Note: This post is made special for the Blog And Win contest organised by TelBru.
As I am typing this post while monitoring with my Restaurant City activities running in the background, I’m glad and proud to say that I’ve been connected to the internet via my trusted Espeed for as long as I remember and doubt that it’s going to change in the near future.
No matter what others had said about Espeed, the good and the bad, I’ve been loyal to this Brunei’s very first ISP. Despite of the “horror stories” (Yes! Life without internet is scarier than watching Shutter with a big plasma TV and home theatre system surrounding me!) I heard from my friends telling me about their internet connectivity and how they’re ignored and stuffs, whenever I had problems in the connection, I just picked the phone up and dialled the customer care 111 and my complains will be taken note of immediately and the technicians would arrived my door steps latest by “tomorrow morning”. I guess it is best to stay neutral about things until you get to face one yourself, meaning to say.. do not let anyone decide for you.
I remembered vividly that we used to have only 5 digits number to dial, then 6 digits – plus zero-something in front if you wish to make STD calls and now its 7 digits(!) with the area code stick permanently in front of the previous 6 digits number. Haih~ How time flies..
Image source from here.
Back in those days having a telephone at home was somewhat cool and luxurious. You can hear the super loud “Ringgggggggggggggggggggggggggg Ringggggggggggggggggg Ringggggggggggg” from the rotary dialling telephone even from 10m away! And everyone would freaked out when the phone rang and rushed to the phone it was something really big and serious, like how 阿桃 reacted in the super hit series “The Little Nyonya” when the stupid Wong family called and said they’re coming back to Singapore. Oops.. I digress.
Anyway, back to the topic. Why did I say that my relationship with Telbru, previously known as JTB, is inseparable? Since young, I had been awarded by my mum a very special job, it’s called “The Phone Dialler”!!!
I have no idea how did my mum developed the strong sense of inferiority over telephone because she will avoid dialling the phone in any case! At age 3, she would bring me to JTB’s KB branch (because we used to live in KB) and gave the number to the operator, or any ladies sitting behind the counter and told them that she would like to make a phone call and walked to small cubicle and lifted the handset waiting for the third party to pick up the call. As for me, being so young and small (gosh.. how I miss the days when I weighted less than 20kg. Hahhaha), my mum would lifted me up and placed me on the table/board so that I wouldn’t run around/away and the height would kept me sit still.
Smart move mother!
When we moved down to Seria and my mother had works to attend to not hence not able to make phone during the working hours with those Malay Kakaks to help her to to dial the phone, and I’m already old enough to understand how the whole “Calling System” works, she would bring me to Seria branch and waited for hours for our turn to use the public phone.
Oh by the way, my mum was calling back to her hometown in Sibu if you’re wondering why we used public phones. Remember those calling cards? Very stiff and had a marking on the card indicating how much you had used.. I think?
Haih… really waited for hours okay! And… back in the days there’s no sanitizer.. or I was too young to know what it is, the smell on the handset after 10+ people (Indians, Indonesians, Filipinos and so on… I’m not trying to be racist here okay. Bad breathe happens to anyone, any race!)…. haih, so kick that my mum had to wipe the handset with tissue for 10 seconds hoping that all germs/bacterias already mati. Very naive hor?
Then when we finally have a house phone at home… like 10 years later.. okay, not exactly “our” house phone.. it’s my neighbours and they’re kind enough to lend it to us and we sort of sharing-is-caring, it was time when I reached puberty and started to hog the phone line for hours talking about mindless and random stuffs with my classmates..
Super silly stuffs like,
“OMG! I love Take That! (Go and naming their songs from A-Z) Who is your favourite among them ah? I liked Mark Owen at first one.. then hor, Robbie Williams also very nice lor. But Gary Barlow can sing well leh. Eh, don’t fight with me ah. Robbie William I like first one, you go and like others lah…
Eh. Ah Kai got call you ah? Wah lao eh… So long ah?! Eh.. He already go after you so long liao… you never consider him meh? Don’t like then don’t give hope lah you. So kerlian. He everyday call me and lor-liu (asking for information) about you leh.. He actually not bad also lah… ”
(I bet 48 is chuckling now if she reads this)
Hey! Don’t look at me like that. I was a teenager okay. Teenagers are excused to be all silly and foolish one. And later came “Halo Card”… a prepaid card which allowed me to make STD calls and talked non-stop until credit habis. Oh btw, “my” house phone cannot make STD calls one.. so the only way to call my then-boyfriend who lives in Bandar (Belait-ians refer BSB as Bandar, and not Bandar as in Bandar the Kianggeh area as how BSB-ians thought) is using Halo Card.
I would normally buy a $5 card and for this $5, I got 50 minutes of calling time. Yeap, cheap right? $0.10 for one minute~ regardless of the time you call. Cheap lah, because calling mobile phones also same price leh! You do the maths. Memorizing the 12 digits number was an easy job for me. Just that getting through the toll-free line, 1800 xxxx, especially at the peak hours.. 8pm – 12pm!
Then came BruNet!!!!!!!!!
Brunet oh Brunet~ You brought me into the world of Internet. Hotmail, ICQ and mIRC. Making plenty of friends online… hahhaa… how cliché, we had a term for it CYBERFRIENDS! Excuse, I’m now telling you something that happened a decade ago okay! 10 years ago where got Google and Windows Live Messenger. Blog? What blog? My PC that time was Pentium III 500Mhz ah don’t play play! Already very tokong liao okay!
TOKONG! So ancient man that word!
TOKONG!!!! TOKONG!!!!! TOKONG !!!!!!!!!!
(Tokong – top, no.1, super high class, ganas, bestest!)
Espeed was non-existent that time and everyone was using dial-up. When we called a friend, engage tone, “Ah.. budak ani mesti online ni”. And the other case was, an adult picked up the handset and heard those robotic gibberish that sounded like Darth Vader, they would freaked out and screamed... “Oi! Telephone rosak liao!!!!!!”
Seriously, I can still mimicked the sound of modem dialling up to these days. And I could predict so well whether or not I could connect to the internet based on the tone. Oh, using dial-up also always line engage one… >.< And this ought to teach you that you got to appreciate Espeed more.
I was subscribed to the Personal Plan (dial-up) which is way expensive than what BruNet is offering now and my bills sometime could come up to $90 a month! And that was nothing compared to my other friends… $100+ !!!! Hey, we’re just college students that time and our lives were not as privileged as youngster today.
Speaking of which, it reminds me of PAGER!
I saw someone using a pager last Thursday and it was for business purposes. That we all had a good laugh about it reminiscing the past. Like how we remembered all the codes and was super fast when pressing the buttons.
Below are some really cheesy numerical codes I remembered.
The Chinese type
520 / 143 – I love you
530 – I miss you
5201314 – I love you forever
074 – you go die
78 – Ci…. okay, I’m not suppose to say this in public
The Rotate-180-degrees-to-understand-the-codes type (Same as the Scientific calculator type)
07734 – hello
5513 – miss
1C155 – kiss
Arghh.. I can’t remember the rest. But I’m sure you all born 1985 and above get the hint lah.
Gosh, teenagers during my era were very jobless kan? Haahhahhahaa
There’s no such thing as Goth and emo. Aaron Kwok’s centre parting hair, which I normally called it as the McDonald’s hair was so popular and everyone has a laser beam or Tamagotchi hooked on their bags. Those were the in-things.
…. Okay, I drifted away from the topic again.
Then came E-Speed!!!!!!! which was something that I never thought I’ll owned it because I was so poor that time and asking my mum to fork out $300+ for the initial payment and a monthly subscription fee of $98 was near to impossible. Know what? When I got my very first pay from my teaching job, the first thing I bought was not baju, bag or mobile phone.. It’s ESpeed! That’s how important it is to me!
And ESpeed and I live happily ever after~
Wait! Not yet! One more!
I left out WAVE CARD!
Yeap, even though I constantly complained about the connectivity of Wave card in my hostel… I’m still thankful that it exists. To be honest, the webpage loads so freaking slow when connecting using Wave but… the download speed is so damn fast! So… pros and cons lah.
Okay, the end.
One last thing about TelBru I like.
The Telephone Directory.
It’s like a bible/encyclopaedia to me. Everything I need/want to know is there!
Hehehhee. I become so dependent to the directory inquiries, 113, that I even called them up for directions and locations… when I was doing the RTB Media Survey. Hey, it’s a free service so why not make full use of it!
And the other thing I love about the telephone directory is… the Menu Pages!
No idea where to lunch, go take the thick phone book out and start choosing! Pictures of food, location and contact numbers all easily printed there.
TelBru, let’s make our future better and brighter~