Monday, June 18, 2007

Sunday, Happy Sunday - Amcorp Mall Flea Market

I have always been fascinated by flea markets. The thought of uncovering that one piece of treasure amidst a sea of junk have always been life long fantasy of mine. A student of history and totally a busybody by nature, I have always been intrigued by the story behind each item that I see on a seller’s table in a flea market. I could spend hours contentedly spinning tales in my head of the item’s history and what stories that it might have gone through. Unfortunately for me, I don’t get many chances to indulge in my own “treasure” hunting adventure in flea markets as often as I would like to. Financial considerations aside, I simply don’t make the time to go to them even when I know where they were held.

I made an exception to the rule last Sunday by finally dragging my sorry self to the weekend flea market at Amcorp Mall. While I have lived in KL for almost the entirety of my life, I have to admit that I have never stepped foot into the mall. If it was not for a fellow blogger’s blog entry about the flea market there and a chance invitation by another blogger to see a movie at the Cineplex there sometime back, I would have never known what was available there. That just goes to show that I don’t go out a lot and when I do it would inevitably be to the same places time and time again.

Since I had planned to watch the latest Fantastic Four sequel and was not feeling up to the now customary hour long queues at KLCC TGV for tickets, I decided to watch it at the Amcorp Mall Cineplex instead. While the place was not as good as TGV at KLCC or Sunway, you do get what you pay for with the lower ticket prices. I guess it would also be a good place to bring kids and older people since they do offer discounted tickets for children under 12 and senior citizens. At least I know where to take the whole family the next time we all agree on one movie to watch.

Anyway, since I was planning to watch the movie there I decided to check out the weekend flea market as well. Waking up early on a Sunday (for once), I got ready and left the house at about 9am. I wasn’t sure how early the flea market started but I was hedging my bets that since the malls don’t usually open before 10am, they won’t be anyone there before then. Unless of course you count the senior citizens who I see sometimes doing their walks in a mall before they open like they do in Subang Parade.

Since I did have time to kill, I stopped at the mamak place nearby for breakfast before making a move to the Amcorp mall. A bus trip to the Kelana Jaya Putra LRT station and then a short LRT trip to the Taman Jaya stop brought me within the stones throw from Amcorp Mall. As I walked down the street towards the mall, I was struck by the number of times that I have been in and around the area and yet have never been to the mall itself. I knew it was there but it never crossed my mind to stop and explore it myself until that day.

The sellers were just setting up for the day when I arrived some time around 10 am. Most had not unpack their stuff yet so I took my time to walk around the 4 floor mall to figure out the lay of the land. There wasn’t really a system of what kind of items were at which floor so it was nice to have to look though all the tables. I always like to come early to flea markets so I can have first pick of the merchandise if I saw anything interesting.

A lot of the items on sale in the Sunday flea market at Amcorp Mall seemed to be either surplus inventory from shops, old vinyl records, personal collections of knickknacks or homemade items. I saw quite a few items that I wished that I could buy but didn’t because being the pack rat that I am, I just know will end up hording it for no good reason. Plates with old designs like the one you used to see in the old Chinese kopitiams were a particular weakness of mine which just happened to be plentiful there for sale. The only way that I could stop myself from buying them was the thought of having to lug those plates on the LRT and bus before I could reach home to enjoy them. That and the thought that I would not be able to stop at getting just one once I start. There were also some brass items that I knew that my mother would go nuts over if she saw them so I know that I have to get my mum to come over one Sunday morning as well.

The other reason of coming to the Amcorp Mall Sunday flea market was to check out if anyone there sold any comics. If there was anything that I look forward to most in a flea market was finding someone selling good condition comic books from the 70’s or earlier. Of course in Malaysia, those comics are hard to come by because they were either in too sad a shape due to our tropical weather or too priceless for the owner to sell in a flea market. The thought of finding someone who might be selling it in this flea market was something that I was really looking forward to. I actually found someone who did from his website a few days before so I made sure that I try to track him down that Sunday I was there.

Front Chee (website : was the only seller there who was selling comics. A comics collector himself, he has been trading comics at the flea market for quite some time. He even takes consignments from other collectors who are looking of offload their collection to make up space for new comics. I actually spent quite sometime talking to him as he set up his table with the comics that he brought with him that day. Unfortunately none of them really caught my eye but there were a few noteworthy issues that comic collectors might want to get for themselves if they don’t already have it. Most of the comics that he had that day were from the late 70’s/early 80’s from Good to Very Fine conditions.

Talking with him was actually enjoyable as he has quite some experience with the crowd and the comics that he sells. He gave me a few pointers about the prices that he had to set for the comics that he sells there and the type of buyers that he met at the flea market. Considering that I have almost 2 rooms full of comics that I have been accumulating for the past 25 odd years, I would definitely make it a point to get in touch with him to see if he could take them off my hands. That is of course after convincing myself to let go of my most prized possession.

Last Sunday’s walk through the Amcorp Mall flea market was more of a recon mission for future visits. I know that I will have to bring my mum to it in the near future and I have some items that I have already set my heart on buying once I get paid at the end of the month. It was a definitely enjoyable Sunday morning outing for me made all the better when I finally found a copy of Anderson Cooper ‘s “Dispatches from the Edge” book that I have been searching for ages. What was even better was that I got the book at more than half the original price at one of the surplus book shops there. It was my lucky find of the trip and hopefully the start of more lucky find there in the future.


Anonymous said...

Planning to take my Dad to the Flea Market next sunday, ive always been keen on antique telephones and cameras, didn't happen to see any of them lying around? Thanks, Alicia

Nickxandar said...

Alicia ...
Try the group of sellers down on the lowest level where the supermarket is. They might gave antique telephones and cameras there.
Not too sure what condition those items would be in through.