The end of the road…

I first heard Pat on some retro show on TraxxFm on Sunday afternoons and I liked his selections…but I could only listen till 5.00 p.m. as I had to go to church after that. I remember the first song ever that he played for me on air was John Waite’s “Missing You” and then, England Dan & John Ford Coley’s “Just tell me you love me”. Then he moved to the 6.00-9.00 p.m. slot on weekdays which was just nice for me as I would be asking him to play my songs as I marked my students’ work! One song that was hardly ever played was given a new lease of life when I asked for it and he played it on the show and it caught on with everybody else – Joe Dolce’s “Shaddap yer face”! And then he teamed up with Mag for the 1.00-4.00 p.m. slot with “Pat and Mag in the afternoon”.

As for Mag, I had heard her on air here and there but the most memorable event was when I won a Hari Kebangsaan poetry writing competition on her Saturday morning show. The prize included free stay and dinner at Melia, Kuala Lumpur. I never got to meet her personally though, but I certainly hope to do so someday…but I met Pat when he came to Sibu and again in KL when we met up and he took me out for banana leaf lunch.

Pan & Mag in the afternoon

It was in the afternoon show that something beautiful evolved – a family comprising Jerry, Zee, Zul, Pam, Cash, Deb, Mandy…and then came Dharma, Devonshire, Regina C, Lin, Kecik and even Martin from the UK (who set up the fansite: and the family kept getting bigger and bigger. Alongside all of us, there was Grandma Kruzer and her “usual suspects”. We never had the chance to meet; other than the ones in Sibu, I only got to see Cash personally who took me all the way to Kajang to treat me to the satay there. But the family had always been there through thick and thin, through good times and bad times. When my daughter celebrated her birthday alone in Sungai Petani, Kedah last year, Jerry and Zee bought a cake…and Jerry drove all the way to SP to give my daughter the cake personally on behalf of the radio family. That was priceless!!! I couldn’t ask for more and for that, I will be eternally grateful!

And there was more! My retirement, my birthdays were celebrated on air with the family…and little Arumi even called the station to specially sing the birthday song for me. To say that I was touched by all that would be an understatement. 

Cikgu Arthur Avatar My avatar on the fansite,

Every day, the family will be on air, asking for their favourite songs, taunting one another and having a lot of fun…and the ratings of the programme probably shot up like nobody’s business. Everywhere I went, people asked me whether I was THE cikgu on radio!! Gee! I was quite a celebrity nationwide! Well, lately, more and more younger listeners came into the picture including bloggers Cibol, Melbie, Mar and Lola…and the old family faded into the background though we might pop in once in a while to ask for a song or two. Cibol and Bongkersz met the two radio presenters once and won tickets to watch the F1 Grand Prix at Sepang…

Pat and Mag with bongkersz and cibol
Pat & Mag with Bongkersz & Cibol
Photo from

Well, as they say, all good things must come to an end…and we have come to the end of the road, the end of music and fun and laughter each and every afternoon…but even though the show has come to an end, the special bond will always remain – the unique bond between individuals that are now more than family, more than friends. Thanks, Pat and Mag…and everybody in the family on the show. I wish one and all the very best and hope that we’ll keep in touch with one another. Do let me know when you’re coming next year, Martin; I do hope to hop over there to meet you in person. I shall not say goodbye for in the words of Pat’s and my personal song choice on more than one occasion…

How do you keep the music playing?
How do you make it last?
How do you keep the song from fading too fast?
How do you lose yourself to someone
and never lose your way?
How do you not run out of new things to say?
And since we’re always changing,
how can it be the same?…

…If we can be the best of lovers,
yet be the best of friends
If we can try with everyday to make it better as it grows,
with any luck, then I suppose,
the music never ends…..


Those who are into Chinese herbal cooking should be familiar with names like ginseng, tungkwai, cordyceps, khee sat and so on and will attest to the fact that these are good for health. The Foochows will cook duck or chicken in pa tin eyok, a combination of different kinds of herbs and stuff that is available pre-packed in plastic bags…and they say you can get the best and the cheapest from a shop in Sarikei (Bongkersz? Any idea?)

Personally though, I prefer char bee lau which is used to cook chicken or pork (leg). These are long black roots that you may see outside the Chinese medical stores in Sibu; I don’t know if you can see it elsewhere. In the past, people had to buy a bundle and cut them into small bits and pieces at home but be forewarned! The roots are very very hard so you will need a sharp chopper/axe and a lot of strength! Thankfully, the medical stores today have ready-cut ones pre-packed in plastic…and you can even get these in some supermarkets here though some people may claim that it is not so nice if it is not freshly-cut. To me, anything that’s easier is better! LOL!!!

Char bee lau chicken 1

In the past, I would see my mother boiling the roots in water for a long time and then she would drain it and use the water to cook the chicken. I would just throw the roots into the slow cooker together with the chicken, chopped into pieces plus a chunk of crushed ginger, some meng ngee (dried cuttlefish) and shitake mushrooms, lots of Foochow red wine and water…and then switch the appliance on! When it has started boiling, just add a bit of salt, according to taste. Here’s another photo of it, taken with the night mode on…

Char bee lau chicken 2

It is claimed that if you have been travelling or working OT…and you are very tired, it will help revive you and make you stronger! I like it for its taste. When you are cooking it, the whole house will be filled with its fragrance. Maybe those of you who have eaten this before would like to add your comment?

And since I am posting on Foochow delicacies, I was at one of those mini-supermarkets yesterday…and was pleasantly surprised that they are selling these already…

Foochow moon cake

That’s right! You’ve read correctly! Kek bulan, or translation, moon cake! Goodness gracious! The Mooncake Festival (Chung Chiu Chieh) is not until September 14th…but I think I’ve seen those direct-sale catalogues advertising too – mooncakes, as most people would know them. But I have loved these jing su gao, the Foochow biscuit-like mooncakes, since young…and make sure you buy those that mengandungi lemak babi (contain lard/pig fat) as they taste nicer! They have some without lard but these are harder and a bit too  sweet. And I like the ones from this place in particular – some shop in Sarikei!!! RM4.00 a packet only. Though it was very much cheaper, it’s definitely cheaper than eating those mooncakes today! Looking at the prices, one would think they’re gold-plated or something!!! No thanks, I’ll just stick to my jing su gao!!! Well, Kuching bloggers! You can get Bongkersz to bring back a few packets for you when he goes home to Sarikei to see his parents!!! Place your orders today! ROTFLMAO!!!!!