Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Satay Man

This photo of the Satay man was taken near to our home at Jalan Wijaya in 1966. My brother, Alan, took this with my parents Kodak 127 camera. I think I've still got it somewhere!
The Satay man used to sit near to the shops by the coldstore in Jalan Dato Sulaiman. He would heat up meat in his pots and pans, I think he had some sort of paraffin heater. His fuel container was an old Milo tin that had been modified - they never wasted anything! As far as I can remember, he never looked any happier than this!
We were told not to eat any of it but I'm sure Alan tried it several times. It never seemed to do him any harm though. It's amazing that the Satay man would carry this contraption around on his shoulders, it all looked pretty heavy.
In the background, is a cafe. I remember going in there for milkshakes. I also remember buying 7-up and Coca-cola which always seemed to come in bottles and we'd buy strange Chinese sweets.
The coldstore was near by and my clearest memory is getting a packet of cornflakes, mainly for the free gift, and opening it up and it was full of ants. The shopkeeper just laughed when we took it back. I remember the washing powder you bought that always came in a red bucket and you used to get free cups when you bought anything and eventually you had a complete tea set. I wonder if there are many of those about still?
There was also an insurance salesman's office in the row and he always kept a small monkey on a lead attached to the metal grill on the front of his shop. Further down, I think there was a photographers shop. This row of shops seemed to be the first port of call before we set off for any of our adventures around the estate.
The Satay man is probably now long gone though perhaps he wasn't as old as he looked in the photo!

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