CNY Flashback: Story of a Small Town
Chinese New Year is not just meeting up with old friends but with long lost friends too. This Chinese New Year, I was at HSBC and who would I meet but Mah Sing, an old schoolmate whom I had not seen for years. We had a long chat and the next day, there he was at my house and together we went to this Chinese settlement in this little fishing village of Kuala Sepetang in Perak, Malaysia. Kuala Sepetang at one time, was called Port Weld after a British man, Sir Frederick Weld who arrived in Taiping in 1881. The Chinese in Kuala Sepetang, most of them, I suppose are fishermen and some of them live in very quaint houses with stilts. To reach these houses, one could take a little sampan at just ten cents and once you cross the river, you would find yourself as if, transported into a small town inhabited only by Chinese. Here, you can walk or even cycle along narrow lanes lined with houses that seem to rise from the swamp. You may enjoy looking at people going about their daily activities and when you get tired of it all, perhaps you would just want to stop for a drink or or a bite at the coffee shops. You would find boisterous children running around too and if you are lucky, you may even see some of them playing basketball at the basketball court near the little Chinese temple. Some Chinese New Years would find me here visiting friends and this year,it was an rather special. I was there with a long last friend to visit a friend - Thanks God for Chinese New Year!
Kuala Sepetang... You probably would identiy my long lost schoolmate if I'd told you that we had rice cooked with crabbed for lunch!