An Old Relic Of The American Road Trip Is Disappearing

Love this article which traces the history of the roadside motels in America. The traditional mom and pop motels – once ubiquitous are slipping away without much notice, People bypass the old roads.

Fascinating read:

Crushing realities: The early travelers were Depression-era migrants who’d been pushed off their land by failing crops, relentless dust and heartless banks.

Struggling to find some sense of home on the road, these environmental and economic refugees searched for hope against a backdrop of unfathomable loss. They were heading to California, the land of hope. Along the way, cheap motels popped up to cater to the new wave of travelers across America,

After the war, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, frustrated by the difficulty of moving military tanks across the country, promoted a plan that mimicked the German autobahn: the Federal Interstate Highway System. But the first of these four-lane highways would take over a decade to build.

In America, the new highways bypassed many classic motels, diners and gas stations such as those found on Route 66. I think another reason is the decline of the roadtrip culture sue escalating costs of gas, tolls and vehicle maintenance.

Our nation built highways because our truck roads were narrow,winding and sloping, Many lives were lost in horrific crashes.

The story in America in many ways mirrored our history. The NSE bypassed many small towns that led to its decline. The only exception I think is Bidor town which was once a popular rest stop due to Pun Chun restaurant. They are fortunate because the toll plaza is located near town. Today it is still bustling. Other popular stopover towns were Tanjung Malim, Kajang, Seremban, Gemas, Ayer Hitam. Batu Pahat and more.

Many family owned hotels known as Runah Tumpangan faded away without record or people documenting it.

The picture used in the article is the historic motel chain Wigwam which uses concrete tipi or teepee tents as rooms.

You can book one of three the surviving ones in San Bernardino, California here:

Pic by Agods. Remember, American friends, you can book a hotel anywhere in the USA via MyCen Hotels

#roadtrip #nse #highway #motels #wigwam #history #freeway #expressway #mycenhotels

Cute Sukee Nang

During our journey, I asked my model Pin Pin about her exotic looks, I found out that her father is of Hainanese descent, I told her the history which her father never told her. Local Hainanese people are known for their culinary skills, especially fusion food.

Hainanese are from Hainan Island China where many of the islanders were fishermen. Maybe because they are on a separated land, their language is different form the mainlanders. Sukee means own people or kaki nang in Hainanese lingo.

In their long fishing trips across Polynesia, some seafarers married indigenous people and have children. This may explain their exotic physical features such as darker complexion, deeper set eyes and taller noses

Chicken chop, chicken rice and kaya-butter toasts are some of the more well known Malaysian-Hainanese cuisine. Many also used to work on the KTM trains’ catering coaches. How did that come about?

A Hainanese historian suggested a theory. They were latecomers to Malaya. They came after the second wave of mass migration in the 19th century by the Hokkiens, Cantonese, Teochews, Hakkas and other migrants.

My former boss, an influential Hainanese and intellectual told me much. By the time his ancestors arrived, all business and job openings were controlled by powerful clans.

Without a membership card, it was not easy getting a job. They ended up working for colonialists as cooks and caretakers. Many worked at the bungalows on hill resorts such as Fraser’s, Cameron’s and Kenny Hills.

They experimented and enhanced recipes by adding Chinese touches. They made some fantastic scones and marmalade on the hill resorts. It is also claimed that they modified a kebab leftover from a garden party one night and added peanut sauce.

The creators named it “Sar Tay” meaning ‘three pieces’ in Hainanese, and voilà!; satay was born. Could be an urban legend. Many think kaya (egg jam) is Hainanese when it is actually Peranakan from Melaka. They came with the 1st wave of Chinese settlers during early 15th century.

#tototo #melaka #hainan #history #chinese #food #hainanese

Hotel Puri Melaka

I stayed at Hotel Puri in Melaka twice. It is converted from an old shop house which was characteristically long and deep. Hotel Puri is one of several so-called heritage hotels in Melaka set in a restored Peranakan townhouse. It is a boutique hotel with beautiful antique fittings and modern conveniences in the room. There’s wi-fi and bedside power outlets to power or charge multiple devices. You’ll appreciate that when you need to charge two or three camera batteries sequentially, overnight. Many hotels, including new ones, still have the AC socket far from the bed.

Book Hotek Puri at a low price here.

What I really like is its location on ancient Heeren Street (renamed as Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock). Such a strategic take-off point for exploring the historical city by foot. Jonker Street is just behind. Other landmarks such as the as the nearly 400 year old Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and the 300 year old Kampung Kling Mosque (lower right pic) are nearby.

Across the street from Horel Puri is the vintage Chee Mansion, (upper right pic) a house belonging to tycoon and philanthropist Chee Swee Cheng, the first chairman of OCBC Bank, who built it in memory of his father.

Houses belonging to then wealthy Straits Chinese and Peranakan people incorporated Anglo-Indian, Straits eclectic and Malay architectural styles. This mansion featured a European-style watchtower above its roof.

During its time, properties were taxed according to width. As such, owners built deeper with some of the houses and townhouses stretched over 200 feet.

The lobby is photogenic too. Shown here photographed from the wooden corridor upstairs. (upper left pic)

Have buffet breakfast in the longish court yard and under the air well inside  Hotel Puri  (lower left pic)

Many people visit Malacca the UNESCO World Heritage City but don’t want to stay in a heritage hotel because they are also boutique hotels and are perceived as expensive. Many are but this one is relatively affordable when booked through MyCen Hotels

Book Hotek Puri at a low price here.

Find over 490 Hotels in Malacca city here

Address: 118 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, (Heeren Street), Melaka City, 75200 Malacca

#melaka #malacca #heritagehotels #history #peraknakan #vintage

People Were Shit Poor

When my friend Jacy Ong posted a meme that said “You Never Appreciate What You Have Till It’s Gone” – “Toilet Paper Is A Good Example” I posted a reply suggesting she rub her butt against the wall tiles. Or get a hungry dog to lick her ass clean. Jacy took it quite well and said she believed those were the days.

The rubbing part may explain why we always see brownish stains on our public toilet walls. Haha. Water is not always available. May be gross, but the dog part may not be as facetious or ludicrous as you might think.

My late grandmother told me people in poverty stricken villages in China will summon the pet dog to clean up after doing their business. The hungry dog will do its duty happily as it was also a compete meal. Nutritious meal, I suppose. :-p

Water was also a luxury as it needed fetching from deep wells. People were that poor, lest we forget and buy ridiculous stuff like scented toilet paper today. Always good to have a magazine or newspaper rack in your toilet for emergencies. Be aware that normal paper will clog your plumbing. Don’t deploy your dog as they might lick your face or mouth with gratitude after cleaning your ass. And don’t get me started on how the poor villagers may have dealt with those menstruation sniffing dogs.

#historylessons #shityounot

Picture of Mutt Rempit photographed in Sekinchan.

The Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque

The Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque.

Another very beautiful Johor Bahru landmark is the Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque. Constructed in 1892, the architectural design incorporates Victorian elements in line with the Anglophile sentiments of then Johor ruler, Sultan Ibrahim ibni Sultan Abu Bakar. It is truly majestic photographed early in the morning when the sun lights up the minarets elliptically.

Thank you Johorean Sharon Teo for taking me there one morning 3 years ago…

Olympus OM-D, ISO 200, f10, 1/500 sec.