Angela…

She was born in China in 1926, the year her parents migrated to Sarawak. My mother and her family know her very well and her children are all around my age but some are younger – eight daughters and five sons altogether.

She has written five books and I have four of them…

Books by Angela Yong

I did not buy the one with a collection of Foochow proverbs and idioms. As a matter of fact, I bought her books for my daughter. She loved reading them and would read them over and over again.

Written in very simple English, the books are easy to read and they actually contain recollections of her life and experiences and that appeals to many of her older readers, being reminded of those things that they too had encountered and experienced a long time ago.

In one of her stories, she wrote about how in 1944, when she was living in Empawah village with her husband and in-laws, there was a rumour that a baby could talk as soon as it was born. It said (in Foochow dialect):
Toong neng kio siok puang
Huang Kiang pieng hui tang
Nii na meh siong sing
Nguai si ki nii kang

Translation:
Chinese half gone
Natives/Malays become charcoal
If you don’t believe
I’ll die for you to see

Many believed and were worried and expected the Japanese to kill many of the Chinese and natives in Sarawak. But soon after that, the Japanese surrendered and everyone was happy that their fears had been unfounded.

In 2003, during the SARS outbreak, a rumour broke out that a baby was born in Kuching and it could talk. It asked everyone to eat green beans to protect themselves against SARS. The sale of green beans sky-rocketed instantly, as did the price. What I heard was everyone must boil the beans without any sugar added and drink the water and then, they must scatter the beans by the road outside their houses.ย That reminded Angela of the rumour of the talking baby in 1944…and I was in KL attending a meeting at the Federal in Bukit Bintang that week, so I did not get to eat any green beans to save myself. Thankfully, I am still alive. LOL!!!

Whatever if is, it is good to cook green beans to eat on hot days…

Green beans with evaporated milk

…as it is supposed to be cooling and may prevent you from falling sick. You can just boil it in water with pandan (screwpine) leaves and add sugar according to taste. Some people like it cooked with santan (coconut milk) but I prefer it plain or with evaporated milk.

Considering how hot the weather is most of the time these days, perhaps it is time you have some?

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

43 thoughts on “Angela…”

    1. *sigh* The reason why I adamantly refused to sell my books in Malaysia is that I had enuff of the publishers. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Hard to extort money from them. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I see you kena the same case.

      All daylight robbers – even the big names!!! And some even stole stuff from my books and included in theirs! I was lucky I had a Sibu (Sarawak) publisher at the start and I could make a bundle at the time. If I had to depend on the West Malaysian publishers all the way like in the later years, all I would have got for my effort would have been just…peanuts!

  1. Argh… certified bookworm liao. Haizzz… din notice the bowl of green bean soup, too busy ogling Angela’s book. Haizzz… I dun really like green bean… make my stomach so angin, I dunno why. I prefer the black coloured pulut tong sui~ Not to sweet… I hate too sweet stuff!

    I quite like green beans…but I prefer red beans. I like pulut hitam too with santan. But I take green beans on hot days as they are supposed to be cooling – good for fat people like me, body very “heaty”. You’d probably need to take lots of ginger, body too much angin, too “cold”.

    1. LOLOL… I definitely prefer the red beans or the pulut hitam any day over green beans. I have no idea that the green beans are supposed to be coolling, but each time I take them… my stomch would feel a lil cramp… like masuk angin. Ahahahahaha….mebbe you’re right, I should take more ginger in my food to expel those air!

      Just make sure you keep your distance when you do that! Hahahahaha!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    2. I prefer red bean too. The green beans too cooling. but lazy la to cook coz two person eat only.

      Just say so lah…lazy! Not hard to cook – just boil and add sugar! Good for whole family’s well-being especially on hot days and when eating too much “heaty” foods.

      1. LOL… she can actually feed an army when she’s not lazy. Trust me on that. Hahahahahahha… I’ve been the ‘recipient’ of her feedings! LOLOL!

        When she’s throwing a party? Once in a blue moon?…Eating out most of the time, I see…or feeding the kucing with all-in-ones. LOL!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

      2. ya lor lazy…two person eat..sien to cook…cook liao sure kenot finish

        In a way, yes. That’s why I usually prefer to buy from my regular kampong food stall – cheap and can buy just enough for two – not wasteful. My missus would cook enough for an army…and we would have to eat that for days…and days…or until we give up and throw the rest away!!! Tsk! Tsk!

  2. Haha, I could “read” the foochow before reading your translation! I think that shows how old I am!

    Our ancestors always have a lot of wisdom. I would love to Angela’s book on Foochow proverbs and idioms. Where can I get it?

    Her books are available at all leading bookstores in Sibu. I got mine from Academy. Ya…I did not buy that one on proverbs and idioms as my Foochow is hopeless. You’d probably be able to appreciate it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. errr… if next time my baby can talk, it will freak me out for sure! lol. ๐Ÿ™‚ ermm.. i dnt really fancy green bean, unless it mix with others. :p

    Mixed with others? Never had that before. Red beans yes, mixed with cendol…or in ABC.

    1. got! dad putit in bubur cha cha. yum! =p

      Ikut selera, I guess… Usually, my bubur cacar…got sweet potatoes, yam, sago pearls…in santan. Not really a fan of bubur cacar though… Just eat when available – wouldn’t go out of my way to cook…or to eat.

  4. I only drink the soup everything my mum cook green beans. Hate the feeling of those marsh green beans down my throat, dunno why~

    You’re just like me daughter. I will eat the beans…but sometimes, we throw them away – when all the soup has been drunk, all dried up already.

  5. I am interested in reading those stories too.. ok, next time i fly over, remember to lend them to me… LOL…
    Yes, 6th bean is cooling, long time i didnt boil that.. normally i mix the red and the green beans together…

    Eeeee….never heard of that! Certainly an odd combination… Ya…I’m waiting for you to fly over – can even buy you a complete set of her books even!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. 6th beans is green beans la.. hahhaa.. in cantonese it is lok and it sounds like 6…
      anyway, thanks in advance first for the offer of the books! lol…

      Ya…I know. We call it “lek tau”…but I never associated the “lek” with six. So, come…quick!!! LOL!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. lol.. i don’t like taking green bean soup.. the only time I took was during the SARS period where everyone was told green bean will help.. hmm.. I still think that was a myth.. ๐Ÿ˜›

    ROTFLMAO!!! So you fell victim to that rumour too eh? I guess it was because I was not in Sibu then or else I would have eaten those green beans as well.๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. hi! i finally get to sneak again here =)

    i remember that monggo beans dessert my grandma used to make with evaporated milk and sugar

    Oh? You call them monggo beans? And you take them with evaporated milk. Most people here take cook them in coconut milk or santan but I do not like them that way. Ya…welcome back, and do keep coming!

  8. There are 2 ways to interpret this SARS and green bean rumor.

    Firstly, it shows how gullible people are when they thought their life are in danger.

    Secondly, it reflects community spirit of caring for each other. One will relay the rumor to others and before you know it, the whole town was on fire about this myth. Some people even cook and go around sharing their green bean soup with their friends and neighbor. Heart warming, never mind it’s just a rumor. It’s the thought that counts.

    That was not the 1st time. Remember the Coxsackie outbreak – the rumour was that a decomposed body was found in the Sibu Water Board reservoir…and that had caused the spread of the HFM disease…and everyone rushed to the supermarkets and shops and cleared all the shelves of the mineral water. I was at Ngiu Kee that day…and was wondering why there was this mad scramble for mineral water. By the time I heard the rumour, all the mineral water was sold out. Luckily, nothing happened to me then…as well. LOL!!! I guess when people are anxious and desperate, they would believe anything they hear.

  9. wow~~
    Ppl actually believe that kind of nonsense.
    A talking baby telling ppl to eat green beans…
    It’s like STP telling ppl to eat at this or that store!
    Sure sky-rocket one!

    Wei!!! The news I spread are good news, meant to share…not rumours. Like I said, when people are desperate, they will believe in anything…and since the rumour had it that a talking baby was born in Kuching, can we assume that you people in Kuching started it? Tsk! Tsk! Kuching people!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ….Hahahahahaha!!!!!

    1. Chinese are always so superstitious.

      Where is that talking baby now?
      Attending Oxford university?

      Desperation… The SARS outbreak went on and on like it was never going to end. Everyone was at a loss as to what to do…and now this H1N1 keeps coming back.

  10. Interesting story on the talking baby… I wonder if there’s really such a baby in existence.
    On another note, I love green bean tong sui! It’s what I would always order for dessert, if they’re sold. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Definitely a fairy tale! But I do wonder who actually started the rumour and how it spread… Maybe somebody was recalling the story about the talking baby in 1944 and somehow or other, the story got distorted as it circulated…and somewhere along the line, the thing about the green beans came in… That happens all the time when people gossip…adding salt and pepper to spice up the story!

    Never had green bean tong sui… Seems people over your side will have all kinds – red beans, black pulut. Saw this interesting post on the stall selling that at Sg Dua, Penang:
    http://www.lingzie.com/2010/04/09/roadside-tong-sui-at-sungai-dua-penang/

  11. LOL! i remember the green bean rumor..we were at a friend’s house doing a project. we were in his room and his sister came and knocked on the door and whispered to him that their mother asked him to come out and eat some green beans without so much as offering us! =_=”

    anyway, these books sound interesting. i wonder whether i can get hold of them here. is the talking baby true?its fascinating and eerie at the same time ๐Ÿ˜›

    Definitely not true lah!!! No such thing, I’m sure. Aiyor…your friend’s mother so terrible, did not even offer you people kah. So kesian!!! Could have just given a tablespoon each… The talking baby never said how much you would have to drink bah! Hahahahahaha!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. No, I did not know about the Coxsackie & dead body rumor rumor. Proof that ignorant is bliss and can save you money. ha.

    And “ah^kam_koko'”. The thing with human is, when desperate, we tends to believe anything and everything. Very common occurrence if you care to ask around or look around. And I bet you will too if something desperate enough happens. That is human nature.

    Yalor…like when I was a kid and had asthma…and the things that my mum made me eat to get rid of the ailment because people told her so…. – dog, goat, flying fox…even cockroaches etc etc etc… In the end, I got over it – dunno which one cured it! Hahahahahaha!!!!! Luckily my mum drew the line at the one some people were telling her – about eating newly-born mice wrapped with salted vegetables!!! I would have died…not from the asthma but from eating that! Hahahahahaha!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. And Pink Cotton. Now you know who are your true friends. As I say, while we know those are ridiculous rumor, it is still heart warming when someone came to your door and offer you the soup and mind you, green bean are in extreme short supply. Even with money, you can’t buy them because stock had all been sold out. So you took it and say thank you, not because you believe in those story but because of the concern shown by others toward you.

    Ya, it takes all kinds to make the world. Some people can be real stingy or selfish…I don’t know who gave to my missus and daughter, maybe my in-laws. I missed all those things going on as I was in KL then.

  14. what? why Cat city people people can easily believe a rumour?

    Not just there… The rumour spread all over and hit the panic button, triggering this frantic rush for green beans. Heard the price went up to over RM5 a kilo…and it was sold out in no time at all.

    1. ok. haha. how about H1N1? what to eat? haha

      Red beans perhaps…! Hahahahaha!!!! But seriously, green beans may be preventive – cools down your body system on hot days, so you will not come down with flu or whatever. Chinese treatments are usually based on balance – the yin and the yang.

  15. yeah it was pretty mean, thats why i remember till now..

    …so if the rumor was true that all those who did not eat green beans b4 12am will die..then we would have all died at his house that night! HAHAHA…

    And I would have died in KL – The Federal, Bukit Bintang no less… Hahahahahaha!!! Didn’t hear about the dying part though – just some protection against SARS…

  16. Cikgu, you must come out with your own books too, i like the way you write…like jeffrey archer lah. If you did, i sure support you kuat kuat dan kaw kaw one………..

    How does Jeffery Archer write? Never read any of his books… Hehehehehehe!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. will red beans do the same too? coz i prefer red beans =)

    I also prefer red beans – the small ones, not those big ones in your cendol or ABC. Dunno whether it is the same or not – usually people take green beans for the cooling effect…or barley or soya bean milk.

  18. i am not a “bean” person, but i like baked beans! LOL!!!!!!

    I remember when i am young, my grandma love to boil green bean, but i only take the water, leave the beans behind. ahahhahhahahha

    Just like my daughter…and guess who eats the beans? LOL!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. Oh..i see grean beans i feel dizzy. I dont like green beans but i love red beans…hahahahh

    I guess people over there will take leng chee kang or what-you-call it for the cooling effect…but the popular one at the corner of Jalan Petaling is most sarsi cordial….

  20. Nice legend eh. It is the first that I heard about talking babies that could give predictions. Thank goodness that you are still alive even if you did not eat the beans during the SARS outbreak.

    Hahahahaha!!! Last time, there were old kinds of stories…and people in the past believed. Funny that even in this modern-day world, we still get to see such things happening…

  21. The green beans thingy holds some water. Got a friend who is very interested in Chinese medical cure told me that for detoxification of the body drink green beans boil with ‘kam choe” {*golden leaves*, translate word for word}. Boil till the beans about to split ‘open’ from the skin then drink the water and eat the beans.

    Btw interested to know why the baby told them to scatter the beans by the road outside the houses some kind of pantang *taboo*? tQ.

    I wonder what those “golden leaves” are. Oh? Other than being cooling, the beans are good for detoxification as well? Must take more often then…

  22. Hahahah… no lah, Cikgu… that Mamakucing cook wan la… she never show cuz paiseh the cooking looks not nice…she’s been feeding ppl most of the time wan lerr… kakakkaka….she never show oni.

    Hmmm…now I’m very suspicious. What is she going to cook for you? LOL!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. LOL? She cooks loads of stuff, let me tapau back punya… kakakakakka….and enuff for me to eat for one wik. That woman, really can feed an army! Dun play play wan!

      Wow! Seeing is believing… Have to wait till she cooks for me, then I will eat my words. LOL!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. It’s pity I didn’t get to encounter her books, hopefully I can find some in our decent bookstores.
    I love green bean to bits, specially with coconut milk, yummy~!!
    Have a nice day to you!

    Not too sure…but I do not think it is marketed over there in West Malaysia, maybe not even outside of Sibu. Here, we can get them at the main bookstores…and even at the Catholic cathedral’s religious article centre. I don’t think they printed a lot. She’s probably doing it more for the self-satisfaction than the money…and for somebody her age, that certainly is something to be admired.

  24. i love green bean and red bean too…the green bean looks so yummy….

    Ya…the photo turned out quite nice! ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. honestly i haven’t seen those books before. Hmmm must be not reading enough, heehehe

    Don’t worry…you’re not the only one. I hardly read anymore myself. You would not get to see those books over your side – for local consumption only.

  26. I can read the Foochow too! ๐Ÿ˜€ Eh, I got the Sarawak Rojak book. I love reading her experience and wisdom. Interesting!

    I think the green bean rumour was started by some people to make their green bean sell and at the same time increase the price once the demand increase.

    Tsk tsk tsk! Any story also they can cook up to take advantage of the situation to gain more profit. Some people really!

    I think I’ll just stick to my version – the talking baby story…and it got distorted along the way. Rumours are always like that – people like to spice up their stories!

  27. Oh I’ve forgotten bout GREEN beans dessert! must go get some n start boiling tonite ๐Ÿ˜€

    See! So useful to drop by my blog…can learn new recipes, gain new knowledge, food directory…and now special reminder some more! Hahahahaha!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  28. Even if something real happens, by the time it went around the block, it becomes something else very different. Very common occurrence.

    We have this language game too where we tell the first student in each row something and he/she will have to tell the one next to him/her…and by the time it reaches the end of the row, it may have turned into something quite different from the original. ๐Ÿ˜€

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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