I used to live along a very interesting street that begins from the T junction and ends at an intersection.
In the early days, food peddlers on bicycles or motorbikes that were converted to moveable food stalls, ply this street in the morning or late at night. With their rubber honk and bells that goes clink!clink! we have the roti man on their overloaded bicycle; the chui kueh seller with his steamer; the kueh-mueh Ah Soh with assortments of bingka, harm chi peng, yue char keuh etc. Later in the morning, the meat and vegetable seller comes a-calling. Then in the hot afternoon, the ice-cream and the ice bola seller knows how to quench our thirst. Oh, not to forget the konk-konk man chiseling away piece by piece the sweet candy, and as he twirls and twirls his sticky beh leh koh on a wooden stick. Then we catched the kacang putih man clad in his familiar sarong, balancing his wooden box-cum-table atop his turban head, like the acrobat doing their act in the circus.
In the evening, we wait patiently with bowl or plate in hand along the street, for the wan tan mee seller and later in the night, the kueh teuy man. They never disappoint us. Dieting was never an issue. At precisely the same time every night, these two peddlers will pass by this stretch of street. If you missed them going down the street, not to worry. You can catch them coming back the same way once they complete a full circle. Unlike hanging out at mamak shops for teh tarik and play catch-up, we sit by the side of the road under the street lamp , yaking the night away with ghosts and orang minyak stories.
One day the kuey teuy seller stopped coming. We told him one day he’s going to meet a beautiful ghost if he goes back so late everynight. So each time he passes by that mangosteen and banana trees after 12 midnight, all is quiet and eerie, we heard he peddaled for his life. So when he failed to turn up after that, we thought he met his ghost.
Further up the street, near a railway track, we heard a rock was shooting out water with healing powers. News of this sort caught the attention of the media. People with asthma, skin disease and kidney problem testified to its truth. My family like every other family went to fill up our empty bottles and we drank and we were cured of sore throat, skin rashes. My mother used this water to make cake powder that gives a cooling effect for the face. Each day the crowd swelled and got bigger. Finally the railway keeper decided to condone the area and began charging the people. Just as suddenly it came, as suddenly it stopped. Thats the end of the story!