5 Random Things My Malaysian Parents Did That I Now Do

Did you ever watch your parents when you were growing up, sometimes wondering why in the world they did the things they did? And resolving that no, when you grow up, there was no way you would do the same? I did and I have, but I have lately been feeling my age and catching myself doing the same things my parents (especially my mum) used to do.

Here are 5 random things my parents used to do that I do now, in varying degrees:

1. Using Toilet Paper as Tissue Paper

My husband, who incidentally is also Malaysian, testifies to the fact that his family did exactly the same thing. There was always a clean roll of versatile toilet paper sitting somewhere on our dining tables, waiting to be used to mop up a mess, wipe up the table or *gasp* wipe your mouth. However he is dismayed by this ingrained habit of mine (he says for hygiene reasons, I just think he’s been ‘angmoh-fied’) and have over the course of a few years, ‘cured’ me of it. I’ve now been introduced to the wonders (and softness) of Kleenex but every once in a while when my husband isn’t around, I’ve been known to use toilet paper to blow my nose.

2. Refilling Handwash/Shower Gel/Shampoo/Dishwashing Liquid with Water


Oh no we’re out of handwash…oh wait we’re not!

You know what it’s like, remnants of handwash/shower gel/shampoo/dishwashing liquid sitting at the bottom of the container and no amount of pressing the hand pump is going to get that last bit come out. I promptly refill, give the bottle a good shake and voila more handwash/shower gel/shampoo/dishwashing liquid! My husband thinks I’m ridiculous and refuses to use the old bottle (he just opens a new one, right next to the old one), I just think he’s wasteful. So what if it’s watered down, at least we’re using every single drop!

3. Keeping & Folding Plastic Bags


The Art of Folding Plastic Bags

Thanks to the charge for plastic bags in the UK, we keep every single plastic bag we get, which is what my mum used to do. She had plastic bags of every size, for every occasion. We also fold our plastic bags now, after my mother-in-law first visited us and folded every single plastic bag we had and arranged them neatly in a drawer. If you told me ten years ago I’d be doing this, I would have laughed you out of town.

4. Fresher Selections

My mum used to spend ages in the supermarket, selecting the freshest possible produce and typically, if the said produce was in a giant fridge, she would always reach in to take the one farthest from the front. Why? Because she reasons it would be fresher. I used to think this was clearly nuts – the whole drawer of produce must surely be of the same quality and freshness but now I find myself doing the same thing. I reach in to take the one farthest from the front and check expiry dates. I do most of my grocery shopping online though – which both my mum and mother-in-law would surely not do.

5. Avoiding the Sun

I have to admit that my mum was right about sun exposure. Although she avoided the sun because she wanted to be as fair as humanly possible, I used to think her techniques for avoiding sun exposure was a tad extreme. She had sun sleeves, wore huge sunglasses, slapped on SPF75 and wore a hat. If you’re thinking that’s only for Malaysia, you’re sadly mistaken – even in the UK where we get hardly any sun, she’s got her full gear on. Now I find myself shielding my face whenever the sun is out (unlike my younger self who would not have cared) and I wear sunscreen every single day. I don’t mind being tan, but I would like to avoid premature aging and skin cancer thank you very much!

What were some of the random things your parents did, that you thought you wouldn’t do, but are now doing? Leave a comment below!




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