In between…

This is Pekan Stapang


…or Stapang Bazaar, located halfway in between Sibu and Selangau and in comparison, it is a lot smaller than the two of them. However, the location makes it an ideal stop if you urgently need a toilet break. Go right in after the single row of a couple of blocks of shops on your right and you will get to the public toilet…

Stapang public toilet

…facing the playground…

Selangau playground

Be forewarned, however, that it is 30 sen per entry unlike the others in Sibu or Selangau where you only need to fork out 20 sen per entry. There is a lady stationed there and my guess is her duties include keeping the place clean so yes, it is clean unlike some public toilets even in the big towns and cities.

This is the market…

Stapang market

…and being a weekday that day when I had to send my girl back to her school after attending something here for two days, there were not many sellers around, just a few ethnic women selling some jungle produce and stuff. I think it is a lot busier on Sunday mornings.

I saw a man selling some rather fresh-looking wild boar meat at only RM20.00 a kg but my missus was not at all keen. Well, for one thing, she is not fond of the meat but neither is she all that fond of duck, lamb and quite a lot of other things. In the end, I did not buy and we left the bazaar, heading back to Sibu.

I did not go straight home though. Since we were free, I decided to drive to Sibu Jaya, a township a little to the left of the Sibu Airport. If you turn right and go straight ahead, you will eventually get to Sibu town proper, 15 miles away. I’ve been there a few times but my missus just went once a long long time ago when they first started developing the place as some kind of low-cost housing residential area with a few shops…and of course, it did not look nice at all. That was why when anyone talked about this place, she would insist on how miserably horrible it was but I do feel that lately, they have done quite a great deal and a good job at that. To me, it does look nicer (and perhaps, bigger as well) than some of the towns around here like Bintangor or Kanowit…or perhaps even Sarikei and Kapit.

When we got there, we saw blocks and blocks of shophouses, mostly under construction but a few facing the original town centre have been occupied. Gee, I thought! This place is getting bigger and bigger! I saw a bank but I am not too sure if there is more than one and yes, there is a big KFC outlet even…which is more than what I can say about three of the aforementioned towns!

We stopped by the ethnic jungle produce market and I saw a couple selling ikan keli (catfish). They said that those were caught, not the farmed ones. The bigger ones were RM20 a kg while they also had smaller ones going for RM15 only. The lady was willing to cut and clean for me so I asked her to pick big three nice ones for me – they turned out to be exactly 1 kg!

My missus does not eat these either but yes, she can cook them…

Ikan keli

…very well. This is the Chinese/Foochow style with soy sauce, lots of ginger and garlic and lemon grass and all and because we did not have any bottle of brandy in the pantry, already opened, my missus added whiskey instead – lots of it! These fresh ones really taste a lot nicer than the farmed ones – we get a lot of those at the markets here…and of course, the way my missus cooked it, I enjoyed it to the max!

I picked a few pieces and saved them for my girl – she loves ikan keli too, especially when cooked this way – she would be coming home again the following day, Friday so I would want her to enjoy it too.