Seria is world famous as an oil town with lots of expatriate communities and well organised ungated residences. The town itself is made up of four or five blocks of two or three storeyed shop houses. It is not at all busy and fast moving. People still stop and have a short conversation with friends while others are very helpful to strangers who ask for directions.
While many of the shops are run by the Chinese many are run by Indians. Most are sundry goods shops while a few are the typical shops of a developing town : watch shops - electrical and CD shops - barber shops to name a few.
But on a Friday a very delightful little pocket of mobile hawkers gather together near a padang to market their jungle and vegetable products for the discerning customers who hanker for fresh and traditional food from the home garden or the jungle. A colourful group of shoppers would come around to a just as colourful group of vendors to exchange pleasantries and to talk about old days and traditional food.
Some would come for grandmother's antidote for headache and others would come for some wild red spotted ikan keli which are not pond reared and a delicacy for the old timers.
This kind of market or tamu has old charms and a very relaxing atmosphere. What is very nice is the mix of languages and dialects which are very pleasant to the ear. And one can often go away from this scene with a handful of interesting purchases and a few good memories to last another week!
Going away from the tamu with plastic bag full of goodies and a lightened heart.
Flowers as vegetables too.
Jungle edible rattan. (selaris)
Heart of palms which are good as cures for headaches and high blood pressure.
A man preparing the jungle rattan for the customers. All customers get freshly peeled hearts of rattans on the spot.
Some of the husband and wife teams of hawkers are so pleasant to the customers that they would come back again and again.
As for me visiting a tamu is often a very pleasant weekly event for me to relive a pleasant and relaxing evening with good and helpful people. At times it is even de-stressing . Sometimes I come home with some traditional native vegetables which help me to de-tox when I chance to see them.