No time…

My dear friend, Mandy, was here from KL on a working trip but unfortunately, she was tied up with whatever she had to do the whole day through from early dawn till late at night so we had no time to meet up and go for dinner or something.

She said that she had to go to a place called Bukut, somewhere in the Selangau district, she said, where my girl’s school is. Gee! I did not know there is such a place there or anywhere, for that matter (I only know that’s the local name of a fish found in our streams long ago, dunno now) – I’m not sure but I think it is more towards the Balingian/Mukah area actually, not as near as Selangau but one thing that I am very certain of was that she had to go far inland from the main trunk road from Sibu to either Mukah or Bintulu…

Road to Bukut
*Mandy’s photo on Facebook*

…to some oil palm estate or whatever where some customer of her company’s heavy machinery is. Yes, conditions can be that bad the further you go into the interior and yes, there are inhabitants living in their longhouses and there are schools too! Thankfully, my girl’s school, though not really near to home, is not one of those and is by the main road, very easily accessible, praise the Lord for small mercies.

And yes, it is indeed very undeveloped, very very backward over here, unlike in the mainland of our country – maybe not so bad in the main towns and cities but there isn’t much really in the smaller bazaars and villages and even worse in the interior. I guess that was why a blogger-friend from Malacca, when she was sent over here to study at a university campus in Bintulu, complained a lot about that town and called it Been-to-Ulu…even though I would not say it was so bad a town – it is a whole lot better than many and it could have been a lot worse had the campus been located in the middle of the jungle like some universities, local as well as foreign, so I’ve been told. I guess it was just the unhappiness and frustration at being sent so far away from home to study – we had those same sentiments regarding where my girl was sent some years back…so far away when there is an institution of higher learning right here in Sarawak in Kuching and one that is running that same twinning programme with New Zealand (but with Dunedin, not Wellington) on the exact same scholarship that my daughter was awarded.

Anyway, back to Mandy, despite it being  a last minute thing and she was so busy and in a rush, she took the trouble to go some place and grab these goodies…

Goodies from Mandy

…for me. Since we did not have time to meet, she left them at the hotel counter and asked me to drop by there to collect…which I did. Of course, I could not just go empty-handed so that morning, I went to the Sibu Central Market to buy some of our very special Rajang hay bee (dried prawns) for her.

While I was there, I decided to go up to the hawker centre on the first floor to Stall No. 52…

Sibu Central Market - Stall 52

…as I had heard that their beef noodles was much better than my favourite here. Good grief!!! It has been rated a Grade C by the municipal council which is not very good. According to this newspaper report, “Food stall operators who received Grade D would be asked to cease operations if they failed to improve during the next round of assessments,” and yes, I did see a cockroach crawling around on the floor while I was there. Other than that, the floor, even though it looked really clean, felt very slippery like it was coated with all that oil used by the hawkers in their cooking. It sure needs one really good and thorough cleaning, I must say – word has it that somebody slipped and fell twice and on one occasion, he broke something so he sued the council and was awarded some RM100,000.00…which he donated to charity.

As for the beef noodle special (RM5.00)…

Stall 52 beef noodle special 1

…that I had, it was good and with all that beef, tendon and tripe, I would consider it very very cheap compared to the other place where a comparatively smaller serving of beef noodle soup with just beef would set one back by RM6.00 and if you ask for the special with the tendon and tripe added, be prepared to fork out a lot more (RM7.00 in 2012, probably RM8.00, at least, now)…and expect a little less as far as their portion size goes.

However, the soup in what we had here was milder – not as strong, not as fragrant…and I wished they did not add those curly vegetables…

Stall 52 beef noodle special 2

…as that would affect the taste albeit just a little bit.

Given a choice, I would still go for my regular one…but if I happen to be around here and feel like having this, I may just stop by for it – it sure is nice enough to merit a second round or more.

Author: suituapui

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

15 thoughts on “No time…”

  1. it’s sometimes easy to forget that we can just drive half an hour or one hour in one direction and find ourselves in plantation area where the internet connection is spotty and the rest of the world feels far, far, far away … i’ve had to do a lot of work assignments in very remote areas, and it was fun when i was younger, but these days, i prefer to stick to the cities!

    Yes, count our blessings.

  2. It makes me sad to see all of that machinery and bare earth. I wonder when people will really realize just how precious our natural resources are.

    For one thing, I think this was in an oil palm estate – lots of oil palm trees all around. Thankfully, it is not as bad here as in the peninsula, still a lot of jungle all around, but they did say there are more of such estates to the eastern half of the state. Our “new” CM is very good – no more logging permits…coming down hard on the illegals so there is hope yet!

  3. Beef noodles special looks good. What a tough job for Mandy. I can imagine the muddy road into the interior if weather is bad.

    Yes, it will be bad…but maybe not this bad – looks like there’s some construction going on. It has been raining around here some days.

  4. We have so many under-developed places in Borneo.

    Nice of Mandy to buy some souvenir for you.

    Yes, she’s always very sweet.

    Indeed, we still have a lot of jungle here…and everytime, there is mention of any project, sure people will come up in arms and protest but they never say a thing about all the jungle already gone where they are themselves, basking in all the advancement and development. Come and live in our jungle lah, all the armchair critics…since they love it so much!

  5. I had a good laugh at “Been-to-Ulu”!

    Not very flattering, unfortunately. Lots of rich people there, bustling with activity – the LNG (liquified natural gas) town.

  6. wish i could drop by soon.. ><
    I've never actually seen a stall graded C before, the worse was a B. hmm..

    You have similar grading there too? First time seeing a C, all A…and maybe I’ve seen a B before. No excuse, these people – it’s not all about making money, should put in some effort to keep their places clean as well. I’d rather go elsewhere…cleaner and more comfortable.

  7. Cockroach crawling around on the floor??? That’s very disgusting…lucky it’s not crawling on the food…aweee…..

    I’ve seen worse. 😦

  8. Quiet and ulu places not too for studies but of course not for working! Definitely will be bored to death! Wah….. I like the beef noodles, it’s really a long time since I had such beef noodles. Sg style a it different.

    I’ve had in Singapore – the same, and very very nice at Cuppage Centre, off Orchard Road. No more there, moved away the wet market downstairs, they’ve upgraded the place, and nothing nice there anymore. 😦 Maybe you went for the Taiwan version?

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

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