Bread from one shop was also obtained from its back door. Hence we often went by that particular back lane. We could buy one day old bread at half the price. I like the ones which were baked in the round butter tins and the bottom of the bread was crispy and fragrant because of the extra butter.
And in one street there was this back lane which was " home" to my older friend's "clothes stall". We growing girls would cycle there and get our cheap underwear from her. I remember buying my first and treasured pair of pantyhose before going to university from her. We felt comfortable buying from her and not in full view of a big and pricey Departmental store like Ngui Kee. We did not do "window" shopping then. It was more back lane shopping.
Back lanes in Sibu were pleasant where one would also find older ladies sitting on stools talking to each other.Back lanes were cool in the morning as no direct sunlight would penetrate there except the midday sun. Very huge cars could not drive through them. Today the municipal councils have made the back lanes wider and vehicles pass through them Perhaps the concept of back lanes has disappeared!
I also remember that back lanes were escape routes used by some businessmen to avoid their creditors or even their wives who would come through the front door of the shop! We used to smile at such thoughts because from
Those were the days.
I am presenting you one set of photos featuring chickens sunbathing in a back lane in Miri during the Chinese New Year when orders were overflowing and the vendors have no more room in the shop to hang their drying chickens before roasting them in the aluminum furnace/roaster.
Chickens skirting around the furnace/roaster before they are roasted.
Every time I see chickens hanging out like this I hum this little tune to myself...."hang down your head Tom Chicken.....(Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley)
A non-Chinese helper preparing chicken feet - a great favourite of many customers.
While most people believe that our service industries are Chinese or Malay owned we have to take into consideration the great support provided by the indigenous people who chop and cut; wash and clean; and wait at the tables .
Many Chinese eateries can remain open because their indigenous staff do not take leave for the Chinese New Year holidays. We also like the friendly attitudes these helpers have. They are cheerful and have their own peculiar sense of humour. For me I would give them a high mark because they are quick in their feet and are willing to run for anything we ask for. They do not throw chopsticks and the soya sauce dish on the table.
Country Chicken Rice in Miri continues to provide very good and reasonably priced chicken rice with a smile.
I like this : "Madam! Roasted or Poached?"Mine is always the poached chicken rice.