Snacks!

Modern Family

The kids are all growing up so quickly. Rachel is 6, Daryl is 4 and Caleb is 3. That means this blog is almost 8 years old now!

As the children get exposed to shopping malls and supermarkets, they are starting to be trained in the ways of consumerism.

What’s the popular stuff nowadays? Frozen merchandise, Rainbow Loom, and the evergreen favourite Vitagen.

All this got me thinking, how fortunate my kids are nowadays compared to when I was younger.

1. Books

I remember growing up, the only book shops I knew were those in department stores. Parkson in OUG had these few shelves of books. We just had a few to choose from.

An Enid Blyton book cost around RM6, and I had to save my pocket money for a few months to buy one book.

Nowadays my kids have access to mega bookstores anywhere. There’s one just 5 minutes from our house. There are online bookstores offering any physical or electronic book in the world.

They are so fortunate to have so many books and yet they sometimes take it for granted. The books are read for a few minutes and then cast aside.

Enid Blyton books

2. Snacks

When I was younger, we had to wait outside our house every evening to wait for the uncle coming on the motor bike.

His bike would be loaded with a big metal bin of bread at the back. What we were interested in, were the snacks hanging in transparent plastic bags off the side.

There we could find all sorts of snacks with interesting toys inside, like Ding Dang and Tora.

They cost like 20 sen or 30 sen a pack, which is all we could afford with our pocket money. They were cheap and tasted awful but honestly we just wanted the toys right?

My favourites were the coconut buns and the durian flavoured pop corn. We would wait for the 6pm then eat the snacks while watching Cantonese TVB dramas.

Nowadays we can find all sorts of snacks in the supermarket, in mega-sized packs. They can have all the Vitagen and yogurt they want. What a ‘luxurious’ life they have.

3. TV

In our childhood, we were lucky to have one good TV program to watch.

Most of the time we just had one favourite cartoon and we had to wait one week for the next episode.

Sometimes the TV station would do funny things like cut off the show for the news or even start showing a different show.

My kids have no concept of broadcast TV. There’s no way of explaining to them why they can’t pause or rewind the TV.

They basically grew up on YouTube videos, which means they get to repeat songs or Peppa Pig episodes. Their habit is skip, skip, skip, watch… repeat, repeat, skip skip, watch… repeat, etc…

We adults are pampered too. There’s so many interesting channels on YouTube.

4. Toys

Hmm come to think of it, nothing much has changed. Toys were expensive in the past, and they’re still expensive now.

My kids have new toys to play with. Half my toys were inherited from cousins (which wasn’t a bad thing).

Recently we went on holiday and we bought them sandcastle sets. I have to admit, I bought because I wanted to play too haha.

5. Fast Food

One thing I really enjoyed as I started working and earning income, was to eat at McDonald’s.

Growing up, McDonald’s was a luxury. We usually had the Beef Burger. Cheeseburgers were a treat and Fillet o’ Fish a luxury.

Eating fast food seems more affordable nowadays.

You can get a set meal with fries and soda for around the same price as a plate of noodles.

So my kids (and I) get to have McDonald’s once a month if we wish.

Conclusion

Maybe mass production has made things cheaper, or maybe our earning power has increased.

Kids today have all their basic needs met, which allow them to focus their energies on learning. Maybe that’s why they seem more intelligent nowadays.

I’m grateful for my parents providing all my needs. I never had to worry about going hungry.

Maybe that’s what my parents can say about my sister and me. That we grew up in a better life compared to their time.

Many things today are definitely better off compared to the past.

But look at the news from other countries, where there’s fighting and killing. We should really cherish the peace and stability we have enjoyed in Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

Email Productivity Paradox

If you’ve been following my twitter feed you’d have heard me complain about falling behind on email.

A few weeks ago my work inbox was going to hundreds of emails and I couldn’t keep track.

It all started when I synchronized my office email to my phone.

The idea is I could use my free time at home or elsewhere to process and clear off my work email.

But the situation only got worse. When I was at home I wouldn’t want to check non-critical email. Some emails needed me to be at office to take action.

When I was at my office computer I wouldn’t want to process emails either, waiting to do it “later at home”.

Slowly my mailbox was growing and I started losing control.

The solution came by accident.

My phone battery was draining really fast (need charging after 6 hours). I eventually tracked it down to the email app. I had no choice but to remove my work email from my phone.

Battery problem solved.

Within one week I was back to processing emails on my work computer and now I have zero emails in my inbox.

Email problem solved too!

So it’s a paradox. I thought having more devices to check emails would make me more productive, but it had the opposite effect.