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And it's Sunday night again...

Just musings...

'Barrang Man'


The parcel of goodies I’d ordered from my home shopping company arrived Saturday morning and as I slit the plastic bag open and started taking the individual bags & boxes out, I suddenly thought ‘this is like the Barrang man coming…’


The anticipation of looking at some new clothes, couple of pairs of shoes etc was a keen pleasure.  I love that I can shop in private and in my home, in comfort and at my leisure.  I can also have the carrier pick up any returns; couldn’t be easier.  There is an element when you shop in person in the shops, a different kind of pleasure and exploration but you can walk several miles, literally and frankly, I’m not into that.


I don’t mind doing some shopping with girlfriend/s but not the whole day – not without lots of coffee stops, lunch and comfort breaks, otherwise it becomes an unwanted endurance marathon.  I’ve never been in favour of that really, although I’m happy enough with a morning or afternoon of it.  Also, we have to be going for a reason, for new shoes, new outfit or even new hardware/pans etc, not just to window shop [an exercise in futility if I ever saw one].


So yeah, Barrang Man – when I was a child, we lived in Malaya and had a series of rented houses up and down the country, as we were moved around.  We wound up in the north, about 5 miles from the then Siamese border.  It was a country area and we lived on the side of a hill, over looking the town.   We would be visited by various people who came selling stuff and one was a vendor who sold an amazing range of things.  ‘Barrang’ is baggage in Malay, hence the Barrang man brought goods to sell.


He would haul in enormous parcels of things, tied up in sheets of cloth, which he would untie and spread out, before laying out all the things inside.  Such riches!  Beautifully embroidered tops and clothes, for all ages, lovely little Chinese slippers, embroidered table cloths with matching napkins, tray cloths, doilies, hand towels, full sized towels and so much more… Such colours, textures and sizes; Aladdin’s cave could not have been more magical… Remember, I would only have been 5 or 6 and even then it was fascinating.  *sighs with remembered pleasure* 


We would know roughly when he was coming and some of our neighbours would come over and make a morning of it, maybe stay for lunch and have fun.  He always sold a goodly amount of things and usually got fed too, if he had time and it was worth his while to linger.


Back in the present, I had ordered some long-sleeved tops to check out colours [packs of 2, reduced to pennies in the sale], a couple of camisole tops, a couple of sizes in a denim waistcoat for fit and the same in some open-toed mules.  Not quite as magical perhaps but very enjoyable.  It’s like when you get home from shopping and take out all your purchases to enjoy again – I love this when I go to conventions and get to drool over photos and whatever else I’ve got during the days…

I only kept one pack of the tops [teal/black] and one pair of shoes, everything else went back this morning, by the way!


I must go out and pick up my pills and drop off my post tomorrow, I’ve been super lazy today…  Have a great week, dear F-list!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 8th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
Nothing to say apart from I enjoyed this post.
Mar. 9th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
Then it was worth posting, petal... :D

Edited at 2009-03-09 12:23 am (UTC)
Mar. 9th, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)
I love shopping but like you, I like to take regular coffee breaks. I love coming home with arms full of bags and then hanging up the goodies. I'm planning a trip in a couple of weeks to get outfits for the coming cons etc. I bought a pair of killer heels, something I haven't worn in years. I'm a mom and so have worn flats so it was wierd to put heels on and be four inches taller. Not to mention the re-training I needed to walk in them!

The Barrang man sounds like a great idea and the way you write about it, did in fact make it sound magical. It makes you wonder if it is a tradition that is still kept there today.
Mar. 9th, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC)
i tended to stay away from really high heels, as i would tower over everyone... but i loved them all the same. Can't wear them now, of course.

i shouldn't think the Barrang man exists at all now. It was really for the Mems [the white memsahibs] who couldn't always get to shops - no shopping malls in those days and we were stuck out in the countryside. We did occasionally live in big towns but my Dad was more useful in the country areas co-ordinating between police & army exercises. Remember this was in the middle of the Emergency - the fight against the Chinese terrorists in the north, with much blood and mayhem... That i didn't see a lot of that was testiment to how well they succeeded fighting said terrorists.
Take care
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )