Nowadays, I take photos with my N97. Though not the best photo quality, it is easy to snap everything the moment I see it.
The other day I wanted some Chinese herbal mix for chicken soup. So, we dropped by the Perak Road wet market as it was on the way. I found an old man sitting down dreamily watching the world goes by. He is selling bunches of bamboo leaves.
I was like oh wow….spring cleaning time again? So fast? That was before the malls slammed us with red lanterns, red cloths and Chinese New Year songs.
Long time ago, my mother-in-law advised me that I must sweep my house’s ceiling, nook and corner with these bamboo leaves because only bamboo leaves can drive away evil, naughty spirits. Hahaha, I never do any spring cleaning ‘cos I leave it to my housekeeper to do that.
Those of you who are familiar with Perak Road or Tor lork au will recognise this man who used to make peanut candy (kong thng, thor tau tng) with his barehands. It is an interesting process where the maltose is mixed with fried groundnuts and cut into rectangles. The other version is the kacang tumbuk where he used to pound the mixture into grounded peanuts. He supplies poh piah skin for you to eat with the kong thng so that the skin takes away the sweetness of the peanut candy plus it is less messy too.
I went to this tiny old, Chinese medicine hall and asked for two packets of bak kut teh mix and two packets of chicken herbal soup mix. I thought they will give me, all wrapped up in plastic bags. But oh no…the lady slowly weighed all the ingredients in taels with her old weighing scales. It was a long process as there are so many ingredients in bak kut teh. I think I spent almost 20-30 minutes just waiting for her to slowly take those Chinese herbs from each drawer. It is a beautiful gesture, so traditional and heart warming.
All these traditional businesses like selling bamboo leaves for spring cleaning, handmade peanut candy and Chinese herbs, personally mixed and tailored to your taste are only available from traditional wet markets.