“I don’t know why they won’t issue us a permit. I can understand if this was 40 years ago, because this place was started by a family of thieves. But its different now”, says an outspoken trader. “I have personally seen the man in charge in DBKL…” I can remember but he utters his full name. “He gave me a verbal agreement that they would not come and cause problems, but we have to pack up by 9.30am,” he says. “Are you a reporter? If you are come, I have many things to say to you.”
Traders set up their wares for sale as early as 4.30am! and are all gone by 10am. It’s such a strange concept. They call it Pasar Karat. Its so basic that everything is displayed on the floor. But the place is packed. There is even a graffiti wall that brands the place. Its like a flea market, where you can find anything second hand, from old ornamental collectables and antiques to perhaps stolen watches and electronics appliances. Traditional medicine, second hand vcds to T-shirts and even shoes are all part of the mix.
“I tell you, now there is even a syndicate, collecting 10 ringgit from us,” the trader says. He was willing to tell stories. But my mind wasn’t ready to indulge this morning. I would have to come back anyway. So I said we would speak again. Today’s adventure was already a success. With the universe guiding and being alert to the opportunities it brings, I had found a good source.