Here I go again, writing about another market! This one I visited is at the Street in the Curve shopping mall, and is a more sophisticated version of a pasar malam: clean tables, sturdy overhead tents and a lack of noisy generators. The quality of items are closer to what you’d find in mall shops, which almost defeats the purpose of this market, but you can find stuff you wouldn’t normally get in malls. Like the most incredible array of colourful kek lapis I’ve ever seen. Continue reading
Life is often unpredictable, often throwing curveballs and surprises at us out of thin air, but amidst the uncertainty, there’s one thing that Malaysians can count on: at some point in their lives, someone will present them with a pewter gift.
It may be in the form of a tankard, a photo frame or a tea sets. It might even be a souvenir plate with a retirement message on it, and you’ll proudly put it in your display cabinet as a talking point for when guests come to the house.
The metal alloy primarily made up of tin — known as pewter — means something to Malaysians, thanks to the popularity of Royal Selangor, a global, household Malaysian company renowned for its fine craftsmanship of pewter products.
Sending someone a Royal Selangor gift conveys thoughtfulness, appreciation and that little expense was spared to procure a gift in the pewter category. Often enough, it’s presented to friends from other countries as a showcase of one of the country’s best and most unique products — an affirmation of the “Boleh” spirit, if you will.
The company set up three visitor centres some years back; in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore, to introduce visitors to its history, factory, the process of pewter making and products. Even though their gifts are so beloved and distinctly us (Malaysian,) I suspect most locals, myself included, wouldn’t know how to explain the significance of pewter to outsiders, let alone accurately describe what it is. Continue reading
One of the main options to kill weekend boredom in Kuala Lumpur is to head for a shopping mall. We flock to these multistorey, air-conditioned concrete oases to escape the sweltering tropical heat, and for good reason–larger malls in the Federal Territory are a one-stop shop for movies, arcade, good food, shopping, events, performances and groceries. These malls–with their brand label boutiques and ability to hold thousands of shoppers within gleaming, modern facades on any given weekend–are the prominent faces of the shopping industry here, and there are so many that you won’t exhaust your options.
What you might suffer every now and again, however, is mega-mall fatigue, making you crave a more low-key shopping experience with truly one-of-a-kind finds. That desire is what led me to head over to Amcorp Mall last weekend to check out their flea market, which has been dubbed Malaysia’s “best and largest.” At least, by the mall website’s own admission, it was “once the biggest indoor flea market in the Klang Valley area,” and although shoppers “may not find Amcorp Mall interesting but for those who loved antiques and collectibles, this mall is definitely your choice all the time!”
Alright, then. I definitely enjoyed the two hours I spent browsing all the offerings at the flea market tables on all five levels of the mall, clustered outside regular shops that are close to the escalators. Not all sold antiques, but the ones that did provided an interesting glimpse into a Malaysian lifestyle few of us have much to do with now–stamp collections, old money collections, analog telephones, old pocket watches, coal-powered clothes irons, CDs, vinyl and even an antique pistol, are just some of the finds available at this market. Continue reading