JPL or Jalan Pondok Labu was a small village at the edge of Kulim town.By the way where is Kulim?It is at the southern end of Kedah.In the olden days Kulim is as famous as Baling – the good old days.The first Prime minister o Malaysia was once the district officer of Kulim.
When I was asked:
Kenal tak se polan bin sipolan dari Kulim?
Eh sebenarnya Kulim ni se besar Perlis which I call my negeri now.It isn't just a town but a district.
Kulim famous for what eh? People asked me.
My answer at that time was PKM ! It wasnt unusual to hear the bombs and to see the bodies being paraded at the town padang.How gruesome.
Coming back to JPL,the small village was predominantly Malay.The houses in those days were modest wooden Malay traditional houses on stilts with a verandah. But ours didnt have one.
For sanitation,there was the communal bucket latrine which would be emptied by an apek on a bicycle.So it wasn't unusual to see the bucket whisked away while the person inside was still on it.It was those days.
Water was drawn from wells dug in the ground with those long tube bored a few metres deep.So you have your bath ,your drinking water from the telaga.It was enclosed of course.And you need those rope strung buckets to draw the water up.A tedious and back breaking job.It was those days.
Now they have water from the pipes .
The financial standing of the villagers could be measured by the size of the house.The richer you were,the bigger was your house.And the roofs too.The lesser would be thatched attap roof whereas the heavier pocketed would opt for zinc.We progressed from attap to zinc when my sister and I came out from teaching and nursing colleges.Kami dah senanglah sikit kononnya.
Owing a bicycle was the norm.And I cant recall anyone with cars and motorcycles back in the 60’s in JPL.But even the bicycle we cant ill afford it. And thats the reason why I cant ride a bicycle even when I was a teacher.Once,we borrowed a bicycle from the neighbour but strict tokton wont hear about it.Apalagi kena bantai lah cukup cukup.And until now,I have reservations borrowing from others.
With tokton now at home,we kind of reminiscence the life in JPL with tales about who and who.Who’s who.
Dengarnya banyak dah yang tiada. Alfatihah kepada semua yang dah pergi.
Life in JPL was modest.Those were the days.