Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Whither Art Thou, Taiping?

doc old Taiping

We were in Taiping over the weekend to escape the haze. By now, you would have known how that went. Damn haze followed us home. *sigh* Fortunately, Taiping wasn't too bad. But this entry isn't about haze. It's about Taiping.

I grew up in this little town. Life was pretty laidback and fairly carefree. But like most teenagers, my youthful exuberance for life on the fast lane left me quite restless. Like my peers, I was quickly tempted by the bright lights of the big city. KL was such an attraction, but heck, I'd even settle for Ipoh. Why couldn't Taiping ever be a city? Why couldn't we have more departmental stores instead of the old bazaars? It seemed that progress would always elude our little neck o' the woods.
Today, 17 years after I left for KL Taiping, it seems, has finally come of age. Right here in my neighbourhood, where Kedai Gunting Rambut Rajoo used to be, a 7-11 is opening shop.

Some 20 years ago, KFC came to town. Before that, the closest thing to a fast-food in Taiping was a McDota Fried Chicken outlet. I bet no one even remembers McDota. Anyway, KFC would be the only fast food outlet for many years. Some 10 years later, McDonald's set up shop. And Taiping folks lapped up their Big Macs and Hot Fudge Sundaes. Where were you when I needed you most? Imagine being a teenager in love and not having a local McDonald's to go on dates. Hmph!

Soon after, other chains came to town. Today we have a Popular Bookstore, a Pizza Hut and now, a 7-11. Heck, we even have Nasi Kandar shops, Mamak stalls and numerous cafe serving Western cuisine. Air conditioned snooker centers are mushrooming around the town. And lately, Taipingites have caught the bowling bug. So, yes, Taiping is soon becoming a mini Metropolitan.
It's ironic how Taiping is becoming the kind of place I dreamt of as a youth. But now that I have spent so many years in KL, I long to return to that Taiping I once knew. A place where we once ate curry mee along the 5-foot way of old Victorian shophouses. A place where our neighbourhood grocer used to deliver our perishables and even stopped by for a cup of coffee. A place where they gambled on fighting fishes and rainfall at the coffee shops.

I miss my Taiping. *sigh*


  1. i smell your nostalgia. well, at least you have all those precious memories in your mind ...

  2. Isn't it strange .. James.. ??? we humans are so funny..!! when we donch have it.. we long for it.. and when we do.. we donch want it.. !!
    Good thing we are not this way with our kids.. eh..??

  3. When you are young.. you long for the city where life are more exciting and interesting.
    After many years of busy and hectic lifestyle, I suppose everyone will want to go back to a peaceful and "kampung" environment.
    Just too bad that the wave of development is slowly diminishing all our hometown.

  4. there was a report about taiping, which is the wettest town in our country, suddenly had no water! what's happening to taiping?

  5. as a child visiting my aunt in taiping, i remembered i had "nothing to do" and always didn't want to take my bath coz the water in the tempayan is damn cold! brrrrrrr...

  6. I REMEMBER MCDOTA CHICKEN!!! It was this corner shop in Ipoh Garden South where Metrojaya used to be too.
    Unfortunately, both couldn't attract sufficient sales and the former left for greener pastures in Taiping while the latter retired to the glory of Kuala Lumpur.
    Ok, I made the former one up. It's a logical argument though, coz Kentucky Fried Chicken (as it was known then - yucky oily unhealthy crap. Good thing they are now KFC, healthy and nutricious) and the Golden Arches were too strong to contend with and since Taiping had neither.....

  7. I still can't believe Ipoh had its own metrojaya

  8. :lol: My nostalgia tends to smell a little like stale eggs, Emma.
    Good point, BigBoK!
    True, true Egghead. If this keeps up, we'll have nowhere to retire to.
    Brings a tear to my eyes, everytime Babe. Okay, okay, so it doesn't. But yeah, I had plenty of good memories at home.
    Lucia, maybe God decided to punish those rainfall gamblers. :lol:
    Yah man, Belacan. Water in Taiping is excruciatingly colder than KL!
    Too bad the last good one isn't all that great anymore, Dee!
    :lol: Greener pastures in Taiping!!! *piak* Husband for rubbing it in. So, KFC is nutritious now, eh?!

  9. My hometown.. .. hmph.. didn't even have a McDota.. *But i remember it being in Alor Star*.. .
    Vhere I came from.. the first was a KFC.. about 15 years ago.. Pizza Hut & Ayamas about 2 years ago..
    And since I was back in Kangar last weekend (same reason as you and same predicament as you).. I saw a youth carrying a McDonald's bag... with Big Mac's and Fries.. my eyes went wide open.. Maccer's is here in Kangar.. where where!!!?!?!
    Well, I miss the Kangar of my youth.. there aren't anymore cinemas there.. *sigh*.. I remember my first movie that I watched while playing truant.. ha ha ha ooops... :p

  10. *sniff sniff* you reminded me of my good old days in taiping ... where you can buy that cheap cheap 20cents or 30 cents m'sian ice cream, milo flav, assam flav ... :( and the char kuey teow near the market ... sigh kings food at a begger's price :D ... and the cheap cheap things in the market ... :( i miss taiping also!!! i want to go bk to my pokok assam :(

  11. Hmmm... Pizza Hut made it before McD, Paulos? How strange.
    Wow, now I'm really feeling old, Deepsy. Back when I was a kid, ice cream was 5 sen or 10 sen!

  12. I still remember McDota.. my parents used to bring me there when i was a kid... and we even celebrated my brother's birthday there...
    ahh..i miss Taiping too..

  13. YES YES YES...I still remember McDota. Anyone of you studied in Hua Lian high school ? my father used to be the chinese teacher there :)

  14. You must go back more often before old Taiping is all gone, Chia!
    Nope, Beauty. But I used to hang out there to check out the chicks. Hehehhh!!!

  15. hehe, i'll surely visit taiping more often.
    hey James, have u eaten the chicken wings in Restoran Taman Tasik (Tai O)?? If you have not, you should really give it a try :p