Saturday, 24 October 2009

A Tiger in your tank!

We used to love visiting the many Esso garages around Singapore mainly because of the free gifts! At the time, there only seemed to be Shell and Esso garages and we were always nagging dad to go in the Esso one. There was no self-service in those days. When your car pulled onto the forecourt, a group of men would rush out. One would busily clean your windscreen, another would open the bonnet and check your oil and water and another would fill your car up. Then, they would take your money and come back with your change and the all-important free gift! They were always very friendly and polite. Quite often they would point at me and say something like, 'nice fair hair!', the locals seemed fascinated by kids with light coloured hair at the time. One of the free gifts was a Tiger Tail, which we would get dad to attach to the car aerial, At home, we all had these attached to our bikes. I bet there aren't many still around today. We also got free drinking glasses, cups and badges (I've still got mine) all with the Tiger's face on. Even if there wasn't a promotion on, the garage workers would still give you free sweets and lollies. They were just happy to have your custom. There probably isn't any non self service garages in Singapore anymore. I've come across them in Australia and some parts of Cornwall but it seems a thing of the past now. Thinking about it, there seems to be a lot less Esso garages too!

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