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.
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....."