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*