The olive tree…

Some of you may know this Mandarin song – The Olive Tree, if you’re as old as I am, that is. It was the theme song of a Taiwanese movie, “Your Smiling Face” (歡顏), starring one very beautiful Hu Hui Chong (胡慧中) that had every hot-blooded male falling head over heels in love with her but she was merely lip-syncing in the movie and the song was actually by Chyi Yu(齊豫) who had a few English albums to her name and my favourite by her is this cover of a Mac Davis song.

Well, I had to drive to my daughter’s school past Selangau Bazaar last Friday as her colleague was attending a course in Sibu over the past few days so my daughter could not hitch a ride home from her. Along the way, I saw many olive trees bearing fruit in abundance…


This is our Sarawak olive, what we call buah dabai


…or dabay in some local languages or or-kana (black olive) in Hokkien and though many here would be familiar with the fruit, I am pretty sure that quite a few have never seen the tree before as usually, these trees grow wild in the jungle. The fruits would be white initially and then they would turn red and purplish and when they turn black, they would be ripe and ready for the picking. There are, however, red ones as well these days, it seems. These that I saw on the trees were still white so I guess we would have to wait for at least some two or three months before the fruit would flood the local market.

I went a little bit early and while at the Selangau bazaar, I had lunch at one of the shops there…


I think this was RM5.00 as I asked for the whole salted egg – normally, at such chap fan (mixed rice) places, they would give half only.

It tasted all right and I quite liked the tapioca leaves…


…even though they were not pounded or blended – we would usually do that when cooking those greens.

I bought a packet of petai (stinky beans) from an Iban lady sitting by the pavement outside the shops and when I got home, I cooked those with the leftover sambal from the ulam that we had at our family reunion gathering recently and I threw in some small udang galah (freshwater prawns) that I had in the freezer as well…


That certainly was quite a dish, I would say.

I also managed to get hold of some of the exotic meat that morning and used a bit for soup and I slow-cooked the rest with soy sauce, sugar and garlic till nice and tender…


…while my missus bought one young buah tupang/pulo and cooked masak lemak with it with fresh santan (coconut milk)…


That was indeed quite a fruitful outing, don’t you think?

My poor girl was asking me the other night as to how long a teacher must serve in a school before he or she could ask for a transfer. She was feeling bad as I have to send her back to  her school every week and at times, drive all the way there to pick her and bring her home as well, me being no longer a spring chicken some more. I reassured that I really enjoy these little road trips – after all, there is not much excitement in my life anymore, nothing much this old man can do other than staying at home and going online…and which parent would not do the same for his/her little girl? I guess I managed to convince her and she felt a little better after that…

不要问我从那里来 我的故乡在远方
为什甚流浪 流浪远方流浪
为了山间轻流的小溪 为了宽阔的草原