And the Twain did meet … 秀才遇到棺材
Mention the name Carnarvon Street (or ” lam chan na” 烂田仔, in Chinese, meaning “poor quality swampy fields”) and, am sure the old folks of Penang will remember that was the go-to place for Books/Stationery and, Coffins ! The street was lined on both sides with maybe two dozen bookshops and a dozen casket shops.
In my secondary school days, this street was my favorite haunt – of course I went only to see and buy the books and stationery, not those fabulous “longevity lumber” or “big houses” (Chinese euphemism for coffin). Well, I moved out of Penang in 1984, so no chance to patronize the latter business.
I have not undertaken a trip back to this place ever since moving out to Singapore in 1984. I think there must have been a lot of changes. People still die, but am not sure if people still read as much.