I had little or nothing to fill my days except wandering down
to the beach, having a swim in the sea then up to the Other Ranks Beach Club for a swim in
the nice clean pool. There was another pool called the Olympic Pool but as I was not
interested in diving or swimming great distances so I stuck to the smaller one. I was not
sporty so you would never have got me doing anything very energetic at all. My 2 friends
who I met when I arrived were big in the badminton league and did look nice in their
dresses but this did nothing to persuade me to do any dashing about with a shuttlcock.
Where else could I have lived and had the things that I have mentioned, all the facilities were free and it really was an idyllic life style. But there were disadvantages to it as well. Drinking. There was far too much and it was far too cheap. It was easy to get used to drinking during the day, and some did. I could have got used to it but I came home before I did. I did not begin to miss Life in Malacca until a few years ago when I realised that I had met lots of nice people and then promptly lost touch with them. I found out a short time ago that someone we were friends with in Aldershot and visited in Singapore died two years ago. He would be nearly 70 I suppose but to me he will always be a young chap with young daughters and a young wife. Sam will be 69 this year and I have not seen him since 1973.
There were one or two other 'hazards' associated with living in Malacca which are worth mentioning. Insect life like ants, cockroaches, hornets and grubs in flour, were very prolific and despite every effort there were always some to be found. I really expected to be screaming every night with what could be flying in at my window. There was nothing really that got me in to a state except possibly bats and some beetles which flew for one month of the year. A bat flew in once when I had friends in and someone killed it which I suppose was not a good thing to do. I was always wary of passing by lamp posts because the bats seemed to swoop around them, hunting the insects attracted by the light I suppose.
Sometimes in the evening we would hear Australian folk music drifting over from houses across the grass at the back of our house. The songs were about sheep shearing and billabongs (!!-) I suppose, but I would love to hear them again. I have been asking around and I think that the singer could have been Slim Dusty. He is still very popular in Australia and I have managed to get songs like Click Go The Shears and one or two more on my hard drive. He has even done a song about a spider on the toilet seat which fascinates me. Only Aussies would sing a song about toilet seats. British and American pop music was popular with the locals and shopping in Malacca one would hear some Cliff Richard song sung in Mandarin. Songs that remind me of those times are Going to San Francisco, Love Affair, The Letter and many more. We loved the Rolling Stones and Jonah used to say that he had 9 hours of the Stones which he played at every party we had. It must have been awful for the neighbours but we never had any trouble except once a drunken Aussie telling us we were all mad poms.
This Page was last updated on 20/07/08