Snuggled in the two rows of shops in Kuala Belait is one lovely old shop with the essence of the 50's life : kapok - Anchor cottons for crochet and even very old XL sized (of those days) school boys trousers made in Singapore. Many of the textiles are directly imported from Singapore like in the old days and the labels are still in English. This is the kind of shop I can "lepak" for hours because the shop keepers are kind and hospitable.
The young student looking after the shop asked me to look at the floor - she said "the floor is antique - just cement - no tiles". She definitely has the eye of an archiver and historian!! We had a small chat and then her grandfather came in . He still has a lot of enthusiasm for life and a great memory of things and activities of olden days.
I had another goal before coming to the shop : I was looking for Twin Sisters' florida water to cool some prickly heat rashes and dropped by the shop. He told me that the original Florida Water is now only available in Hong Kong. The ones he is selling is from China and very cheap.
The towkay (80 + year old Hakka) had a good chat with me. His grand daughter now a Form Five student was helping to "man" the shop. She has time to do her maths homework in between customers.
He gave me the opportunity to record some history of the shop.
Glass cabinets of yester years...These are popular in Sarawak as well as in Brunei.
The glass cabinets were made in Miri and the wood is excellent. Made in 1953 these glass panels and cabinets were brought from Miri and have never seen any damage since then. The cotton materials remain some of the best and original textiles in KB.
School boys' pants - This is marked XL size....How small boys were then.
Anchor cotton still available here. All the markings on the box and info - still in English.
This is one of the few shops still having ceiling fans and is without air conditioning. But the shop is cool enough and it gives me a lot of "restful" moments.
Thanks for the memories.