The noise of cars and taxis hooting, or of scooters, flying past is deafening. Anyone who stops by to watch the scene is amazed at the number of vehicles zooming past or crawling along when caught at the traffic lights.
The people, mainly lady shoppers with children, line the street as they await an opportunity to cross the road. It is a bright and gay scene. The main attraction is the variety of textile shops, departmental stores, the Selangor Emporium, carpet shops, restaurants, jewellers or electrical goods shops, pavement stalls with small items like costume jewellery, toys and aluminium cooking utensils and vendors attracting customers to buy their wares.
In the hustle and bustle, one can savour the delicious aroma of Oriental delicacies floating in the air. It comes from 'Nasi Beriyani', 'Satay', pungent curries, fried chicken and sweet meats, tempting passers-by to stop for some refreshment.
In the afternoon, the crowds grow bigger as office workers join the throngs of people. Now it is also time to go home. Taxis are in great demand while shoppers queue up to get one. Most of the taxis have already been hired and so they do not stop to pick up passengers, much to the frustration of the shoppers.
The crowds gradually disappear as evening approaches and darkness begins to creep in but they grow steadily again as the night market starts operating. Crowds swarm around for night snacks at the various food stalls and restaurants near the theatre or to pick up some good bargains. Now Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is a sea of lights. It is indeed the liveliest street, busy all day long and into the night, in .the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the nation's capital.
Describe the sights, sounds and smells along a busy street
I walk out of the well-lit, peaceful, cool air-conditioned comfort of the book shop. Immediately I was hit by a blast of hot air from the street. Wow, the difference is so great. Out on the five-foot way I break into a sweat.
I walk down the five-foot way.
Next to the book shop are two sundry shops. The smell emanating from these shops tingles my nose. The mixture of onion, garlic, dried fish, pepper and spices make a potent combination. I hold my breath for a moment as I walk quickly past the sundry shops. I always wonder how the people working inside the shops can stand the smell. Perhaps they are used to it.
There are many people walking along the five-foot ways on both sides of the street. It is about one o’clock in the afternoon and many office-workers are out for their lunch break. So I see these smartly dressed men and women hurrying towards the eating places further down the street.
The street has been made one-way some time ago to cater for the ever increasing traffic volume. Lunch hour finds the street uncrossable. I want to cross to the other side. I look at the traffic. One look tells me that it is too dangerous to do so. The cars and motorcycles are moving at considerable speeds and they do not seem to be in the mood to make way for any pedestrian. I decide to cross the street via the lights-controlled crossing down the street.
On my way towards the crossing I pass many other shops. They were mainly shops selling clothes, shoes and watches. Near the crossing is a supermarket. Throngs of people can be seen at the entrance. A beggar sits on the steps, arms outstretched, eyes leading for alms. I drop 20 cents into his unwashed palm. He also stinks of cheap liquor.
I reach the crossing. The lights are red, so I wait with a group of people. Cars speed by sending their obnoxious fumes into the waiting people. However no one flinches. A bit of smoke is not going to prevent anyone from crossing the street.
Presently the cars screech to a halt behind the white lines across the road except for one that makes a dash past even though the lights have changed to red for him. Some pedestrians shake their fists, but no one is hit. The pedestrians are too seasoned to trust the traffic lights completely.
I cross briskly with my group to the other side. The group from the other side cross over to our previous side.
Once across I make a bee-line for the bus-stand. There are too many people trying to crowd under the shade of the stand. There is no place for me. I stand under the sun.
The smell of food wafts over to the bus stand from the food stalls nearby. My stomach growls in response. My bus comes. I board it with several other people. There are no more seats available. So I stand on the aisle. Soon the bus picks up speed and leaves the busy street towards home where my lunch awaits.
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