Sunday, October 23, 2011

English in Malaya

The recent commuting between two capitals gave me time to indulge in my favourite pastime.
Ever wonder what sort of lives the british rubber planters in Malaya led in the 1950s? How they were selected and shipped here on a 4 or 7 years tour of duty to run an estate thousands of miles from home. To a hot and humid country infested with mosquitoes and snakes and sometimes miles from civilisations and a bathtub. Chance upon this book, "Eleplants, tigers and Tappers" by Micheal Thorp a planter landed in Malaya in 1956 barely 21. How he had to learn the malay language, the trade of planting rubber to tapping latex to running an estate of 600 workers. A must read for all those curious to know a little of this part of history not found in school textbook.

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