Childhood Memories: Part 27 – Revisiting The Old Neighbourhood With Google Street

google street childhood memories neighbourhood

The SHELL petrol station was actually the main landmark on the main old road between the city of Kuala Lumpur and the port town of Klang. We often refer to the petrol station when someone wants to come to our house in the old neighbourhood. It is directly on the opposite side of the neighbourhood. It was a big station those days but it has now somehow reduced in size. It is however still at the same place since the day we moved into this neighbourhood more than 40 years ago. Image source: Google Street.

I spoke about my old neighbourhood in Part 22 but I did not have plenty of photos of the old neighbourhood back then. Cameras were then is a luxury item back in the 1980s and films were a precious item. We only buy it when there is a special event at home and we need to get some personal photos done.

google street childhood memories neighbourhood

There is actually 2 entrance from the main road to the old neighbourhood. However fast forward, the one that we often used had been closed and now lies only shop houses. But the other entrance that goes into the old village at the bank of the Klang River way at the back. This particular lane slopes down and back in the 1980s, there were hardly any cars. So we used to take our car toys and use to run them down the slope. Image source: Google Street.

google street childhood memories neighbourhood

This lane on the left should the lane fronting our house although it was not tarred like this. There were about 7 houses on each side of this road – we were on the right side of the lane in the picture. The rental was only RM30 per month for a 1 bedroom wooden house which has a kitchen and a living hall which was just enough for my parents and 3 small kids.

Electricity and water were on a shared basis where every house connected to one electrical main which will short-circuit (with sparks flying all over!!!) from time to time. There is one main tap at the end of the neighbourhood and each house had a long hose connecting to their respective houses.

To ensure sufficient water, my Dad placed 2 large barrels of water in the bathroom and a large water container for drinking water. Now there is nothing there except for a TNB substation and some empty spaces for parking.  Image source: Google Street.

google street childhood memories neighbourhood

Interestingly, this bungalow on the left is still there and so the other houses along the same row. It was already there when we were moved into the neighbourhood. This was the only plot of luxury houses in the area so one would feel exclusive when you wander around this place. Fast forward 40 years now, these row of bungalows are quite run down and no longer has the aura of luxury. Image source: Google Street.

google street childhood memories neighbourhood

This was the place where one of our neighbours had his barbershop where this large building now stands. There was a couple of small shop-lots back then but the only one that usually opened was the barbershop. The uncle usually opens it early in the morning, close it during lunchtime and opens back till it is evening. The barbershop was more than a place to get a haircut. It was also the place where we have our evening tuitions, taught by the Uncle’s children who were elder than us. Image source: Google Street.

google street childhood memories neighbourhood

Just before the SHELL petrol station, there is another road turning to the left where once you have turned in, there is a row of shops on the left. There was once a furniture shop and the next door was an electrical shop. My Dad bought our first TV here and it was a colour TV – the first one in the neighbourhood so much so everyone came over to see the colours on a television. Of course, nothing was bought on cash basis back then – my Dad bought it on instalment which I believe took him a couple of years to complete paying.

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