affordable. It’s the spending money, when there, that’s the problem…unless you have people at all those places – can save a bundle.

  7. Hahaha! You don’t know who taylor lautner is? That’s a compliment from Stella.
    And don’t you just love facebook? Can find friends whom you’ve not seen since school days.

    Hahahaha!!! She needs new glasses. Dunno the names, only know there’s one Robert…Pattisier or something. LOL!!! Ya…I managed to get in touch with some old friends…and also often helpful in tracing the anonymous commentors in my blog – to see what they look like! Hahahaha!!! πŸ˜€

  8. lol.. I find the 70s photos funny.. like my parents’ photos too.. they’ll take photo with practically anything.. lol..

    hmm.. well I think when you were low on money.. you looked so much slimmer.. so money is really the cause of all ‘evil’ eh? πŸ˜›

    No leh…I didn’t take photos with just anything leh? LOL!!! Nope, not money…but marriage! So well-fed…so marriage is the root of all “evil”! Hahahahaha!!! πŸ˜€

  9. Wa,, very nice to looking at these pictures of yours, i love seeing old pictures especially those black and white pictures…tell you something here Cikgu, you looked like Bruce Lee back then…. you looked fit lah. why got kena like terminal cancer… just look at the way you posed yourself, like real martial art expert lah…

    Looked nice in photo only – they said I looked pale and sickly. 😦 Wah…like Bruce Lee – is that a compliment or what? He’s handsome kah? Hahahahaha!!!!

  10. Your friend Jane in that mini-skirt – wah wish I can get in one today. I think am that slim too in 1973..haha.

    I’m sure you remember the Lee Sisters – she’s Nancy’s younger sister… You were not that slim then – you were skinny – so very thin! Hahahahaha!!! πŸ˜€

  11. gosh u were so thin then!!! life must be too good now… omelette looks great.

    Ya…life has been too good indeed! LOL!!! πŸ˜€ Yup…love omelette cooked this way – nice with porridge.

  12. wow…i love ur old photos….u look leng chai when u r young …

    i know it is tough time during that period of time…this is wat my dad and told me after i born….

    What? Now also leng chai what…just a bit more prosperous looking! Hahahahahaha!!!! Ya…young people today are so very fortunate…and sadly, it seems that some are not as grateful and appreciative of things – not like us…for the little that we had.

  13. wow! Nostalgia huh?
    Phew that’s a pretty damn cheap omelette, those days are long gone.

    Now about that song… that’s what I think is OLD. Hahhaha.
    It’s good now that you are in hungriless year ay?

    gone, long gone… I don’t think you can find anything edible and filling for $1.00 in Singapore these days. Ya…that’s an old song from the show “Solid Gold” – those days of video tapes in the late 70s…they would get the recordings of the show from Singapore tv (we did not have it on Malaysian tv and no satellite tv at that time) and we would go and rent the tapes from the shops every week to watch the show – people like Duran Duran, Andy Gibb, Boy George…. Thank goodness those hungry years are now a thing of the past!

  14. Wow. Blast from the past. It is nice to see your old photos back then during your hungry years. I guess, your experiences back then made appreciate food like the way you are doing it right now.

    I guess so… Probably that’s why I would appreciate cheaper food, as long as it’s nice or to my liking…and perhaps I’m also more careful with money than most people these days, splashing like there’s no tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  15. i think almost everybody had it tougher last time. my parents had it tough too.. these days ppl are better off… but not for long i guess. the cost of living is getting too high these days!

    I guess people in the old days were more prudent – they scrimped and saved even though they had lots of money, people nowadays tend to be more ready to spend…spend…and spend. Ya…in cities like KL but quite ok in small towns like Sibu – that’s why I hope it will not become a city if that’s the price we have to pay!

  16. wah wah look so slim that time!!

    Now must be good life and well feed with the good food. πŸ™‚ LOL

    I love omelette with chinese sausage! Yum!! Simple and nice!

    Only $1.00 then…today RM1.00 may just be able to get an egg! 😦 …Sigh!!! What to do? Old age! Time has not been kind to me…and my body! Hahahahaha!!!

  17. hahaha telur dadar…be careful…later the author saw susah :p Thought it’s crap

    Which author? Cleff kah? She likes it leh…would do the same but with chicken sausages…

  18. Hahaha… look at the bright side, at least from the hungry years, we learn to appreciate food more =) Hahaha… i certainly do… after coming back from ********

    Ya, I know exactly what you mean. Melissa was always happy to come home from Sg Petani…and sad when she had to go back there again, one reason being the food.

  19. wooots! hungry years but hey, at least you looked good while being hungry xDD

    I was young then too…just 20. Now X 3 already. 😦

  20. wah wah…your body (from the 70’s) looks like mine. haha. i wonder what would happen at me after 30 years?(if i still alive) argh~ dun wan imagine.

    Nah!!! I’ve seen your photos – so very skinny. I don’t think I was ever that thin…and before this, I was on the heavy side actually! Already in my genes! 😦

  21. I reckon your friend Jane must be a matron by now, do send my regards to her!:)

    I love your omelette. it really looks tasty! Have a wondeful day ahead!

    She has retired. Two grown sons already… So nice to be able to just sit back and relax, shake legs…unlike me – pension so little, still have to work after retirement to make ends meet and put food on the table. Sobs!!! 😦

    1. But I can sense that you are passionate in teaching, I guess even if you hit a jackpot and got really rich, you will still prefer to work for your passion and your lovely students!:)

      I guess so. I would think I had had a lot of opportunities but I just passed them by…and I don’t regret that one bit. I was happy with the way things were, and I still am. πŸ™‚

  22. that food u called hungry years…geezzz….for me 1 week work den afford to eat that…

    WHAT? It’s THAT expensive now in Singapore? Gee! If I were to live there now, I would surely starve to death then… LOL!!! πŸ˜€

  23. wow.. this only shows that photographs do not just capture the images.. they also saved the memories…
    i have a habit of looking back on my childhood pictures too

    Yes, memories are made of these… πŸ™‚

  24. The wonders of Facebook right? πŸ™‚

    Indeed! Just great for getting in touch with long lost friends…and keeping in touch with the current ones.

  25. reading ur title, it’s almost like you’re talking about the famine years in communist china or north korea..hahaha…i like ur retro photos a lot!!

    LOL!!! Looking at me now, people would think that I had caused the famine… Hahahahaha!!! πŸ˜€

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