So sad…

Yes, I feel so sad that this place is going to wrap up business in a few days’ time…

Enjoy 1

I went there with Melissa a long long time ago in 2009 and she even blogged about it here (she’s no longer active though and her blog has been redundant for a long time now) but it was a very dark place with colourful lights and it came across like some kind of not-very-respectable girlie bar and the fact that there were booths made it seem even more so.  I remember I had to sit at a table by the window and pull back the curtain so I could take some decent photographs of the food! To cut a long story short, I did not like the place and the food wasn’t good enough to get me going back for more.

Then some people that I know took over and I went back there again. The food was all right but they did not do anything to spruce up the place and after having gone there twice – here and here, we did not get to go back there again. Not long after that, as I was driving past, I saw that they had closed down the place and were doing some major renovations but when it reopened, somehow or other, I never dropped by.

I did not even know that they had converted it into a Thai restaurant until that day, when I was ranting about the horrendous new Thai restaurant in town on Facebook and a friend of mine commented on that status of mine and suggested that I went to this place instead to give it a try. All he said was that there was a Thai lady chef there, nothing more and since he did not seem all that enthusiastic, I just dilly-dallied and never got round to dropping by until one day, in a comment on Facebook, he said that I should go soon as the Thai lady chef would be leaving. Still, there was no hint as to how really good the food was…but anyhow, last Sunday, after the service at the cathedral in town, we stopped by for lunch.

The place is very much smaller now but a whole lot nicer…

Enjoy 2

…and brighter…

Enjoy 3

…though somehow, it did come across to me as being rather clinically white and clean, a far cry from that dingy place that it was before.

I was feeling kind of sceptical as there wasn’t a living soul around. Surely if the food had been good, there would be some business at least…even on a very slow day but since we were already there, I thought we might as well sit down and order something – after all, this place would not be around much longer and don’t say that we did not give it a try.

I ordered the bread cakes, prawn (RM10 for 10 pieces) – the ka-nam pung na-goong

BC, P

…but I think I ordered the wrong thing. My friend said that I must ask for the prawn cake and if I’m not wrong, that would be the tord mun-goong (deep fried fresh prawn cake) but it did not matter as this was so very nice too. I liked the fact that it was not oily at all even though it was deep fried…unlike the spring rolls that we had at that other Thai place. Tsk! Tsk!

Of course, we had to order the pineapple fried rice (RM20.00) – the khao phad sapparod

PFR

…and all of us loved it a lot especially with the chili dip that came with it. My missus said that it had that salted fish taste…but I think that must be their authentic Thai fish sauce that they use a lot in their cooking and it was really really good. Yum! Yum!

The Thai green curry, beef – the gaeng keaw wanna_praw, nuer (RM20.00)…

TGC

…was absolutely out of this world. It was bursting with all kinds of rich flavours that we could not help going, “Wowwwww!!!!” A word of warning though – it was very lemak (rich) with its thick santan (coconut milk) gravy and very very pedas (spicy hot) so it would be best eaten together with rice. My missus gave it her double thumbs up as she is into anything and everything that is extra spicy!

Don’t bother about the prawn salad (RM7.00) though…

Salad

I had expected something Thai-style like our kerabu, raw with lots of cili padi and crushed peanut and everything else and served with a generous squeeze of calamansi lime but what we got in the end was nothing of the sort – just those few miserable prawns on top and everything else with something like the Thousand Island salad cream. This certainly was a let-down, I must say.

Well, other than the disappointment we had with the salad, it was a delightful lunch and I, for one, was glad that I dropped by that day and managed to sample the food before the Thai lady chef left town and if you’re in town or from around here and you have not gone there yet, you only have a couple of days (till the 24th) left to do so. Hurry! Hurry!

Good to see you…

It certainly was good to see Julia again – she’s one of the twins who were in my English tuition class way back then – the other one’s Judy, and at this point in time, she has completed her studies and is presently working in England now. Well, she was home for a while and we got to meet for tea here on Saturday afternoon.

I got to try the new mille crepe there – the coffee one…

Coffee mille crepe

…and we all thought it was good but I do prefer their tiramisu or the rum and raisin one though. Julia wanted the matcha green tea one…

MGT

…which I never liked and her friend who came with her did not think much of it either. I guess if one is not into the green taste of green tea, one would not enjoy that very much.

Of course, we had the deep fried pork belly kompia

PB kompia

…and they loved it! It seemed that they had kompia elsewhere earlier but they weren’t too impressed but this one, to them, was a different story altogether.

Julia’s friend had the sizzling beef kampua noodles…

SBKN

…and he thought it was really good.

It was great seeing you again and catching up with each other, Julia, since the last time we met and it was nice meeting you too, Alistair, and I sure am looking forward to seeing you two again sometime. Cheers!!!

What is it…

Actually, I blogged about it a long time ago, way back in 2008…but when I shared a photograph of it on Facebook…

Terbelus

…the other day, so many people said they had never seen it before while some have but they have never tried eating it and they do not know how to go about preparing it so they too do not have the slightest inkling as to what this fruit actually tastes like.

Well, this is called terbulus in Melanau and in Malay, it is known as buah engkalak…and like the dabai (local black olives), it is only found growing in Central Sarawak except that today, due to its popularity and huge demand, they have planted the dabai trees elsewhere in the state so it is no longer exclusive to this part of the state any longer.

The terbulus is green when it is not ripe and it turns into this nice shade of pink when it does and that would be the indication that it is ready to be eaten. For one thing, it is not easy to harvest this very delicate fruit that grows on very big and tall trees like the dabai or the durian. You cannot just take a long bamboo pole and poke it off the tree – that would damage it completely and render it unsuitable for consumption…and you cannot wait till it is ripe as it will be too soft and there is no way that the fruit will not be damaged.

We had a tree in the compound of our old house where I grew up and everytime, my mum would get this guy from the kampung (village) who would climb up the tree and cut off the branches (while the fruits were still green and unripe). Now, he could not just let the branches fall to the ground like that, no way – what he did was he tied a rope to the branch and let it down slowly. Then he and my mum would cut the fruits off the branch with a bit of the stalks still intact like what you can see in the above photograph, handling each and everyone of them with the uttermost care. Those would be kept in the house till they changed colour which would mean that they were ripe and ready to be eaten.

Now to prepare the fruits for eating, you will have to wash/rinse the fruits and remove the stalks and put the fruits in a stainless steel pot or saucepan…

Pot

…and sprinkle some salt over them and closing the pot/saucepan, you will have to shake it to toss the fruits inside to mix them well with the salt…

Salt added

Cover the pot/saucepan and leave it for around 15-30 minutes to let the fruits “cook”. You will have to toss the pot/saucepan at regular intervals, hitting the fruits inside against the sides but you must not do it too hard especially if the fruits are very ripe as the seeds and the white part inside would all come out and you will end up with a miserable mess. As I have said earlier, this fruit is very delicate!

Some people, my mum included, would eat it with sagu (toasted sago pellets) but I am not too fond of that so I would just eat it with rice. If the fruit is not really ripe, it is slightly green inside and not as creamy…

Green

My missus prefers it that way – she thinks it is like avocado but I would like it very ripe when it has turned all white and creamy on the inside…

White

…like ice cream. In the past, I would not eat the skin but I do now – it is edible and they insist that it is very good roughage so it is good for one’s bowel movement.

Well, actually it is good that not many know about the fruit or how to prepare and eat it because demand would be low and that would keep the prices down. They are selling at RM5.00 a kilo at Selangau bazaar and they sell them by the basket at the market here – RM5 per basket. As you can see, the prices are not as outrageous as those of the dabai and the durian which are not really affordable these days and I certainly hope that they will stay that way so that I can still afford to enjoy the fruit whenever it is in season.

Now, if I may digress from the fruit for a while, I just want to share a little bit here about these canned oysters…

CO

…that we use for cooking the Foochow-style tofu soup or what we call tauhu tear. I have yet to do that but hopefully, I will get down to doing it someday so I can blog about how to go about doing that then but in the meantime, I just want to mention that I used it to fry some bihun for breakfast the other morning…

FB1

…but although it was quite nice, it did not come anywhere near the bihun fried using the canned clams in soy sauce

CC in SS

Somehow, it lacked the taste and the fragrance…

FB2

…so now I know – when I need to fry some more, I’d definitely stick to the clams and not use the oysters.

Hey, it’s Monday today…and the long end-of-year school holidays have started! Any plans to go anywhere? Sibu, perhaps?

Bleeding love…

Traditionally, the Chinese believed that this would help cleanse their system and barbers especially would make it a point to eat it once a month to get rid of the bits of hair they had inhaled or any that might have got into their mouths and  ended up being swallowed. According to them, these would stick to the walls inside their system and only by eating this would they be able to flush it all out. I’m not sure whether they still do that now but anyway, I was out with my missus one morning a few days ago and we stopped by here for lunch.

I saw that they had stewed pork leg among the selections available for chap fan (mixed rice) so I made up my mind right away to have that and then I saw this…

PB

…and I just could not resist asking for a serving of it. I had not had it for a long long long time as this, among some other things (like duck, for instance), is in my missus’ black list – she does not eat it so she does not cook it and I do not get to eat it, simple as that.

I remember the last time I had that was in KL in 2009 at a shop opposite Low Yat where I stopped by to have some porridge for lunch and I ordered a bit of it. I did hear them say that one should eat it at the beginning of the month and not around the middle of the month as that would be when they would be having their period and it would be unclean – I don’t think there is any truth in that though as it can’t possibly be possible that they will all have their period at the same time in a month. Ummmmm….they do have their monthly period, don’t they?

Anyway, back to what I had, besides the stewed pork leg and the yummy pig’s blood, I also had some sweet and sour chicken…

SSC

…and fried paku (wild jungle fern)…

FP

…and I would say that they were all very good! For one thing, usually what they have at such chap fan places would be oily, salty and overloaded with msg – this one was different and I enjoyed what I picked so much that I surely would want to go back there again sometime. Well, I paid RM5.50 altogether for 3 meat and 1 vegetable – you reckon that’s cheap or expensive? I seldom have this when eating out so I am not too sure of the current prices around here or elsewhere at this point in time. I did think that they gave me a little bit too much rice though – I am not accustomed to eating so much – so I would have to remember to ask them to reduce that a bit the next time I go there again.

As I was leaving the place, I saw that one of my favourite bakeries in town has opened an outlet right next door so I stopped by to see what they had. They did not seem to have a lot then, unfortunately – probably, this place only does retail so they would have to wait for their daily supply of breads, cakes and whatever else from the main bakery in the vicinity of the Sibu Bus Terminal. I did manage, however, to get a pack of these cream puffs…

WC CP

…which were nice though not much nicer than the ones I bought the other day here but at least, these were cheaper – 4 for RM2.00 so that would work out to 50 sen each, 10 sen less than that other place.

I thought these were kind of pretty and cute…

WC cakes

…and I could not resist grabbing one to try. They were not all that cheap though – 4 for RM3.20 so that would be 80 sen each for that little thing. I think they were some kind of cake but they were a little bit crusty, not soft and not hard either and they had different kinds of creamy filling in them. The purple one up front (though it looks like blue in the photo) has the taste of peanut butter. On the whole, I thought they were very nice and I would not mind ordering that for dessert should I happen to be having a dinner party at home. Unlike a cake, it sure would save me the trouble of having to cut it and making a mess with the icing and all and these are rather dainty, sort of elegant, don’t you think? For RM80.00, I would get 100 and that would be more than enough to go round.

Incidentally, I went back to this shop recently for the kampua noodles (RM2.40)…

KM

If you remember, I liked it the first time I had it there but I did not bring my camera with me so I did not blog about it then. The second time around, I ordered the noodles with pian sip but it was kind of diluted probably because the lady…

KMS

…did not drain the pian sip well enough before adding them to the noodles and I was disappointed with what I had that morning. This time around, it wasn’t really dry enough but it was all right as it did not affect the taste of the noodles and I thought they were nice enough. I was kind of put off by the bleeding red colour of the imitation char siew (barbecued meat) though so I think if I were to go there again, I would ask for the noodles mai eng nik (Don’t put meat). For one thing, it was cheaper than many other places in town – 10 sen cheaper than most and in fact, I have heard of people selling theirs at prices ranging from RM2.60 to RM3.00 a plate now. No, thank you very much – they can all jolly well eat their kampua noodles themselves as I, for one, would not be a willing victim to be fleeced like that. Tsk! Tsk!

I did notice, however, that same day that they had a stall at the back of the coffee shop selling those fried noodle dishes and the like so perhaps, I would want to try those instead. We’ll see…

With these hands…

I had to drop by here again last Saturday morning as I wanted to place some advance orders for these

Instant Sibu kampua

…for my friends who will be in town around the end of the month. Indeed, word has gone round about it, spreading like wild fire, and everyone would like to get hold of some to try or they want more of what they have had and liked a lot…and the last I saw on Facebook was that someone in Africa has received his consignment of the stuff – one whole big box of it…and another very happy individual would be my friend, Annie-Q, in KL, of course – her mum dropped by KL and passed her 15 packs of the instant kampua and needless to say, she has been enjoying that since!

They make the noodles by hand…

Making 1
*The Kitchen’s photo from their Facebook page*

…and dry them in the sun…

Drying kampua
*The Kitchen’s photo from their Facebook page*

…with no preservatives added so they should not be kept too long – I hear that they’re good for around three months only. The production is not on a very big scale and is somewhat labour intensive…

Making  2

…done manually, step by step…

Making 3

…all the way…

Making 4

…and that is why if you intend to get hold of any especially when you want a lot, it would be best to go a few days earlier and place your order.

Well, since we were already there, we thought that we might as well have brunch and since Melissa had not been there before, I suggested that she had their very nice fish noodles…

FHN

…with the ordinary bihun and not the big variety, the hung ngang that my missus had previously and she enjoyed it very much…unlike what she had at Taiping, Perak when a coursemate took her and her friends out to eat and she had the same there.

It is quite obvious that my missus likes their fish tom yum hung ngang

TYHN

…that she had on our previous visit – she had that again and she was wondering whether everybody else would get so much fish as well as she thought that was really quite a lot.

I decided to try their kampua noodles…with stewed pork…

KM with stewed pork

…but it did not really tickle my fancy. The stewed pork was very nice – nicer than what they serve here or here but the gravy drowned out whatever kampua noodle taste there might be. It tasted fine, this much I would admit, but I’m afraid it did not taste like kampua mee as we know it. I should have ordered the usual kampua mee that is also on their menu and I could have made a more valid comparison. Incidentally, I did ask the girl and she said that they do not use the noodles that they make themselves for these – I guess they do not make them fast enough for sale and would be hard-pressed for any to use themselves.

While we were there. the lady boss gave us this Chinese green bean dessert…

CD

…to try, on the house. I think it is believed to be cooling and we found it very refreshing though I thought it could do with a little bit more sugar – it wasn’t sweet…but I guess that is supposed to be good, health-wise. I can’t remember what the white things in it are – can anybody help?

So having placed the orders and after having had our fill, we left to loiter around some places in the town and spend some quality time together on that Saturday morning before we sent Melissa back to her school the following day.

STOP PRESS:
Oh dear! Oh dear!!! Breaking news! The Kitchen has closed shop – or perhaps, it will be taken over by some other people (I think I saw someone there once, negotiating!) Hopefully, the new folks will have some nice things on their menu as well…and hopefully, I can find the place to collect the instant kampua noodles that I have ordered – obviously, they’ve set up their base some place else and will focus solely on making these.

Roar…

Nope, that’s not the name of the place, not as in that Katy Perry’s song but actually, it’s…

Oreo shake

…and we’ve been there twice before here and here and we went there again last Saturday night as after the sunset evening service at the cathedral here, I asked Melissa what she wanted to eat and she said she was thinking of having some pasta carbonara after seeing Jamie cooking something like that on tv that afternoon…and she could remember I had that before and it was pretty good.

Of course, she ordered their spaghetti carbonara (RM15.90)…

SC

…which came very quickly. I was somewhat surprised that she wanted that as she really isn’t into the creamy sauce and is usually more into bolognaise. True enough, halfway through, I noticed that she was struggling already and I knew that the richness of the sauce had got the better of her so I offered to finish off the rest for her and she happily gave me what was left of it. The serving was kind of huge though – should be enough for two to share.

We ordered their very nice mushroom soup in a bread bowl (RM8.00)…

MS in BB

…and it was just as nice as always.

Melissa did say that she was torn between ordering the pasta dish or their mixed grill so you can jolly well guess what I had that night (RM30.90)…

MG

…so that she could have some of the goodies on the plate as well.

She wanted the calamari Ceasar’s salad (RM14.90)…

CCS

…and we had that too even though personally, I would prefer the one with smoked turkey ham. This took a rather long time before it was served and I was wondering why – I am pretty sure it isn’t so hard to chop up some vegetables, squeeze the dressing over it and fry a few bits of calamari to put on top. As a matter of fact, I would expect the soup and the salad to be served first but they all came in no particular order…according to the whims and fancies of the people in the kitchen. Perhaps we were already very full by then but we did not think the salad was all that great and we certainly would not want to order that ever again – it was nowhere near the very nice and a whole lot cheaper one that we had here…and there wasn’t any hardboiled egg in it either.

Then we had to wait  a very long time for my missus’ order – the so-called special of the day, the sambal chicken chop  (RM16.90)…

SCC

Well, it is, after all, a fusion café but I would think that if it had been that day’s special, they would have got everything ready and it would be served in no time at all but obviously, I was wrong. I did not get to try it as I was already too full by then (and not in a very good mood anymore) so I did not bother to do that.

But other than the sad fact that a couple of the dishes were a long time coming, service was all right…except for how they took a long time in calculating the total on the bill despite having had a calculator at hand and would have given me the wrong change had I not pointed it out to them. What pissed me off was how they were discussing it among themselves and could not seem to work things out at all and they simply ignored me when I kept telling them this was what I paid and this was the change they should give me. Young upstarts!!! You think I cannot count or what? I sure do not need that miserable calculator to work out a simple sum like that. Tsk! Tsk!

Well, the food’s not bad – maybe that’s why business at this place is quite good…but if you’re thinking of dropping by, I would suggest that you go early when there will not be anybody around…so you will not need to wait too long for your orders to be served.

A friend…

She’s my daughter’s friend – an English teacher from the same overseas programme but from another institute/university, not the same ones as my daughter’s. She’s not from Sibu either and she has been posted to teach at a school in one of the towns upriver and since she would be coming for the same course/briefing that I mentioned in an earlier post that my daughter would be attending, we arranged to pick her up at the express boat terminal here after which, we could all go for brunch together.

We went to this breakfast place, the spin-off from the cafe next door -and as a matter of fact, we had just gone for lunch the previous day at their branch in another part of town. Unfortunately, the Sibu Foochow-style sio bee (meat dumplings) that we like a lot were not available that day so I ordered the kompia, Tiong Hua Road style (RM3.80)…

THRS kompia 1

…stuffed with stewed pork belly and served in the sauce (RM3.80)…

THRS kompia 2

…to try. A friend of mine had that sometime ago and she said that they were really very nice and since then, I had been wanting to have a go at them myself and at long last, I finally got round to doing that. I would say that I found them to be a lot nicer than the original at Tiong Hua Road here plus I did not have to put up with the not-so-friendly old lady at that place nor sit on the not-so-comfortable furniture to eat in the not-very-conducive surroundings.

We also had the ones stuffed with minced meat (RM2.80)…

MM kompia

These are toasted, not deep-fried like the ones at this other place in  town (and if I’m not wrong, the ones here are a little cheaper) or elsewhere…and I quite enjoyed them too though I thought it could do with a little less msg in the filling.

My missus must have loved the Foochow-style fried noodles, wet (RM7.80)…

FMW

…that she had the last time we were here as that was what she wanted again this time around. I am quite positive they did not have that fried egg on top the previous time, not that it was anything to get excited about seeing that it was overdone and not the way I would have loved it. Melissa’s friend had the same and according to her, after having been around this part of the state for a few months now, she had grown to love our local Foochow delights like the noodles, fried this way…and of course, our celebrated kampua mee.

Melissa had the Teochew bak-kut-teh mee (RM9.80)…

TBKTM

…served with a bowl of yew-char-koi /yu tiao (Chinese crullers or fried bread sticks). Don’t ask me why it is specifically classified as being Teochew as I really do not have the slightest clue. All I can say is that Melissa thought it was nice but she could not finish the whole bowl as the serving was kind of big for her to handle.

As for me, I had the sizzling hot plate yee mee (RM9.80)…

SHPFYM

…which was certainly to my liking but I did state very clearly when ordering that I would not like a lot of msg in it and just a little bit would be fine. No doubt that was a bit pricey but there were a lot of prawns in it, at least 6-8 of them albeit their being rather small ones…along with a lot of the other added ingredients. I did wish, however, that there had been a lot more egg in the sauce like what I had in my own version of this dish.

So after having had our fill, we went home to get Melissa’s things and when it was time for the girls to report, I drove them to the hotel that was to be the venue of the course/briefing and dropped them off there.

First time…

This was my first time here…

CCG1

…though I’ve been to their main outlet in town many times. “Served no pork”, you say? Now, do you mean that you do serve the meat now? Hehehehehehe!!!!

This one is located at the mall where the Giant Hypermart is and though I’ve been around there a number of times before, I had never dropped by for a bite until that afternoon last week when Melissa was home in Sibu and it was a public holiday so we had some time on our hands. It wasn’t her first time though – she’s been here before…

CCG2

We chose to sit on the other side…

CCG3

…behind that wall on the left as you enter and since we were early, there were not many people around.

Melissa had the crispy chicken chop with maltaise sauce (RM19.00)…

CC with MS

…something that she had had before and liked a lot so she wanted that again. However, this time around, she thought it was a little too sweet, especially the potato tuna salad, so she did not enjoy it as much as on the previous occasion when she had that.

The mum had the Kapitan chicken set (RM15.00)…

KCS

…which was all right. I think I had nicer Kapitan chicken curry elsewhere, like here for instance…but this one was a dry version so I would not think it would be all that fair to make a comparison. Let’s just say that it was nice and we’d leave it at that.

I decided to try their masak hitam beef so I ordered the set (RM16.00)…

BMH

…and I must say that it was very good. No doubt it was a bit pricey but the serving was big and it could easily have been shared by two though I would not mind an extra mantao, lightly fried…

DFM

They only gave a cute and tiny one by the side, along with a whole lot of other things like these fried brinjal and lady’s finger fritters…

B&LF fritters

…and some very nice sambal and a handful of (not very nice) keropok (prawn crackers) and also one big bowl of watermelon.

I would say that it was a delightful lunch, the service was great and parking was easy…

CCG4

…unlike at their outlet in town where I had often given up and gone somewhere else as I just couldn’t find a parking space despite having gone round and round several times.

It probably would be a good idea to go a little early though as by the time we were leaving about an hour or so later after browsing around the shops and the hypermart there, I noticed as we walked past that the place was packed. Maybe it was because it was a public holiday, I wouldn’t know…

Nice ‘n’ easy…

I mentioned in an earlier post that my ex-student, Raphael, was back in Sibu from the US and among the things that he brought back for me, he gave me this…

TC 1

…and I was pretty sure that my girl would love that – she loves potatoes and anything with lots of cheese.

Inside, there was a packet of dried potato slices and a sachet of cheese mix…

TC 2

All I had to do was to empty these into a casserole, add some water and a bit of milk and mix everything thoroughly…

TC 3

…and then put in the oven to bake for 25 minutes…

TC 4

…till the top was lightly browned.

So, was it good?

TC 5

You bet it was. Melissa loved it so much and I would say that I liked it a lot too – rich and creamy and nice though personally, I do feel that if I had added bits of grilled bacon, it would bring the taste to a whole new level.

Thanks so much, Raphael – we certainly enjoyed that a lot. I wonder if we can get that here or if not, whether we can cook our own starting from scratch. Perhaps we can…but this really so very convenient and the best part is that it tastes great too.

Nature boy…

That previous Sunday, over a week ago, we sent Melissa back to her school in the Selangau district but she would have to come home again the following day as on Wednesday, after the public holiday on Tuesday, she would have to attend a course for teachers here at a leading hotel in town. Thus, we decided to spend the night there and make our way back after she had finished her lessons the next day.

With ample time on my hands, I was able to browse around, communing with nature and enjoying the peace and quiet and open air. I blogged about the olive tree over a month ago and why, I spotted one right behind one of the school buildings, dabai fruits and all…

Dabai, unripe

…but they were still white  which would mean that they were not ripe yet, in which case they would turn all black…

Dabai

…so these were not ready for the picking just yet. We bought some recently and I gathered that they came from Sarikei, selling at RM22.00 a kilo (RM18.00 only there). No, they do not come cheap, not anymore, that’s for sure, but it certainly takes a very long time for the fruits to ripen, like the rambutans at the back of my house. It has been some months now and finally, they have started to turn red…

My rambutans

…so it wouldn’t be long now before we would have some of the fruits to enjoy. Actually, I was kind of worried as for whatever reason that I do not know of, the green unripe fruits were dropping off the tree and carpetting the ground below it like nobody’s business, so much so that I was afraid there would not be any left in the end. Thankfully, it has turned out that my fears were unfounded.

Anyway, back to the vicinity of Melissa’s school and living quarters, I saw some durian trees…

Durian tree

…as well and lo and behold! They had fruits on them!

Durians

I’m not really crazy about durians but I do know that there are many people who love them so much. What I was thinking was they probably would be familiar with what the fruit looks like – outside and inside but they probably have never seen a durian tree before. These are the wild ones – the original, authentic durian trees that grow wild in the jungle and they are HUGE!!! I remember when I was young, I used to spend the night with my maternal grandma in the makeshift hut in her fruit garden across the river and nothing would please us more than the thuds we heard in the night – the ripe durians would be falling off the trees all night long and would be ready for collection the next morning to be sent to the market for sale. If I’m not mistaken, with the present day hybrids, the trees are not as big/tall.

Other than durians, I am sure there are people who enjoy those Chinese yam cakes, steamed or deep fried, or they love the yam in their bubur cacar or in some dishes like those cooked and served in claypots but they haven’t the slightest idea what the plant looks like…

Yam

Yes, it’s a tuber so you have to dig out the roots and use that part of the yam plants.

Incidentally, if you think that I’m kind of patronising and seem to have the idea that people do not seem to have an idea of pretty much of anything, you are right…especially the younger ones these days, those living in the big towns and cities, who would be quite happy, all engrossed in what they have on their ipads or smartphones and do not seem to have the interest or curiosity to want to know about things around them.

Many might have seen these…

RB

…dead and mounted in a glass or plastic case  for sale in the souvenir shops but have never seen one alive! For the uninitiated, that’s a rhinoceros beetle…and personally, I myself have not seen anything like this before…

Insect
*Photo taken using the camera on my ancient mobile phone*

…and I’m not too sure what insect that was either but it looked so amazingly nice that I just had to stop to admire and marvel at God’s spellbinding creations…and take a photograph of it.

Frankly, I find it very pleasantly relaxing and interesting in its own ways, living in the country…away from it all. What about you?