Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our Old House in Changkat

Most of the government offices located in Changkat, about three kilometers from the town. These include the hospital, police station, prison building, court building and quarters for the government staff.

We used to live in one of the government quarters at Jalan Dobi (formerly known as Henham Road). This double storey terrace house has two bedrooms on the upper floor and two bathrooms. We stayed there until 1975 when my father, a school teacher, was transferred from Sekolah Menengah Rendah (now known as SM Tok Indra Wangsa) at Jalan Tanjung Tualang to Sekolah Menengah Dato Abdul Rahman Yaakob in Bota Kanan.

Since none of us were willing to go there, my father decided to buy a house in Taman Kam Seng, which is just beside my primary school, SK Sultan Yussuf. One of the reasons that we do not want to go to Bota Kanan was we know that it is difficult to make friends in new surroundings. We also do not want to stay far from our grandparents house in Kampung Bendera (on my mother's side) and Kampung Pasir (on my father's side). Furthermore, we were told that life in Bota Kanan is worse compare to Batu it true?

Picture above - my little brother and I in front of our old house in Changkat - No. 79 Jalan Henham. I think the picture was taken in 1972. There is a Raleigh bicycle behind us - the one and only vehicle that we had.

The following pictures were taken on my last visit during the last Chinese New Year holidays.

Our house is the one shown in this picture - the first unit (corner lot).
Far left (with Malaysian flag) where my late grandfather used to live before he moved to Kampung Pasir in Sungai Terap upon retirement. My late grandfather, known as Cikgu Ahmad, was a headmaster of a primary school in Changkat Tin.

The field was used by Indian families who ran laundry business using traditional method. Patients clothes, bed and pillow sheets from the nearby hospital were washed in the tub with hot water. Once clean, the clothes were wrung out — twisted to remove most of the water. Then they were hung up on clotheslines, or sometimes just spread out on clean grass.

I am not sure whether they are still running the business in traditional way. Most probably they are still running the laundry business but in a small scale as nowadays we're using automatic washing machine.

On the background (on the left side of the house) is the quarters for the prison personnel and families. I took a Quran lesson from one of the prison personnel at the quarters.

Hey, that big tamarind tree (pokok asam jawa) is still there. We used to play hide-and-see under the tree. It seems that the tree never grow after we left Changkat. I wonder how old is the tree now?

From the picture above, there is a car parked under the car porch of our old house. So currently someone is staying there. We don't have a car porch at that time.

Based on my observation on that day, not many people live in this quarters. Some of the houses were not maintained properly. Doors and windows were left opened.

The above picture is on the left side of the house. In the middle is actually a big wall structure which is partly hidden by the trees. Opposite of the wall used to be a small hill. According to my father, this area used to be a target practice area for the security forces. The wall was built to prevent bullets from hitting passersby.

The above picture is a surau on the upper floor and a sundry shop below. Almost daily, day or night, I went to this sundry shop to buy sweets and biscuits. One of my favorite biscuits was Marie Biscuit (still available in market).
The drain in the middle - I used to hide inside the drain when we played hide-and-seek. I even made a small paper boat and set it afloat in the drain.
Well, I missed those memories in Changkat where we make a lot of friends. But, are they still remember me?