Monday, October 06, 2014

Cavalock and The Lost Library of Lloyd Manor

Just when I thought I had bade the travel bug farewell, there I found myself in neighboring Johor Bahru (JB) on a weekday morning, a week after I returned from the US. Now the last time I was shopping for groceries in Tijuana JB was about a year ago and it was a rather enjoyable experience. Ever since then I have been thinking bout heading back for a quick day trip and I finally got to do just that but this time by bus. It was pretty easy, just hop on a Singapore-JB Express bus and you'll be at Woodlands in about a half hour. If it's your first time (like us), just follow the crowd and you'll soon find yourself through the checkpoint, then board the same bus that will now take you to the Mexican Malaysian border. Tag along with the rest of the passengers again and you'll soon find yourself in JB!

The nearest mall is City Square which is directly and conveniently connected to the checkpoint so all you gotta do is cross the bridge to get there. Kinda like any other mall here except that almost everything is much cheaper. Anyway, there's a bus terminal located just below the mall with regular buses plying to just about every main shopping and tourist attraction in JB. So we took one to KSL shopping mall to get our groceries from Tesco supermarket. One of the highlights of the day was this fresh coconut stand at KSL. Right in the middle of the mall floor was a stall selling fresh coconuts. Was a one-man stall with just a guy hacking away at coconuts. He would cut it open, pour the juice into a little plastic tub, then scoop the fleshy meat out in a single whole piece for you. All that for just five Ringgit! And when I ordered mine, the man was nice enough to give me a fresh full tub that he just filled instead of the ones that were sitting on the counter. Absolutely refreshing and value for money.

One of the more interesting snacks I found on sale at Tesco supermarket in JB. Doubt if I can find it here and I can't imagine how it tastes like. Wonder if it refers to the spicy flavor or are there actual little fish bits in it?

Now that I'm done travelling, I got a lot of catching up to do in the cleaning-of-the-old-family-home department. I knew my aunts and uncles (mom's side of cos) were fervent readers all my life. Growing up, we were surrounded by books 24/7 and my late uncle had Time, Newsweek and Nat Geo magazines subscriptions too. But never did I expect to find this "scholarly" haul in one of the bedrooms.

"The long decades had silently blanketed the brown boxes in the corner with a thick layer of dust. I peered nervously into each carton before cautiously lifting out the first of many bundled stacks of books. Like ancient Eldritch tomes fished out from the deepest depths of the ocean, one could only imagine the stories and knowledge that each volume possesses. Grinning and muttering to myself, my gibberish behaviour that day was a testament to the dark legacy that the decrepit building conceals."

What you see here is just a fraction of what I uncovered. If you are my Facebook friend, you would probably have seen most of them already. Browsing through the books I really wish I had time to read all of them. I'm looking at books from the 1940s to the 1970s and we got noir, pulp fiction, classics and the trashiest novels I have ever seen in my life! I just can't imagine my late aunts or uncles reading any of them. But what's also amazing to me is the excellent quality of the books as most were still in rather good reading condition. 

While I still have the novels with me, the old cookbooks and interior design hardbacks below were all snapped up the moment I posted them on Facebook. Gave them all away for free. I bet it would be cool to see how the recipes have changed over the years. Like the different kinds of ingredients used yesteryear, cooking techniques or there might even be some lost recipes in there.

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