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Here’s the sound of the Tok Tok man, bringer of good noodles

It's the sound of nostalgia

Joshua Lee | December 9, 2016 @ 03:35 pm

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If you grew up in the Internet generation, chances are you would have never heard of the Tok Tok Man.

Roving noodle hawkers used to play a bamboo instrument to alert customers of their presence. This was back when a bowl of fishball noodles cost 20 cents.

This bamboo instrument emitted a very distinctive ‘tok tok’ sound – hence, giving the Tok Tok Man his name.

There was a different rhythm depending on what type of noodles the Tok Tok Man was selling that day. Wanton noodles had a straight beat while fishball noodles had a more staccato sound, alternating between high and low pitch.

It was a simple way of life. Customers used a basket to collect the noodles, as well as make payment to the Tok Tok man on the street.

If you’re interested to know more about the Tok Tok Man, these Youtube videos here and here feature their stories. You can also hear a short clip of the Tok Tok rhythm in the video below.

 

Top screen grab from Youtube

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