April 13, 2010

The Long Lasting Sungei Merah Wooden Shops

From 1983 till 1987 I was very much a part of this world. I bought a small home along the Old Airport Road and did most of my shopping here.These shops in the photos amazingly have been having the same looks since the 1950's. Each time I go back there it seems as if time has stood still.

It was good to be part of a small satellite town like Sg. Merah. We all knew each other. Several dialectic groups live here - not just the Foochows although the dominant group is the Henghua.I could drive alongside the shop and pick and choose my fruits from my car. My kids would be at the back and having a riot!! So the understanding stall owners especially Ah Lang would only be too delighted to weigh and bring the fruits right to my car. I felt like royalty treated this way by all the stall owners. In this way I did not have the hassle of shepherding my kids in the market or in huge shopping complexes.

Twenty something years later I would come back to visit my friends and they still remember me and my children. This is what friends are for. They are warm hearted and they are loving and caring. And I always get a good deal buying stuff from them.

The shopkeeper is smart and would offer the seasonal products (Ching Ming fare)for sale at the right time.


this motor bike shop has been here since my grandfather's days. I can say our families know each other for generations!!

Seasonal sale items - money for the other world.

women motor cyclists are plentiful in Sg. Merah!!

Lau Hieng Ding Bananas (Cavendish) and other bananas and fruits are sold here. People from Sibu also come to buy. Two generations have manned these shops which also provide living quarters at the back.

My old friend - Ah Lang. We have grown old together. She is camera shy. But she will honestly tell me..."These are sour...don't buy.. why not buy those over there...." You cannot get better service than that. May be only in my beautiful Sungei Merah.

These shop keepers will always be ready to have a short conversation with you. This is one of the nicest aspects of shopping here.

I can really say that I like to LEPAK here. We can drop our pretenses and our social status and have a good conversation. I usually get very amused here. And you won't be bored at all because these nice and kindly folks are so alert to whatever is going on and they can spend time with you. I can even say that you don't need TV if you have them as your friends.

And every time I meet up with Ah Lang I would say.."Sure I will be back soon....."

15 comments:

杨 善 SUN YONG said...

I passby this area everyday.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Yong Sun...Sungei Merah is thriving and should really be a place where tourists stop and have a meal . It will always be a good place for a "down memory lane" trip for many....

May be one day Sungei Merah will have a nice homely hotel....breakfast : kompia/lunch : kangkong and henghua oyster noodles/dinner : changkok manis and wild boar meat and fish!!

My imagination!!

wenn said...

nice sweet people.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Sarawakiana, I love places like this, old shops, and where everyone knows your name.
Old days when I travelled a lot, I used to purposely stop at these small villages or towns to eat or have a coffee break and observe people.

Interesting post, love the pictures.
You keep well and have a nice day, Lee.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Wenn
These Sungei Merah people are very nice...not like many of the big city or suburban people....unspoilt and real.

Cheers.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Uncle Lee
It is always refreshing to go back to our roots and to people like these Sungei Merah folks....

makes life worth living...

You keep well too...Have some Cavendish bananas...good for our brains.

Bengbeng said...

ah i hav seen her before..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Bengbeng
Next time you want to buy bananas (especially Lau Hieng Ding ones_ please buy from my friend Ah Lang....

these stalls are very very good...won't cheat. And you can always put the fruits on the scale yourself and calculate with your own calculator. (my children are amazed by this second weighing).

thanks for visiting.

Superman said...

Those are really old old shops. But they still hanging there and sells nice fruits.

Watt said...

Wow..20 something yrs ago we were at the Airport Rd & those same shops are still there..amazing!

ah..I still remember cycling to Sungai Merah buying bread & buns,that was fun..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Superman
They are indeed still hanging out there for great purposes!!
And they give Sungei Merah such a special essence of old time life!!
The are great aren't they?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Watt
Yes they are still there. The young man has grown older...but the fruits are still good and their business style is still the same...

It is good to see timeless shops and things which don't change....help with memories...

I understand that when people live with too much changes they suffer from Alzheimer more easily.

God bless you and your family.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Watt
People still cycle around Sungei Merah...whenever I go there I wish I have a bicycle....

Ann said...

My parents took us to MAKAN ANGIN to the airport often. We had to pass this market/shops and then past the cemetery.

This is our San Ba Cantonese thinking, when you pass the cemetery, you don't call the names of those os us in the car, eg I don't call you CY,I just talk to you, otherwise that night the ghosts would come to you.

So we were really scared, and wonder why Mum and Dad will drive along that road just for MAKAN ANGIN. It was different if Dad had to take the plane.

Now, I think it was a road down memory lane. My Grand Dad and Dad and all the Cantonese men and the FOCK JHOU LO had to build the road to the airport during the Japanese war.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann
I think during our younger days the Sg. Merah/Airport Road was the longest road...and our dads loved to bring us for a long ride. The sunset and the wind there were the added attractions. I must say my dad must be thinking of those days of hardship..and praying that the same fate would not fall on his children!!
I just closed my eyes when I saw the humongous cemeteries...
For old times sake I still ask the Hunter to take me for a car ride...now all the children gone away!!