September 14, 2016

the milk project

If you have been schooling in Malaysia in the 80’s, you’d probably know this term – ‘Projek Susu’. It literally translates to ‘the milk project’ in English.

I know it sounds kinky but no, it is not a porn theme. It is actually a program introduced by the semi-retarded government of Malaysia (then and now) to battle malnutrition amongst the poor students by selling them cheap chocolate milk. Yes, believe it. They’re not free, but were actually sold at a cheap price (hence the ‘semi-retarded’ handle).

At 40 cents a pack (a regular sized 200ml pack), it was none of those branded stuff you find in the grocery store. It was of an unknown home brand, and it had pictures of happy students on it. Clearly a convenient arrangement with a seemingly noble theme aimed to benefit the local cronies more than to nourish the skinny ass children… but what do we know? We kids were crazy about it. Like, who doesn’t love chocolate milk? That thing probably had melamine or antifreeze in it, we loved it all the same.

A couple of times a year (or a few, I can’t remember), the school teachers would give out forms for students to order this stuff. And those rich kids, would order by the dozens. And the poor ones like me, could only watch in envy as my fellow rich classmates getting help from the teaching staffs to carry heaps of those chocolate milk by the cartons to their desks. With only 20 cents a day as pocket money, I couldn’t afford even 1 pack of this shit. To buy a pack means I had to refrain from food/drink for 2 days at school and that’s just sad. And I certainly could not ask money from my mom to buy some because I’d get spanking instead of money from her (trust me, it doesn’t sound that important to your nutritional needs when you tell your mom that you wanted money to buy some ‘chocolate milk’).

But on and off, I’d manage to steal some coins from my mom’s piggy bank to buy myself a pack – and that was how I found momentary happiness. I’d savor it by sipping so slowly like it was brewed from an ancient cask, and absorb whatever fucking nutrients milked from a local diseased cow in a farm somewhere in Selangor and experience kid orgasm at the same time. Those rich kids probably never tasted the ‘projek susu’ the way I did back then.

Today, I can afford shitloads of these chocolate milk, and drink till my joints are inflamed… but they never taste as good as those that I’d bought with those stinky old coins from my mom’s piggy bank.

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | 

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