THE BECKONING CORRIDORS OF OLD ALOR SETAR

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There are not many old buildings left along Jalan Langgar in downtown Alor Setar, and of the few that endure, many have seen their better days. On a recent trip back to the capital city of Kedah Darulaman, the one time rice bowl of Malaysia, I had the opportunity to again walk the corridors of these buildings that date back to the early decades of the 20th century. Now, with layers of peeling paint on their pillars and assortments of electrical wires that run amok on walls and ceiling boards, these buildings are left very much to the elements save for some repair, repainting and minor refurbishment. Newer shopping complexes have lured many a customer away and what remains now are remnants of old sundry businesses like the Chinese traditional medicine shop, the two Indian millers and spicers, Jai Hind and SM Naina Mohammed and one or two grocers. One of the earliest shops to sell jeans wear in the 70’s is still operating. Gone are the Chettiar money lenders, the bicycle repair shop, the piles acupuncture expert, Eng Hwa Music, Pustaka Malaysia and the corner cafe that my grandfather Ahmad used to frequent for his tea and apom lenggang when he was alive. Newer businesses that have taken over are mostly in clothes, shoes and drapery.

The following photos were taken using iPhone 6 of the building directly across the street from the old Alor Setar Bus Depot. It was a bright sunny afternoon and the sunlight cast interesting shadows and contrast on the pillars and footpath. Combined with the overlapping rustic colors and the generally unkempt walls and ceilings, they made for interesting shots.


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