Wednesday, August 14, 2013

School holidays are here again!

I'm forever lamenting here in this blog that time flies way, way too fast. It's one month since I updated this blog. We're in the midst of school holidays, again! This time it was preceded by the Hari Raya holiday which fell on last Thursday and Friday and school has been out since then till end of this week.

It's a good thing that C didn't get any homework at all from school this time around. Either that, or she decided not to bring the work home! She's capable of that at times! But I trust that the teachers really didn't give any homework this time :)

As usual, we, or rather C, has grand plans to do many things during her free time. But since she is the type who dawdles and lives in the moment, she is pretty slow (by my standards) in getting things moving.

She however surprised us on the first morning of the holidays by waking up at 6.30am. On normal school days, that would be rare as we'd have to shake her out to get to school on time! She couldn't go back to sleep so I jokingly suggested she went and got breakfast ready. Lo and behold, she did. She came to us with a notebook and pencil and asked us for our breakfast orders *rolling my eyes*

While E and I continued to laze in bed for a while, she made sandwiches with butter and jam, and a fried egg for E, cereal with milk and an omelette for me, plus coffee for both of us.


 
 
During the Hari Raya break, we caught two movies, Wolverine and Percy Jackson on two separate days, at two different movie theatres. The two sweet-tooth people in my family had to have popcorn, of course.
 
Apart from movies, tv, iPad and computer games and videos from Brainpop, C started another 'storybook' of her own, writing an assortment of her own stories.
 
Yesterday, we sent her to a 3-day, 2-night nature camp at Janda Baik. She was so excited to go that she awoke at 4am. After dropping her off and returning to KL, E and I decided to visit Petaling Street, KL's Chinatown.
 
It's been more than 10 years since I last went there. Things have changed in that old part of KL. The roads were rather messy with the construction of LRT tracks. Some old buildings were demolished to make way for them, what a pity. What's 'Chinese' that remains of Chinatown is the food, some of the shops selling clothes, bags, shoes, etc. As for the stalls lining the roadside selling all sorts of knock offs, most of them are now manned by foreigners like Bangaldeshis :( 

 
 
Murals by a group of people who want to preserve the heritage on Jalan Sultan where six lots of buildings have been demolished to make way for development. Watch this video for more info:




 
 
Foreigners manning stalls
 
But some 'historical' gems are still there if you've lived in KL long enough to know. For a foodie like me, I took note of the stalls that have been faithful residents there for decades, although they could now be manned by a younger generation.

 
The daughter of the original salted roast duck seller is now continuing the business. They have been here for decades, selling their roast ducks and wrapped duck feet delicacy out of this cart by the roadside.

 
The roast duck seller's well-known name, 'Sze Ngan Chye' (Four-eyed Guy). This highly recognisable signage with red and white letterings in this typical typeface has not changed at all. Talk about strong branding! 

 
 
This 'air mata kuching' (longan drink) stall has been here for as long as I can remember, at the corner of Hong Leong Bank. It used to be a must-buy for E long ago during our single days when we visited this place, so yesterday, he re-lived 'history' by buying a cup, now priced at RM1.50. Those days, they served it in a bowl and many people would stand around the stall, drinking from the bowl.
 

 
This is another decades-old stall selling fried snacks and some specialty Cantonese kuih, including 'sat kei ma', 'siu hou chou', 'ham chim peng', 'mah kiok', 'hup tou sou', etc.
 

 
On our way home, we had to stop at a the traffic light junction facing Central Market. The former wet market of old, now a cultural/handicraft centre named Pasar Seni (Art Market) is now painted in light blue (I remember it as greyish or green back then). Alongside it, the alley has been transformed to what's called Kasturi Walk, with a giant wau (Malaysian traditional kite) fronting it!
 
 
It's good that I got to visit Petaling Street and drive past the areas surrounding it yesterday to take a look at the changes in town. Puduraya, the old central bus station got a facelift and the busy roundabout there is gone. The Klang Bus Station also got a facelift. The heart of old KL feels totally different from the one I used to know when I first moved here to live and work in the early 1990s....
 
Driving past Jalan Pudu on our way home, I could still at least feel that there wasn't as much change on that road, despite some new buildings coming up and the Pudu Jail gone. The popular Teochew porridge shop behind Berjaya Times Square (I can't stop thinking about food :-p) is still there too!