Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Jalan Wijaya today

I've searched google many times before, hoping to find a modern photo of Jalan Wijaya, but with no luck. Recently, I put 'Jalan Wijaya' in the search box and discovered that there was someone on Facebook who now lives at 104 Jalan Wijaya! I was amazed to have found somebody who lived so close to us at 103 so I wrote to him and we soon became friends. It seemed incredible that I could contact someone living in our old street and it seemed a great opportunity to get some recent photos. Tan Chee Klong (CK) was happy to oblige and here's what Jalan Wijaya looks like today. The first photo shows our old house. This picture certainly brings back a lot of happy memories. Back in the 1960s, there were huge monsoon drains in front of the house with huge toads who would croak during the night. Many kids and even the odd car would end up down there. The photo also reminds me of cycling past, coming off my bike, and banging my head on the front gate. There are so many things that come into my mind looking at this picture - the many barbecues, our birthday parties, building dens, firework displays, watching the monsoon water rising closer and closer to the front door, our Amah Azizah (I wonder if she still lives close by?) and many, many more things. I remember when we first moved in and my parents hired a tv set. All the local Chinese children came and sat on the gate to watch it! The windows on the side were by our bedrooms and back in the 1960s they were covered in ornate railings. We used to leave the windows open at night because of the heat, I loved listening to the crickets, but there were reports of people with bamboo canes and fishing hooks trying to get stuff out through the open windows while people slept!
The second photo shows the view from our house looking towards Jalan Dato Sulaiman which is where all the shops were where we got our groceries etc. The first shop on the right housed an insurers who always had a monkey attached to their chain-linked door. The road was half the size back then and on the right was all grass. Women would cut your grass for $2 and used huge scythes that they swung over their heads. This was the area where I found a branch which I stuck in the back garden and it grew into a lovely tree. On the left, is Mr Lee's house, he must be long gone now. Of course, the skyscrapers and tall buildings are all new but I can still instantly recognise the area and it brings back so many happy memories. The third photo shows Jalan Dato Sulaiman where all the shops were that we regularly visited. The ones that I can remember back then were an insurers, a toy shop, the cold store (where we bought a packet of Sugar Smacks full of ants), a photographers and a hairdressers. CK tells me that the hairdressers and insurers is still there. I bet the hairdressers don't still do those crazy bouffants that they used to give women in the 1960s! The right hand side of the road used to just be covered in grass. There were often discarded old films lying there, thrown out by the photography shop. There were no high rise buildings back then and a lot more trees and greenery. Following this road back up, you eventually came to endless jungle. Of course, it's all be cleared now. Further down the road, was a rubber factory that turned out endless flip-flops. We must have got through a lot of them as kids! Thanks, CK, so many happy memories!

1 comment:

  1. "Jalan Wijaya" of your former house many years ago brought happy memories of photos which could only made it possible with the help of people, the Internet and now virtual connection with Facebook. How was it able for you to get Mr Tan Chee Kiong, known only as a stranger but now a friend, who was your next door neighbour at Jalan Wijaya. "Facebook" is another great source of memory aids for long distances from UK to Jalan Wijaya once lived many years time and space!

    Search and you will find...had it not been your resourcefulness and to be IT-savvy with your own personal efforts. Well done, Derek!