Spare a dime…

The authorities have granted permission to the people at the pasar malam (night market) here to resume business but of course, I was not surprised to see from the photographs shared on Facebook that the response was poor, both from the sellers and the customers.

Well, what did they expect? All this while, they have been telling people to #staysafe #staywell #stayhome so of course, generally, people would be quite reluctant to go out anywhere – who knows the coronavirus may be lurking somewhere and by some stroke of bad luck, one may end up tested positive!

I cannot remember the last time I went, long before COVID-19 and even when they allowed it to open not too long ago with strict observation of the SOP before entering, I kept my distance. They might be very firm before one went in but once inside, it would be a free-for-all. I did not see any lines or signs on the road as to where to stand or queue to maintain physical distancing at all times.

So if you ask me whether this handsome boy…

…is still there running the stall with his family selling their tee piang, I’m afraid I haven’t got the slightest clue.

For the uninitiated, the tee piang is our local Sibu Foochow version of the Fuzhou oyster cake in Singapore except that ours do not have oysters in them. I’ve never tried those, of course but those who have said that they are not as nice.

Well, like most everything else these days, I would just go to the neighbourhood shop round the corner from my house to buy…

…whenever I feel like eating those, our Sibu version, that is. I will usually buy the ones without any filling and if I remember correctly, they were 40 sen each, 6 for RM2.00 at the pasar malam way back in 2018.

The ones with meat inside…

…were RM1.20 there then but all this while, I had been paying RM1.50 each at this shop here. The other day, I bought some and was duly informed by the boss that they now cost a dime more, an increase of 10 sen!

Ah well! What hasn’t gone up in price? After all, they increased the price of pork here not too long ago. I guess we’ll just have to be thankful that the increase is only by a mere 10 sen and it is still quite affordable and they have maintained the quality. The only thing is if the prices keep going up and things become too expensive, we will just have to stop buying and learn to live without them.

Incidentally, there is a Chinese pancake (apam balik/ban chian kuih) stall in the vicinity in the afternoon, now located on the pavement right beside the aforementioned shop. The chai peah is very nice, 3 for RM1.00 and they also sell tee piang – with or without filling. I guess the prices should be more or less the same as at the shop.

SWEE HUNG (2.316161, 111.840441) is located along Jalan Ruby, in the block of shops on the right – next to a hair salon at the extreme end and on the other end, to the left is the Kim Won Chinese Medical Store and Mini-supermarket.