The 1970s will have a special place in my heart. 😀
Yes, I was born in 1975, so it means I was still four years old during the last of the 1970s era (1979, right?), but pop culture seems to move slower in Third-World countries including mine, so bell bottoms and disco music were things you still encountered in, say, 1981.
I was in junior kindergarten during that era. We lived in Dago Pakar, City of Bandung. Our house was in the countryside. Dad's hobbies include mountain climbing and jungle exploration. While he never actually took us to a real climbing nor exploration, he often took us exploring the surrounding countryside. At that time, Dago Pakar was still a quiet and peaceful rural neighborhood, and one of my favorite pastimes is looking at the moon through the window before going asleep. "Goodbye, moon..."
Anyway, I was schooled in TK Bukit Dago (Dago's Hill Kindergarten), and yes, the kindergarten still exists. I still remember my beloved mom preparing lunch box, drawing book, Staedtler Luna colour pencils (12 shades), kids canteen, and, ah, the most memorable object, a Japan imported pencil case which shows a famous Japanese train (different train for different color). Mine is dark blue showing Asakaze train. The beloved pencil case is still here with me, and now it belongs to my youngest daughter Siti Trianovi Salsabila.
The most memorable pencil case.
At that time, my most favorite song is Hai Pahlawan, which is a local rip-off of Dschinghis Khan. But of course, I didn't know at that time.
Another memorable song is ABBA's Fernando, whose chorus was used in the TV commercial for ABC Battery Company on Televisi Republic Indonesia (TVRI); a state-owned TV station which was also the only TV station at that time. Batteries were very prominent during that time, since they were used by everything from toys to transistor radio to appliances. Unlike today, where everything is powered by USB charger, yuck!
Now, my parents were never a big fan of disco. My late mom loved classical, opera, and mainstream (1950s) jazz, while my late dad preferred folk songs, fusion jazz, and adult contemporary. I remember my first jazz; dad played it on a pair of JBL 4311s driven by the Sansui AU-7900 I'm using now. I was four years old, while dad repeatedly told me, "listen son, this is jazz, this is jazz," perhaps to make me accustomed to the genre.
Perhaps the reason I love fusion jazz because dad already drilled it into my head since I was four! 😁
However, my nanny, Runda (he actually started as gardener, but he soon became our male nanny because he was very good with kids!), was a disco fanatic! It was him who exposed me to never ending stream of disco tunes, using a cheap, 1970s transistor radio my parents gave him to entertain me and my little brother. Dad was rather unhappy with that, perhaps because he believed disco is noisy, and he never let disco music being played on his Sansui AU-7900 / JBL 4311 combo no matter how much I begged him. To calm me down, he tried to introduce me to adult contemporaries like this and this.
Ah, the memory.
In any case, dad's career as civil servant soared at that time, so we gradually moved to Jakarta. It was the time when dad frequently took us to Jakarta for vacation, as well as preparing for our relocation (looking for new house, new school, etc) , but we were so distracted by the vacation part while forgetting about the preparation part. We were moving from one hotel to another, that my dad's right-hand man, "Uncle" Punjul, call dad "Iranian Shah in exile". In any case, me and my little brother were hoarding toys and comic books!
A Spider-Man coloring book mom bought us, and I still keep it!
This is the car dad drove to bring us to Jakarta, and I still keep it too!
It was around the year 1980, I believe. However, the hotels we stayed have memorable, distinctive 1970s interior, from wooden panels, to silver faced bedside radio, to psychedelic curtains, to circle-shaped neon lamps! And disco, disco music everywhere! We went to electronic stores (dad was always cray about electronics) and some of them sold disco balls! Perhaps that's another reason why the 1970s gave a very lasting impression to me, despite the year was actually 1980!
Of course, my kindergarten education was practically abandoned at that time. But mom, always being a resourceful mother, never stopped teaching us (me and my little brother) during our way-too-frequent vacations. For example, she used the comics to hone my reading skills. She also taught us simple mathematics using the objects we encountered during our vacation, like toll road tickets we collected during our trip ("if we get two tickets during our trip to Jakarta, then another two during our way back home, how many tickets do we have?" you know, such thing).
However, it doesn't matter how many toys and comic books we bought, it doesn't matter how many hotels we stayed, it doesn't matter how much excitement we experienced. At the end of the day, we always came back to our beloved Dago Pakar house. We may bought those toys and comic books in Jakarta, but we always play and read them in our beloved Dago Pakar house.
And of course, we still love the moon.
Until the time for us to permanently move to Jakarta.
Strangely, I didn't really feel sad at that time. Perhaps because dad decided to take us to a long trip to Cirebon first, visiting the graves of our ancestors (from my paternal grandmother's side --the Prawirasoemantri family), before we permanently moved to Jakarta, so we were too excited to get sad. Perhaps because I also was too excited with new friends and new places in Jakarta. We didn't sell the Dago Pakar house though; it was rented to a white foreigner and his local girlfriend, whose payments are always late. They even still live in the house --with the usual late payments-- when we moved back to Bandung in 1991. My parents eventually sold the house when I was in high school, because it has become too much of a burden to maintain. Strangely I didn't really miss the house either at that time. The last time my mother and I passed near the house was in 2013, and it has already been heavily renovated by the new owner, that it's barely recognizable.
But last week, my youngest daughter slept between me and my wife, and we spotted a beautiful moon through the window of our room. My daughter was so excited, that she waved at the moon and say, "goodbye, moon...." with her cute, toddler voice, before falling asleep.
And suddenly I miss our Dago Pakar house.