If I were a carpenter…

Well, I’m not…and neither am I going to talk about carpenters, just Carpenter Street in Kuching. I wonder how it got its name…for I used to hang around there as early as the 70’s but I don’t recall seeing any carpenter or a lot of carpenter shops – maybe a couple selling local-made furniture, that was all.

What I remember about the street was that there was a wide open section among one of the shop blocks. It may still be there today and it used to double as a temple and on certain festivals, they would have the Chinese wayang (opera shows) there. At other times, there were food stalls though I won’t know whether it’s the same today. I loved the kolo mee there and also that at a coffee shop further down the road at a T-junction, Carpenter Street with either Bishopgate or Temple Street.

Gerrie sent me this photograph of the kolo mee at Kim Joo coffee shop along Carpenter Street…

Kolo mee @ Kim Joo, Carpenter Street

I don’t know if it’s the same coffeeshop that I used to go to but I can recall they had liver and all the pig’s innards. It was really delicious and what impressed me most was the waiter. Though a mere kid, he was able to remember what everybody wanted or did not want even though there were 5 or 6 of us. He did not even have to write it down and he would get all the orders correct. These days, you get those dumbos…and even though they write it down, they still mess everything up!

If I am not mistaken, there was a very popular restuarant there – Ang Lee Restaurant or something. Well, it was definitely not named after the famous movie director, that’s for sure, for it existed long before that guy came into the limelight! I had dinners there a few times but I can’t exactly place a finger on what the specialty of the house was. I think it could be the char siew there that was nice, I’m not too sure.

Well, I used to go to Carpenter Street a lot because I had a lot of friends in that vicinity. I knew a girl at the first shop on the right behind the General Post Office, and I had a friend who ran a stall selling sweets, tidbits and so on in between two blocks of shop houses at one of the T-junctions. Then I had a friend at Bishopgate and one at Temple Street and more at Main Bazaar. Sigh!!! Time and tide waits for no man…and in a blink of an eye, all that remain are the sweet memories of the happy moments we shared a long, long time ago. I do not know where they are now; I only hope they are all doing fine and leading happy lives. Who knows, one day, we may meet…but I won’t know whether we can still recognise one another anymore. After all, that was some 30-40 years ago…

Travellin’ light…

As far as possible, whenever I fly, I would prefer to travel light with just a cabin-size suitcase like this…

Cabin-size baggage

…but with wheels, of course! Don’t expect to lug the bag all over when at the airport!

For one thing, I have heard all kinds of horror stories of checked-in luggage getting lost or put on the wrong flight, in which case they will have to trace it and when they have managed to do that and put it on the next flight to where you are, you will have to go all the way to the airport to get it! Sorry, no home delivery!

At one time, I was checking in at Heathrow when I noticed something wrong in the tags that the lady was putting on my bags. So, I told her, “Excuse me, m’am…but I think you are sending my bags to Cebu in the Philippines. For Sibu in Sarawak, Malaysia, it should be tagged  SBW.” She took out a book and went through it to confirm that I was right. Well, of course I was…and if I may digress a bit, when you are travelling first class to Singapore, your luggage will be tagged First Class SIN! LOL!!!

Then, there is the possibility of somebody taking the wrong bag as in the case of Melbie in Jakarta…and other than that, I hate waiting at the baggage carousel for the bag(s). I am the type that will always check in early and they say that if you do that, your bags will be the last to come out.

Of course, there are those things that may happen to your luggage from the moment you’ve checked it in till the time you can retrieve it at your destination. A friend of mine had a box of frozen fresh water prawns and fish and actually, when you have luggage like that, one can feel the cold on the outside! On arrival in Kuching, she was told that they had mistakenly put it on a flight to KL so they would have to get it back on the next return flight. She got the box back all right that evening…but the prawns had gone missing! Well, at least, she still had the fish! It seems that the cheap airline will not allow passengers to check in frozen foods anymore…which is a good thing, in fact!

Well, I have had my share of experiences of suitcases being damaged. My POLO canvas bag (I have this weakness for nice bags that come free with men’s fragrances!) arrived with a fine straight cut like it had been carefully done with a blade, revealing all my dirty laundry. Sorry, whoever your are! You’ve done all that for nothing! I’m sure you can’t fit into my XXXL underwear, so there’s nothing for you to steal! LOL!!!

Anyway, going back to the aforementioned cabin-size suitcase, it’s Mont Blanc no less (Blush! Blush! I reckon you can guess why! Hahahahaha!!!!)…


Well, the zipper of the top section was spoilt and it would come open by itself, so I just stuck it down permanently with superglue. I think somebody tried to open it (as I never bothered to padlock it after that) but couldn’t and in frustration, the idiot stole the zips which had the Mont Blanc logo! @#$%&*+!!!  

Broken zips

And on another occasion, I was on my way to Malacca for a meeting and this same bag (Perhaps we shouldn’t use expensive-looking bags!) failed to show up on the carousel at KLIA. I reported to the officer on duty and he contacted somebody via walkie-talkie and after some time, the bag appeared. I just grabbed it and made a dash for it…as I had others waiting for me;they had flown in on different flights from Kuching and Bintulu. Upon arrival at the hotel in Malacca, I found my padlocks gone! Somebody must have broken them to open the bag. Luckily, when I checked, nothing was stolen (not even my camera…but then, who would want a non-digital camera, right? LOL!!!)…and there was a toothbrush inside that did not belong to me!

So, what about you? Any interesting stories to share about your bags?


The sunlight comes shining thru'

If you have had a bad day at school or at work, think of the ones who never have the chance to pursue an education or have been out of work for years.

If you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities, remember that things could be worse. You could be one of them!

If you grieve the passing of another weekend, think of the ones in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed their families.


If you find yourself stuck in traffic, do not despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.

If your car breaks down and you have walk a distance to seek assistance, thiink of those who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Calm evening light

If you feel a little under the weather, think of those who would want that one chance to get better.

If you despair over a relationship gone bad, think of those who have never known what it is like to love and be loved in return.

If you find yourself at a loss and pondering what life is all about, be grateful for there are those who did not get to live long enough to find out.

Old friends

If we count whatever little blessings that come our way and focus on all the wonderful things that are present in our lives, we will find that our lives will be happier and a lot more fulfilling than we can ever imagine.

Be thankful always…

Don’t throw it all away…

This was a photograph that I took late in the evening on Tuesday last week…

Queue for petrol

Elegant Coral had sent me an sms telling me to go and fill up as the petrol stations would be closed for two days demanding for an increase in the commission in view of the increase in petrol prices. I didn’t bother as I just had mine filled about a week earlier and I paid RM75; it used to be around RM60 only. There was also an sms that said that there would be another increase in petrol prices the following day. Well, the next day, the petrol stations were all open and the prices remained the same.

Still, I do think that everyone should make an effort to save on fuel and everything else for that matter. Confessions-of-a-medical-student has a post on this with some “useful” tips (mostly tongue-in-cheek) as to how we may economise on fuel. I certainly feel that driving at a constant speed and cruising on free gear when approaching a junction or the destination may help; I have been doing that and it has been more than 10 days and my petrol tank is still more than half full. Well, that’s just my two-cents’ worth so it is up to each and everyone of you what you would like to do in the face of the present crisis. But I think I have said it before in an earlier post that we should make a conscious effort to save up on food and try to avoid wastage and talking about that, I had some leftover rice and tuna curry, so I decided to use that the other day to cook some fried rice…

I saw Kylie Kwong on one of those cooking shows and she was commenting that the fried rice from those Chinese takeways overseas was not authentic…and she went on to show the “right” way it should be done. Well, to me, fried rice is fried rice, whichever way you choose to cook it. Here in Malaysia, we have different varieties including the local kampung fried rice or even the Pattaya fried rice.

Anyway, back to my version that I managed to cook using the leftovers, I cut some shallots and chopped some garlic which I fried in oil until they turned brown… 

Shallots and garlic
Fried rice step 1

The way Kylie did it, she added some sugar to “caramelise” what was in the wok, so I followed suit! Copycat, eh? LOL!!! After that, I added the rice and stirred well…

Fried rice step 2

Then, I added the tuna curry…and the stirring continued. You may wish to use some salt and msg at this point but I would prefer chicken/ikan bilis (anchovies) stock. I also added a bit of tumeric (kunyit) powder to give it a bit of extra fragrance and colour…

Fried rice step 3

Then came the eggs…

Fried rice step 4

I broke the yolks and mixed them with the rice, tossing and turning it until the eggs were cooked…

Fried rice step 5

Now, the fried rice was ready to be served…

One plate of fried rice coming up...

So, there you have it! Don’t throw it all away! Reuse, recycle and reduce…and we will definitely be able to ease the pinch to a certain extent, at least, and don’t, for heaven’s sake, believe everything you hear!!! Didn’t somebody say that I only posted stuff that I had eaten outside and never showed what I cooked myself, step by step? Well, here you are! Action speaks louder than words, right? LOL!!!


Well, it’s Friday again! Actually, I had an invitation from Huai Bin to go for ayam pansuh (chicken cooked in bamboo) and tuak (ethnic traditional wine) at the Borneo Cultural Festival…but I don’t eat meat on Fridays and I have this nagging pain in the knee. I wonder if it’s gout…from all those prawns at Min Kong! Never mind! It will pass in a few days…but since I was not going out, that meant I had to cook dinner again. Sigh!!!

Rummaging through the cupboards in the kitchen, I came across some leftover macaroni so I boiled that, adding a bit of oil and salt to the water, until the pasta turns soft…

Macaroni after boiling

In the meantime, I soaked some dried prawns (udang kering) in hot water and chopped some shallots, garlic and chillies plus a bit of tumeric (kunyit)…

shallots, garlic, tumeric and chillies

I pounded all that and this was what I got in the end…

Pounded ingredients

And that’s chopped Chinese celery in the bowl; I could not find any spring onions in the house, you see. I did find some fish balls in the fridge which I cut into quarters. I wish I had some prawns though (Some people never learn! LOL!!!) for that would definitely enhance the taste. There were some bean sprouts (taugeh) and I had to endure the tedious task of getting the tails removed and there was a can of button mushrooms in the pantry so I took that and cut the mushrooms into thin slices…

Bean sprouts, mushrooms and fishballs

When everything was ready, I heated some oil in the wok, threw in the pounded ingredients and stirred till it was fragrant and nicely-browned. After that, I put in the fish balls and the mushrooms. The macaroni followed…and then I broke two eggs into it and stirred till the eggs were cooked before adding the bean sprouts (taugeh). Instead of adding salt and msg, I used ikan bilis (anchovies) stock…and when it was all adequately mixed together, I put the chopped Chinese celery in… 

Kampung-style macaroni

So there you have it…macaroni – my own original recipe. Hmmm…I think I’ll just call it Macarena! LOL!!!

What a girl wants…

When a man and a woman tie the knot, they promise to share both the better and the worse till death do they part…


…or at least, that was what I thought until I received this e-mail from a member of the feminine gender which gave me the impression that the woman would take all that is better…and leave what is worse to the poor man. Well, you all can have a look and decide for yourselves…



1    a friend
2    a companion
3    a lover
4    a brother
5    a father
6    a master
7    a chef
8    an electrician
9    a carpenter
10  a plumber
11  a mechanic
12  a decorator
13  a stylist
14  a sexologist
15  a gynaecologist
16  a psychologist
17  a pest exterminator
18  a psychiatrist
19  a healer
20  a good listener
21  an organiser
22  a good father
Shower for free/Matt Durben's photo@www.flickr.com
23  very clean
24  sympathetic
25  athletic
26  warm
27  attentive
28  gallant
29  intelligent
30  funny
31  creative
32  tender
33  strong
34  understanding
35  tolerant
36  prudent
37  ambitious
38  capable
39  courageous
40  determined
41  true
42  dependable
43  passionate
44  compassionate
45 give her compliments regularly
Shopping/pouletsue's photo@www.flickr.com 
46 love shopping
47 be honest
48 be very rich
49 not stress her out
50 not look at other girls


51 give her lots of attention,
but expect little yourself
52 give her lots of time,
especially time for herself
53 give her lots of space,
never worrying about where she goes


54 Never to forget:
* birthdays
* anniversaries
* arrangements she makes


1  Show up naked
2  Bring food

So all you single guys out there, what are your scores? Hmmm…not much hope, is there? Looks like it is much better to be a woman, don’t you all agree? Well, if you’re interested in becoming a woman, it seems that there are some vacancies available, so you can just call the number stated…

Situations vacant


Just once…

This restaurant opened sometime early this year around the Chinese New Year period but so far, I have not heard anyone saying that they’ve been there, much less, anybody passing comments on the food. Ah yes! I forgot! Alex of jienster.com went with his family but it was full and they had to go some place else. It seems that they’ve taken over one of the upper floors where the Japanese restaurant used to be, so I reckoned they must be pretty good and they’re expanding their business. Well, Sophia was in town again and I took that as an opportunity for me to try out the place… 

Swansea Restaurant

The menu was completely in Mandarin…but thank goodness, the people there could speak Hokkien. We placed our orders, nothing fancy – no prawns, no exotic fish or meat, just this hu phio therng (Fish maw soup)…..

Fish maw soup

and fried asparagus…

Fried asparagus

and hot plate chicken…

Hot plate chicken

and also this plate of braised pork ribs (3 pieces!!!)…

Braised pork ribs

I would not say that the food did not taste nice; it was all right but somewhat mild (not bland)…and I would very much prefer what they serve at Ruby or Y2K. Furthermore, those little portions that they served certainly were not worth what they charged. The bill came up to over RM60 inclusive of Chinese tea (for three persons)! With that amount of money, we could have had a feast at Ruby! Agree, Clare? Or perhaps we could have gone for this instead…

Min Kong prawn noodles

This is the renowned ridiculously-priced prawn noodles at Min Kong. I have not been there for years but after seeing Huai Bin’s post on it, I made a mental note to drop by when the opportunity arose…and so the following night, I took Sophia there. That was RM20 a plate but they had generous servings of fresh water prawns (which today, are worth their weight in gold at the market)…and it had the authentic Foochow fried mee (with sauce) taste! Today, this Foochow dish is sold everywhere in the town but some are really disastrous efforts to pass off what they cook as “Foochow fried mee”. After all, I had not had it for a long, long time and it was worth it. Ooo…I can still feel that wonderful taste in my mouth! Slurpszzzz!!!!! LOL!!!!

Come on over…

Borneo Cultural Festival poster

Well, that’s the slogan for this year’s Borneo Cultural Festival – “Beauty in Ethnic Diversity”…and here’s the promo from www.virtualmalaysia.com.


Get a taste of the indigenous arts at the Borneo Cultural Festival which takes place from June 27 to July 5 at Sibu Town Square, Sarawak. This annual Sibu signature event will entrance you with a blend of dance, songs, poetry and dramas from various ethnic groups in Borneo.

Be prepared to see lively performances that incorporate aboriginal musical instruments like drums and gongs, and even sprightly martial arts moves. Apart from the cultural extravaganza, your palates will also be tempted by the local cuisine at the Borneo Food Fair. An amazing variety of traditional food from the different clans in Sibu will be there for your picking.

Last year’s performances received overwhelming response both locally and internationally, and this year you can expect an equal or even better line-up of activities and shows. Be sure to also explore the local attractions like the Lembangan night market, Sibu Civic Centre Museum, Rejang Esplanade, the beautiful Seven-Storey Pagoda which offers a panoramic view of Sibu town, and the Iban longhouse where the dwellers will welcome you with their warm hospitality.

Come June 27, make your way to the Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 to witness the celebration of traditional arts, food and dance.

I’ve browsed through some of the photographs on the internet, taken during the festival last year and these two from monkeywong.com are my favourite…

Monkeywong's photo 1/Borneo Cultural Festival

Monkeywong's photo 2/Borneo Cultural Festival

And I have another nice photo here from e-borneo.blogspot.com

Leaf Dance/Borneo Cultural Festival

On my part, I look forward to the festival every year because I will be able to enjoy the delicacies from the different dialect groups among the Chinese…and also from the ethnic communities like the Ibans and the Melanaus! You can bet your bottom ringgit that I will be making my way there to buy the ayam pansuh, the umai….. Drool! Drool! See you there!!!

Eye of the tiger…

Nikographer(Jon)'s photo@www.flickr.com

                    I am bored, bored…BORED! And I am sure you would be too if you were  confined to this tiny space with hardly anything to do. But believe it or not, they say that I am one of the lucky few.  At least I am still alive unlike my next of kin, God bless their souls and may they rest in peace.  According to them, I am an endangered species, about to be wiped out from the face of the earth.


                    Well, who wouldn’t be when people hunt you down like flies?  No doubt our luxuriant gold fur with black stripes is the envy of all and besides, I am an exotic delicacy.  They believe that eating my meat will make them strong, agile, ferocious and brave, and as if that is not bad enough, they even extract our teeth and grind our bones to dust for medicinal purposes.  They are supposed to be effective remedies for fevers and all kinds of human ailments.


                    And heaven forbid!  The last straw is when they even dine on our genitals for virility. Thank goodness, some doctor somewhere has come up with Viagra or we will never hear the end of it, no pun intended. Now I no longer have to cross my legs everytime somebody approaches! LOL!


                    Oh, if you will excuse me, dinner is served, not that there is anything to look forward to though.  Here, the menu never changes, so we get the same huge chunks of beef every day – raw, mind you!  They do not even have the courtesy to ask whether I would prefer it rare, medium or well done.  Boy, I certainly hope that the meat is safe for consumption.  Now that my kind is being threatened with extinction, you cannot afford to have me ending up with the mad cow disease, can you?


                    I just could not believe my ears the other day when I overheard someone commenting that we are an enviable lot – eating and sleeping all day.  Allow me to enlighten you a little, sir, but I would much rather hunt for my own sustenance, thank you.  All this inactivity is beginning to take a toll on me; my muscles are wasting away and my claws are no longer as sharp as they used to be, and the thrill of stalking your own prey – gosh, how I miss that most of all!

Kid and tiger/SteveMcN's photo@www.flickr.com

                    Hey kid!  Can’t you read?  The sign up there says, “Don’t feed the animals!”  Shucks! Quit throwing your popcorn at me!  Surely you know that I am carnivorous and not on a vegetarian diet. I will just scare the living daylights out of him with one mighty roar.  Here goes…ROARRRR! Ha..ha..!  Did you see that little imp’s face turn as pale as sheet?  Oh, come on, madam!  Can’t you see I was just having a little fun?  Now that is too much really!  Didn’t anybody tell you that it is unbecoming for a lady to use that sort of language in public?  And shouldn’t you be keeping an eye on that little brat of yours?  I think it is about time you teach him some manners and obviously, you can do with a lesson or two yourself.

Deither Ocampo in peta.org anti-animal in captivity campaign

                    Huh!  Some people simply know how to ruin your day.  I think I will just settle down for a snooze and who knows, I may even get to dream of my home sweet home, deep in the heart of the jungle.

All by myself…

Now! Now! What’s this that I read about stp!!! Bongkersz said something to Cibol in response to the latter’s comments that I only go out to eat and then post on the food! That’s absolutely and blatantly untrue!!! Now as everybody knows, I have posted on some of the things that I have enjoyed at some of the eating outlets outside BUT I have also posted on some of the dishes that I have cooked ALL BY MYSELF!

Last Friday, for instance, I fried the leftover cabbage that I still had in the fridge after using some of it for the sayur masak lemak that I had cooked a day or two earlier and here’s the proof…..

Fried cabbage with egg

I’m sure everyone can cook this dish! Just heat a little bit of oil in the wok, throw in some chopped garlic and when it has turned lightly brown, throw in the cabbage, cut in thin strips, add one or two beaten egg(s)…and finally, sprinkle a bit of salt and msg according to taste. And it being a Friday, I would not be eating meat…so I cut a bit of my ikan terubok masin and fried it…..

Ikan terubok masin

Then, this morning, I cooked a variation of the Bovril mee sua that I cooked a few days ago. Now instead of the mee sua, I used two pieces of those egg noodles that you can buy in packets at the supermarkets…and instead of the half-boiled free range eggs, I fried one nui pau (egg purse) and presto!!! I managed to keep the yolk intact! Clever!!! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!

Bovril noodles

Whew! Luckily I have concrete evidence to protect my good reputation! So Bongkersz, you’ll have to eat your words now!!!! Next time, don’t simply say liao!!! Of course, time and time again, I will post on things that I eat outside…especially when they are very nice so that others may go and enjoy them too. Now I definitely would not encourage anyone to go for this fried kway teow in tomato sauce that I had for brunch on Sunday…

Fried kway teow in tomato sauce

nor this fried kway teow (minus the tomato sauce) that my missus had…at Kin Coffee Hut, Pusat Tanahwang here in Sibu.

Fried kway teow
The mee sua in chicken soup is fine…and the lor mee at the other stall there is also worth trying!

Then, today, I went to Ruby again with two pretty ladies who happened to be in town and we had their specialty, the Pandan Chicken…..

Pandan chicken/Fried mee sua

Bengbeng will definitely give TWO thumbs up for this dish…and in the background, you can see the fried mee sua that Clare would die for! We also had a few other dishes but I was so caught up in the captivating conversation and the delightful company that I forgot to take the photographs. Ah well…another time perhaps!!! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!