A Busy Street
In urban areas, a busy street is frequented by humans, land vehicles, and animals all day long. Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur has got to be one of the busiest street, if not the busiest, in Malaysia. To be in it just once is to know the meaning of the word “busy”. Busy streets are usually observed in the center of the community where it shelters the most members of the population. The food is spectacular and incredibly diverse. Hotels are cheap. People are friendly. It’s a little hot and humid at times, but really, there isn’t much to complain about. The reason behind is that streets are usually the center of trade for most of the owners of an enterprise or institution.
A street becomes busy during rush hours such as in the morning between 6 am and 8 pm and then in the afternoon or evening between 5 pm to 8 pm. I happened to be in it a few days before the Chinese New Year. On both sides of the street were hawkers with all sorts of goods for sale. Fruits, cakes, fireworks, food and other things were displayed openly for people to come and buy. A local population of Indians, Chinese, and Malay, with countless thousands of restaurants competing against one another for customers, means that your taste buds will be perpetually satisfied. The five-foot ways were not big enough, so the hawkers and their customers actually spilled into the narrow street itself making it a hazardous place for drivers and motorcyclists. The streets are then filled with students, workers, business owners, and logistics operators who are either coming or go to school while passing the street. Every few seconds a horn sounded as the vehicles crawled cautiously among the throng.
There were so many people there that if I had not been with my father I would probably have got lost. My father knew his way around. So I held on tightly to his hand as he led me through the crowd. A number of times I nearly knocked into someone, or rather, someone nearly knocked into me. Everyone seemed to be in a rush and nobody seemed to care whether they trampled on another. In the afternoon, the crowds grow bigger as office workers join the throngs of people.
We were there to buy some cakes for the New Year. At the shop, we had to wait a long time before we could pay for what we wanted. The shop was crowded with other shoppers. Busy streets never vacate any passing individuals or groups because this is the main passageway to accomplish tasks on the day. Everybody is for himself but despite it, all of them make the street busy.
After our purchase, we made our way carefully out of the street. Once outside, the air felt so much fresher. Though we had to walk some distance to our car, it was so much more pleasant than walking among the crowd of frenzied shoppers along the busy street. The scene of a busy street is very interesting. Without people there can be no hustle and hustle.