Sunday, 1 March 2009

Rengit: An Extraordinary Flea Mart (1)

The Sarang Tempua cafe

Yesterday, acting on 'reliable' information, we went to Sarang Tempua Cafe in Rengit, a small town between Senggarang and Pontian to pick up some pointers for the 'Country Life' Project. To our surprise, the cafe was closed indefinitely (so much for the 'reliable' information), but the female care-taker allowed us in to look around. We could only speculate on why the business had failed: the river was polluted with rubbish from the crude wooden shacks that line the river. The owner had tried to keep his part of the river clean by putting up nets to snare rubbish, but obviously the shack dwellers couldn't care two hoots about keeping the river clean.

What was to be a trip to gather information turned out to be one of discovery: an intriguing flea market; however it is not one of those open air ones which we commonly associate with a flea market. This is one long narrow winding road lined with crudely built wooden shacks, as hot as ovens, selling every conceivable article; prams, shoes, audio-visual equipment, golf sets, furniture, fridges, mattresses, mahjong sets, basins... However, this will be the subject of the next posting.

The signboard almost obscured by lalang (weed)

However, still bearing up proudly is this plant growing on a huge piece of driftwood sitting on some decorative plants

The river that fronts the cafe is polluted with rubbish dumped by shacks that line opposite bank of the river

Another view of the cafe, huts lining its side of the river for customers to enjoy the vew of the dilapidated shacks and contemplate the trash floating on the river

Another view of the huts

A close up shot

The owner had used the stoneware to great effect in attracting visitors

The interior of the main building

Another stoneware cleverly placed to entice potential customers; the owner obviously knows a thing or two about landscaping

At the main entrance is the cafe's 'warung' that sold deep fried snacks. Looks like it is out of business too

Shacks on the other side of the river

The polluted river

On the way back we bought some pineapples at 1 ringgit each from a mak cik ( honorific for an older woman) in front of her kampong house.

1 comment:

  1. The owner really did try to make the place nice...too bad it's closed down :(