Just the other day hubby and I were talking about good old times.. I told him what we have in Kampar 3o over years ago and decided to blog about it.
Nostalgia 1: The lady who sold "tau fu fa" (Tauhua in cantonese)
There was this chinese lady, probably in her late 40s or younger but I can still remember she probably look older than her age due to hard labour earning ends meet (I can still pictured her - lines on her forehead with dark complexion). She has a powerful and high pitch voice and balanced two big wooden drums on a wooden pole (like the scene in the old kungfu movies where people used to do that when they need to fetch water from the river.. hope you can imagine that). She will shout "Tau fu fa, tau fu fa", often times my mom will ask us to go out, stopped her and ordered a few bowls of the sweet and smooth desert. In one of the drum holds an inner metal drum which consist of the "tauhua" and in the other drum holds bowls, utensils and some water. She used to ask us for some water for cleaning as she could not possibly carry all the water she needs. Mind you she only walked and I don't think we could imagine the hard labour she has to go through for the sake of making a decent living.
Nostalgia 2: The old man who provide sharpening services
Now there was this particular old chinese man, almost toothless and once a while he will popped at our main gate and shouted "anything to sharpen? Knives or scissors". Mom will always ask us to open the gate, invite the old man in and digged whatever scissors and knives that we have at home. He will then sit on the floor, took out his sharpener and began sharpening each tools, he will then cleaned them and returned the tools to us well sharpened and sparkling clean. Mom always rewarded him more than he asked, he used to return to us the extra but mom insisted he keeps it. So for a few years whenever he is in town (I guess), he never fails to appear at our main gate, there were times the interval was so long, we thought and asked if he's still alive. When he did appeared at our door step we were so happy to see him and opened the gate for him, took out a pair of scissors (sometimes need no sharpening) and just see his hands working. Somehow I understood that mom don't want him to feel bad feeling old (useless) and merely passed him some notes though we could see man of his age really should be resting at home. But then he may not have a home. I cannot remember when he stopped coming but we guessed he must have moved on... hopefully I'll get to meet him in heaven someday.
Nostalgia 3: The roti man
The roti man, a skinny indian man always with a "cerut" in his mouth and occasionally chewing "sirih". He is more advanced compared to the tauhua lady and old "sharpener" man as he owned a bicycle fixed with a big blue wooden box on it. Whenever he is approaching (about 8.00pm) he will ring his bell and we could hear him almost half a mile away. I will run out, wait for him in front of my house and ordered the famous "roti planta" (bread with planta) or "roti kelapa" (coconut bun). Sometimes mom will ask me to help the roti man pushed his bicycle up the slope and together we will count "satu,dua,tiga" and with all my might pushed the bicycle up together with him. He will then sell his bread to the neighbouring area and by 9.30pm or so we can always hear him charging down the slope, making the all too familiar bumping sound as he crossed the metal drain's cover right in front of our house. There are times if we missed him on his way up, we will normally on standby mode to stop him on his way down. Just the other day while at the traffic light I saw this familiar scene, another roti man, also with a blue wooden box but now on a motorbike.
Time has indeed changed the way things were... now our neighboring tauhua man drives a van, there's no more manual sharpening services and our roti man is on a motorbike. As I recalled the good old times, it makes me feel like a little girl all over again.