The digital reincarnation of a national bestseller by KIT LEEE (now known as ANTARES)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sign Language


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.

4 comments:

J.T. said...

The next time you visit Japan, try to find Lake ICHIBAWA. I heard it is situated next to Lake GARUKOTE. :D

Anonymous said...

Anyone take a photo to the signpost announcing Batang Berjuntai? Before it was renamed something more respectable like Bandar Al Ehwal or something?

;-)
ch

Antares said...

The original signs I photographed for the book are now lost - they weren't all that funny anyhow. So I'll keep taking out and putting in new signs as I find them. If you chance upon any and have a camera handy, please email to me and I'll include it in this chapter (with acknowledgments, of course!) Thanks, JT and CH :-)

Ah Bong said...

hey, i enjoyed this post...i enjoy yr writing style too but u r such a prolific writer... have to read it a little at a time..i enjoyed the Club Med casanova bit too.