Friday, October 26, 2007
Lrgend has it that along the main street of a particular small town in Peninsular Malaysia, the observant visitor can quietly chuckle at a bold signboard displayed by a gas retailer: WEE KAN FATT. Directly across the road, above a sundry shop, is the proud proclamation: SOH KAN WEE. In another small town, possibly mythical, is a street full of tailor shops. One of them is called MAK MEE KUM; right next to it is another outfit known as MEE TOO. I presume these provocative shop signs are imaginary - I have yet to see them with my own eyes, and when I do I shall most certainly photograph them for posterity. Meanwhile here are a few that undoubtedly exist. Some may not quite warrant a guffaw - but they're worth at least a smile.
OLD COFFEE SHOPS AND DOCTORS WHO HAVE MADE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES
It's a lot like mushroom hunting. You don't see them at all until you begin looking - then when you find one, hundreds seem to pop up from nowhere. Not long after I'd been around taking pictures of signs that amused me, I ran into Hari (an old friend and first-rate photographer) who told me about the large number of DR QUEKs he'd encountered. 'There'salso an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist named Chin,' he added.
But what made me reload my camera and go sign-hunting again was the old coffee shop in K.L. that Hari mentioned. 'It's located in a totally dilapidated building and it's called SOON GOH FATT.'
I was too late. The place had gone phut.
However, I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that the GOON INSTITUTE continues to flourish - despite the fact that Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe are not on the board of trustees.