Wishin’ and hopin’…

Children and young people these days are so fortunate. They get to enjoy all kinds of international cuisines be it western, Italian, Japanese – you name it, they’ve eaten it!

During my time, a plate of Ah Kow’s kampua noodles at Kiaw Siong was the special Sunday treat and that too, only when my brother and I behaved during the church service. On the rare occasions when we were brought along to attend a relative’s wedding luncheon or dinner, we would look forward to the Sibu Foochow sio bee

Sibu's Foochow sio bee
* Recycled pic

…and the Foochow fried noodles…

STP's Foochow fried noodles
* Recycled pic

…but the highlight would be the dessert at the end – canned longans and peaches in sweet syrup, served cold. These days, the kids would not even give it a second glance.

Sometimes, my father would go out to catch the 2nd show, starting at 9.15 p.m. and he would come home at around 11 something…and more often than not, he would buy some Foochow fried noodles from this guy that he called Tong Merah who had a food stall on the upper floor of the former Sibu market or from another Ah Kow – the one at the back portion of Ban Chuan, next to the Cathay Cinema (now Star Cineplex). Then he would wake us up to eat…and how we cherished the special treat on those nights! I guess that explains why even until today, I can eat at any time of day…unlike some people.

9 years later, my sister was born…and she did not want to eat rice or porridge, just noodles and in those days, instant noodles were unheard of. So, every day, my father had to take the blue and white insulated plastic food carrier with  a gold-coloured handle to town and buy chin t’ng mee (noodles in clear soup) for her…

Sibu's chin t'ng mee 1

Chin t’ng mee is actually the soup version of the kampua noodles, 50 sen a bowl at the time, with meat…and 30 sen without…

Sibu's chin t'ng mee 2

How we would wait, wishin’ and hopin’ that she could not finish and how we enjoyed and savoured every bit of whatever was left over on any day.

Gosh! We certainly were a deprived lot then, unlike the young ones today…