We cannot turn back time, but sometimes, old school is still cool.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
We cannot turn back time, but sometimes, old school is still cool. 
My Reading Room

WHEN I was in primary school, my teacher set us a composition topic about the future world, and I wrote about cars that fly and drive independently. 

Today, autonomous cars are already a reality. 

Even in cars that we still drive ourselves, their level of refinement and list of equipment are a far cry from what they were 10 years ago. 

Keyless entry and push-button start/stop are now considered the norm, and we no longer bat an eyelid at technology that used to be considered fancy, such as piloted driving, adaptive cruise control, automated parking and voice command. 

Many of these features make driving easier and enhance safety, but some are gimmicky at best. 

I’ve sat in cars that didn’t have central locking and whose windows had to be manually wound, back when I wasn’t old enough to drive them yet. 

And when I was old enough to drive, my first car had a manual transmission and didn’t have power steering, which I thoroughly enjoyed, even if it did prove rather challenging for a new driver. 

Besides driving and focusing on the road, I also had to juggle other tasks behind the wheel – the car’s wiper switch was faulty, so I had to flick it on and off  again after every sweep of the windscreen. 

The car’s brakes were also slightly wonky, so I had to step on the brake pedal repeatedly, like I was working a bicycle pump, every time I needed to slow down or stop. But in hindsight, the steep learning curve was a good thing; an initiation of sorts for a young petrolhead. 

I miss some of these old-school things, and not just in cars. 

The simple pleasures of sharpening an old-fashioned Chung Hwa pencil the old- fashioned way by using a penknife, punching alphabets on a Dymo tape, and grinding my spices with a mortar and pestle. 

Maybe it is the comforting nostalgia that they evoke, or maybe it is just me getting old.