Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Chinatown 2012

11 days into the brand new year, another 12 more days to the Year of the Dragon. The Chinese will be celebrating their New Year on the 23rd January which is earlier than most years. Most of us will be busy with spring cleaning and preparing for it. For those who are working or studying overseas, take a look at what our Chinatown is up to. I went down for
the last 2 evenings around six when it was not so crowded. Better do it sooner . . never
know when the rain will take over or the roads will get too crowded in the coming days.
My first stop is the preserved meat store on the left. There are chinese sausages, waxed ducks and other preserved meats. They are usually steamed and served. I love the waxed duck drumstick a lot because the oil that comes out on the dish is aromatic. It goes
very well with rice and dark sauce.
Pussy Willows and Curly Bamboo to adorned your living room this festive season.

 Here we have a fruit store. Pomelos on the right. Pumpkins at the back and hanging Bottle Gourds & Buddha's Palm Fruit next to it. Can't say much about the bottle gourds as I haven't try one myself.

This is the the first time I see golden lanterns. Wow . . what a sight!
 It is so colorful.

Potted plants at this nursery. Some feathery blooms of different colors. Celosia is its botanical name. In chinese, it's called the Phoenix Tail representing harmony and
good fortune.

 Or you can opt for some peach blossoms of the artifical kind. Lanterns in the shop comes
in various shapes and sizes. Looks lovely when you group them together at different heights.
 Red Couplets are red scroll papers with auspicious phrases and well wishes.
Best hung on both side of the main entrance.

  I moved on to the next street. There are even more street vendors hawking
other stuff like dried mushrooms from Japan, candy & jelly from Taiwan,
melon seeds and preserved fruits. 

Some of these makeshift stalls are only here before the Chinese New Year.
They take up four streets namely Pagoda Street, Temple Street, Mosque Street,
Sago Street and Trengganu Street.

 Then there is this traditional chinese pastry shop, located at Sago Street. The shop's
wayang mask lanterns made it very attractive and unusual. 'Nian Guo' translated as
year cake are sold here which can be seen in the stacks on the left. Slice the sweet sticky cake to pieces and fry it with batter. Eating it will raise oneself to a higher
level with each passing year.

This is one savoury knack we usually have for our guests when they come for their visit. It's barbeque pork likened to jerky called 'Bak Kwa'. It is sweet and salty with a smokey flavor. Long queues will form as the new year day draws near because everyone want it freshly barbeque. These shops are opened all year round. So why queue? Can eat it anytime you want.

My last stop was to come here to snap a picture of this dragon before the dusk is over.
The lighted structure is middle of Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. It is no joke walking through those streets later in the night. It gets
so crowded specially two to three days before the eve of the new year. One year I went,
I couldn't see much and had to jostled with the crowd. So much for enjoying the ambience
of this celebration. Don't enjoy getting my feathers ruffled even though that is the whole point of it.

o:x:o ~