Being born in Penang and a local village boy, I would said that I am very lucky. Well, first you were exposed to multi-national community , Chinese , Malay , Indian, Gukha and not to forget the Australian, RAAF( Royal Australian Air Force), who were here for the International security of South East Asia and also the sudden present of the American Army. And finally ,The Hippies, who were here during the outbreak of the Vietnam war.
Why they were here I do not know but in my mind , they were well trained military force and ensuring security were their main work. They were the minority and I always remember the special knife that they have, The Kukri.
As quoted in Wikipedia:
Gurkhas are best known for their history of bravery and strength in the Indian Army's Gorkha regiments and the British Army's Brigade of Gurkhas. The Gurkhas were designated by British officials as a "Martial Race". "Martial Race" was a designation created by officials of British Indiaself sufficiency, physical strength, resilience, orderliness, the ability to work hard for long periods of time, fighting tenacity and military strategy. The British recruited heavily from these Martial Races for service in the British Indian Army. to describe "races" (peoples) that were thought to be naturally warlike and aggressive in battle, and to possess qualities of courage, loyalty,
The memory that I have on them was the peculiar way they would kill the chickens and their present in May 13th incident where one of them has to be stationed in front of my father's grocery shop to prevent people from looting after the curfew was lifted, if I could recall. I could be wrong on this.
The American Army
Not much I could recalled was only the sudden present in Penang during the period when they were retreating from the Vietnam war. They would drove the Jeep to Georgetown from Telok Bahang. "The American Army has landed"
They would dropped by my father grocery shop for the some food stuff. My father managed to buy the army biscuit from them. Consuming 2 pieces were enough to fill an empty stomach.
They were given a very special place , a secluded beach where few hikers would go there due to the distance from Telok Bahang .
The American army jeep
How long could their grow? and how dirty they could be. Memory of Woodstock
I was very fond of them for it was from them that I have collected the first set of die cast army model which they throw away during their individual family retreat from Penang.
They would placed them nicely beside the dustbin and being a very young boy, finding these type of toy was like a heavenly gift. How expensive to purchase and I have seen them in certain shops but dare not ask my dad to buy it.
Then there were the comics which I could buy in the local book store and not to forget
the many English novels that they would exchange or sell with the Australian
Even I was given a Christian name, Peter, by them during one of their gathering for they could not pronounce my Chinese name.
The Local Chinese , Malay, Indian community