Much of my time on the journey, so far, was spent engaging the locals. Usually the conversations can get quite interesting and long. Some will even invite me into their homes or to a coffee shop for a drink.
As for shopkeepers, I try to keep the conversations shorter as I know they need to tend to business and customers. But there is one businessman who can (and have the skills to) hold a long conversation.
The guy whose career began at the top; the barber.
The ideal place and time to join in a conversation is at where a conversation is already going on. I stepped into the Hibiscus Indian Barbershop in Tanjung Malim town.
Kumar the cheerful barber was originally from Tamil Nadu in India. He has been here for eight years and can speak fluent Malay. His customer, Deen from Kelantan, works in Tanjung Malim.
Apart from the two seen here, he has six other kids and that prompted a good-natured chat about traditional aphrodisiacs and birth control (or lack of). Heh.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 500, f4, 1/60 sec.
Today is the coronation of the Sultan of Perak and a fitting day to begin the Perak stage of the Federal Route 1 adventure. Tanjung Malim is Perak state’s southernmost and gateway town when traveling from Kuala Lumpur by road and rail.
When the North-South Expressway opened, businesses that depended on stopover traffic soon went into decline. To make matters worse, even the old trunk road was realigned, mandating a detour for those wanting to visit.
Nevertheless, there was optimism with the opening of the UPSI campus and establishment of Proton City. What is the town like today? More pics and stories to follow.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 200, f4, 1/250 sec.
A slim river, named the Bernam River, formed a natural border that separates the states of Selangor and Perak. In the 1700s, a Bugis settlement was established on the riverbank of Sungai Bernam.
Facing the river for this photograph, my left leg was on Tanjung Malim (Perak side) and my right leg on Ulu Bernam (Selangor side).
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f11, 1/800 sec.
Even the humble lime juice (limau ais) is served in a hipster mason jar at some coffee shops these days. Which is good from my point of view. It presented the challenge of doing a ‘mood shot’ in a crowded and frenzied environment.
Photographed at Yik Mun, Tanjung Malim.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f6.3, 1/100 sec.