Friday, December 25, 2009

Perakians Working in Singapore Part 2 (Pics of A Once Happenning Little Town in Perak)

It has been quite sometime since Part 1 of Perakians Working in Singapore. Today I wish to share some pics of my father in law's hometown in Perak. These pics were taken duing his funerals.

I absolutely love these pics because it captures the simple beauty typical of small towns across Perak. These pics were taken using an average Nokia phone by a lousy photographer without much effort.

Its a beautiful little town at the foot of Cameron Highlands. At first glance, it looks no more than just another forgotten old folks town of Perak. But you really have to be there to feel what a great place it is. Your body and mind just feel totally soothe just by being there. The air and weather there are just awesome.

And there is a sense of history too. A sense of roots of where sub-modern and sub-urban people like me originates from. What we see now maybe some run-down houses and shops. But this was a rather happening place even before Merdeka. From 1930s to 1950s the town was fill with businesses and and other human activities(e.g gambling, prostitution and subastance abuse).

I know its hard to imagine but once upon a time there were crowds(Chinese, Indians, Ang Mohs etc) drinking and fooling around on these streets.

In the old days everyone travelling between KL and the northern states had to pass through this town. But the creation of North-South Highway left the town stranded from modern development.

Sending my father in law on his final journey across the streets he grew up.

At the cremation afterwards, the most delicious roast pork that I had ever tasted.

Apologies to Muslim friends !

Perak in Malay is silver. The British travel half the globe to plunder Perak riches. Chinamen were brought in to work tin minings. The rise of this town and many like it were the result of tin mining industry. And sadly with the demise of the tin minings, saw the decline of these towns.

Kaki Tambak

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Torrid Journey Home

Yesterday journey home is another horrendous one for the records. Started my journey at 5.10pm and reaching home at 7.40pm.

It was raining heavily from 5.15pm to 6.00pm. Visibilty at times was only 50 meters.I had no choice but to ride slowly (about 50-60 km/h). It felt more like NEE (Never Ending Expressway) than AYE (Ayer Rajah Expressway).

After toiling in the cold hard rain, I finally reached Tuas checkpoint at 6.10pm to be greeted by a virtual motorbike standtill. The operations yesterday evening were way slower than usual. Normally it only would take 30 minutes to clear a 60 meters que. Yesterday it was near to an hour.

From the video below, Block D1 was totally unused. You can see the motorbike traffic was not moving at all while the cars were moving pass the bikes slowly.

And 2 minutes later, I was still rooted to almost the same spot. Furthermore you can see a totally different set of cars next to me.

Till this day, I still cannot understand why Tuas checkpoint management rarely make full use of all three blocks (D1,D2 and D3) during peak period.

Is this a mission impossible to them?
Or did the cold rain yesterday lowered the metabolism of Tuas ICA officers causing slower clearance process?

Until they figure out how to improve the situation at Tuas, we tambak riders will have to carry on with our jiak lat life.

Kaki Tambak

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Female Tambak Riders

The above pictures shows 2 female kaki tambaks on motorbike at the 2nd link. One is the actual rider(penunggang) and the other is the pillion(pembuncing). There are lots of pillion female kaki tambaks who travels daily with their tambak riders husbands or boyfriends.
However, there are not many actual female tambak riders around. Maybe the less than 0.1% of total tambak riders population. But there seems to be more of them using Tuas Chechkpoint than Woodlands. Most of them probably lives in Gelang Patah area and works in Jurong/Tuas.
I wish to express my utmost respect to these tough ladies who weather the torturous motorbike jams at Singapore checkpoints everyday.
Kaki Tambak