New kid in town (1)…

I love dim sum!!! So I was delighted to discover that there’s a new dim sum place in town. Well, actually it’s just a stall named “Little Kitchen”, located at a coffee shop in the commercial area near my house. For one thing, the name sounded intriguingly impressive…so I had to go and give it a try. Well, I had this basket of char siew pau (barbequed pork buns)…

 Char siew pau

It certainly was nothing like char siew pau!!! No doubt, they had generous pieces of meat inside…but they were not red in colour and definitely did not have the char siew flavour. The skin was the old-time Sibu pau kind of skin, not like the usual dim sum pau. It tasted o.k. but I would not want to have it again. Other than that, I also had this…

Glutinous rice in lotus leaf

This is glutinous/sticky rice wrapped with lotus leaf. They had a few miserable pieces of chicken, half a shitake mushroom…and that was about it. It wouldn’t have mattered that much if it had tasted wonderful…but wonderful is hardly the word for it. Far from it, in fact!!! I bought something like this at a stall at Rejang Park – something they called pillow/chin thau chang for RM5.50…

Pillow chang

It was big (…enough to share with my old lady!) and inside, they had lots of hidden treasures/pleasures…

What is inside

There was a lot of meat and besides that, sweet yam paste (or nee), peanuts, Chinese sausage (lap cheong)…and it tasted very nice. Must go back and get another one soon!!! As for the “new kid in town”, I guess you can just give it a miss, take my word for it!!!

The gift…

Mother’s Day falls on this Sunday, the day after tomorrow. These days, more and more women are pre-occupied with their careers and the pursuit of material wealth. Many opt not to get married and those who are would put off having any children. In view of this, perhaps the following story may be of interest to some of you…

          Money, money, money! Money makes the world go round, or so they say and I, for one, prescribed by that age-old adage or at least, at a certain point in time in my life. Born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I had always basked in luxury and having inherited the family fortune, my life was bliss, to say the least. With the millions stashed in my bank accounts and more invested in thriving business enterprises in the country and abroad, I could have everything I wanted. 

          Friends swarmed around me like ants to sugar and everyone was at my beck and call.  I would get invited to the most posh functions – charity events, award presentation ceremonies and the like, where I would have the opportunity to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. But then again, was I not one myself – rich and famous? Vacations were spent at the world’s most exclusive holiday resorts and I would go on frequent shopping sprees at the renowned fashion centres – Milan, Paris or New York.

          Inevitably, it had become the norm for me to always be smartly dressed in branded haute couture from the internationally-prominent designers as somehow or other, I felt people would judge me by my clothes and accessories and hence, I too would habitually judge others by the way they dressed. Consequently, I considered it impertinent that I should look my best at any time of day.

          It was pouring cats and dogs that eventful day when I was rushing home from a lunch date with an old acquaintance I happened to bump into a couple of days earlier.  My limousine careened into the driveway and out of the dreadful downpour into the immense car porch of my majestic bungalow.  As I stepped out of the car, I noticed a skinny, sunburnt and shrivelled woman with a baby in her arms dashing in, a mere split second before my electronically-controlled automatic gate had closed completely.

Old woman and baby

SOURCE: Yaninpo’s photo/www.flickr.com

          The distraught security guard attempted to get her to leave but to no avail. Apologetically, he explained to me that she was only seeking shelter from the rain for her and her baby and promised to leave as soon as the rain stopped. I shivered, not because of the cold but because I was utterly disgusted by the repulsive sight of the woman, dressed in rags that must have undergone a thousand washings and there was a horrendous stench about her.  The grime on her wrinkled face was probably a few days old and her rotting teeth under her dry, parched lips were enough to make my stomach churn.  I willed for the rain to stop but it started to pour even harder. Left with no other option, I told the guard to keep and eye on her and make sure that she stayed put at the car porch and did not venture anywhere in my immaculate home for fear that she would contaminate the vicinity merely by her presence and who knows, she might help herself to something in the house – something that probably was of little value to me but would be priceless to the likes of her.

          This was not the first time I had seen the woman.  She was regularly spotted in the neighbourhood, known as the “Millionaires’ Row” for obvious reasons, going from house to house begging for alms.  I for one, did not believe in handing out freebies, so I had strictly instructed my guard not to let her in despite the incessant chimes of my doorbell.  I never gave alms to beggars; as a matter of fact, I detested them and regarded them as dirty, useless creatures with no sense of pride whatsoever. After a while, the desolate woman would just give up and move on.

          I was just about to turn to walk into the house when I heard the gurgling sounds made by the baby.  Inadvertently, I cast a glance at the infant and in stark contrast to the mother, he was a sight to behold.  Both mother and child were soaked to the skin and shivering from the cold. Taking off my selendang (shawl), I threw it unceremoniously to the mother who promptly wrapped her son with it.  The baby cooed as his soft skin came in contact with the soft, rich texture of the silk fabric. He smiled a toothless grin that was one of sheer happiness and I felt an unfamiliar emotion stir in my heart.

          Tears welled in my eyes as it dawned upon me that despite being blessed with all my material wants, something of crucial significance was missing in my life. All I had done was to cast to them my selendang, one of the hundreds that I had in my wardrobe and even that was not given with any sincerity but the innocent little baby had in return given me a priceless gift – a genuine smile and in doing so, touched my heart in a way it had never been touched before.  That gesture from the little one, though seemingly-insignificant, gave me the ability to feel for the first time in my life.

To those of you who are already enjoying the joys of motherhood, a very Happy Mother’s Day to all of you…

Numb…

I wonder if any of you are in the same shoes but I have this uncanny fear of dentists. It must have started when I was a kid…and my brother had a toothache. So my dad took him to the dentist and for some reason, I had to tag along.  We went into the clinic…and my brother promptly got into the dentist’s chair.  The next instant, when I came to, I was lying on a bench outside in the waiting area. The dentist stood looming over me, growling, “You stay here! Don’t you dare go in there again!!!” That probably triggered off my phobia and to this day, I literally do not dare to go in again!

One year, around the Chinese New Year season, I had a feast of dried cuttle fish and my rotten molar got infected.  The pain was excruciating…and after one long sleepless night (and probably one whole bottle of Panadols), I staggered to the dentist the next day. He would not do anything as it was swollen, so he prescribed one complete dosage of antibiotics and told me to go back after a week! A week! I would be dead by then!!! Well, to cut a long story short, I went to see a Chinese sinseh and he massaged my hands in between the knuckles…and believe it or not, after a while, the pain was gone!!!

I did go back after a week to get that offensive tooth extracted…but since then, I know the secret to getting rid of toothaches. It has worked all this while…and I only go to the clinic when there is only a tiny bit of the decayed tooth left, much to the dismay of the dentist. He never minced his words when he reprimanded me, “Why didn’t you come earlier? There’s hardly anything left! No grip at all!!! If I can’t get it out, I’ll have to cut you up!!” Shudders!!!! Dentists!!!

Now before I end this post, I have a hilarious poem here that I would like to share with everybody.  It was written by S. H. Tan…and this was featured in one of his books, “Malaysian Potpourri” (Ultimate Pages Sdn Bhd, PJ:1995). See if you like it:

I’m sure you can imagine,

It’s as simple as can be.

The place is Jalan Imbi,

The people he and she.

She whispered, “Will it hurt?”

“Of course not,” he assured her.

“It’s a very simple process.

You can rely on me.”

“I’m rather frightened,” she said.

“I’ve not done it before.”

He started to convince her,

That it would not hurt a bit.

And finally she consented.

Then he started to work on it.

It was nearly an hour later,

Neither spoke a word.

It was she who broke the silance,

Her voice was rather blurred.

“Now calm yourself, my dear,” he said.

Her face betrayed her pain.

“Just open slightly wider,

So that I can put it in.”

It was getting more than painful,

The tears were in her eyes.

It was hurting quite a lot.

It must be out….thank God!

Then with a sudden shock,

She gave a great big shudder.

“It’s all over now,” said he,

In a voice that was slightly louder.

Now that you’ve read this carefully,

What do you make of it?

Aha…it’s a dentist you will find,

And not what you’ve been thinking!

That’s just your dirty little mind!!! 

P.S.: I’m still having problems inserting photos into my post, so thank God for small mercies! The food pics will have to wait a while longer…. LOL!!!

Do you remember…

Now, do you remember a photo in an earlier post showing some policemen who did not know how to hold their pistols? Actually, that was a “bloop” from some Chinese movie…and if you’re interested, here are two more…

Source unknown

Source unknown

And do you remember also that at one time, we were talking about scrotums? “Ma-nging” is a tasty Foochow delicacy but it is often called “lampha kuih” by some people because of its shape…

OK, Cocka…say whatever you want!!! I’m sure you’re dying to spill everything out!!! LOL!!!! I managed to buy these at a stall at Rejang Park here – 3 for RM1 and they were nice…but the ones from the shop at Market Road are nicer, and I am positive that theirs are bigger!!! Perhaps they have shrunk too, in view of the rising prices of things these days but I won’t know ‘cos I haven’t gone there to buy for ages. The shape is more or less the same but honestly, I don’t recall there being any kind of protrusion at the top part like those in the photo.

Well, in case you’re wondering, I’m just trying to clear some loose ends that I have in my image gallery…and darn! Looks like I’m having trouble inserting them into the post, so I guess that’s about it for this post.

AMERICAN IDOL UPDATE: Looking at tonight’s performances, I think Jason should be the one leaving. It appeared to me that he had given up…and was just fooling around. I thought the only similarity he had with Bob Marley was his hair…and then, the Cow said just that! The Kuala Penyu fella that I know can sing “I shot the sheriff” much better than that, but the Eric Clapton version! And as if it was not bad enough, he just had to forget the lyrics on “Mr. Tambourine Man”.

And what was Cook thinking when he chose Duran Duran’s “Hungry like a wolf” (Stella, that’s from your time!!! You simple adored Simon Le Bon, didn’t you? LOL!!!)? I loved Syesha’s “Proud Mary” but her Sam Cooke song lacked the soul or the blues. My favourite of the night was without doubt, David Archuleta’s”Love me tender”  in which he really really sang from the heart!!! (Thank goodness he did not go on with that suicidal song!!! It was just a line! Whew!!!) Well, we’ll just have to wait till tomorrow to find out who’s leaving this week!

P.S. Great!! Goodbye, Jason Castro!!! One down, three to go…

Money for nothing…

Well, that refers to me all right!!! Every month, they’ll credit my pension into my bank account…and I don’t have to do anything!!! Ain’t that nice, being a retiree? It’s not very much but then, there’s also the gratuity…and that is quite substantial and also, there’s some money in the EPF account (if you haven’t spent it all yet!!!) plus whatever savings you may have (if any) and if you budget and spend wisely, that should last until you join the Heavenly Choir!!! LOL!!!

And did I hear that they’re clamouring for 60? And the government has given the green light? Good grief! When they gave the option to retire at 56, I didn’t choose to do so! I was the only one out of over 100 members of the school staff who ticked the box for 55 years old. In actual fact, if you continue working after 55, no doubt you’ll be drawing your full pay…but don’t forget that you are forfeiting the half pay (That’s what they give you as pension) that you should be getting once you hit 55. So the truth is you are working for half pay…and they want to go on till 60??? Duh!!! Now I find life more relaxing and I can do the things that I want…like karaoke singing, for instance (Yes! Yes! I’ll convey ur sympathies to my neighbours!!! LOL!!!).

Other than that, I still give a bit of tuition…to pass the time and to go on doing what I love – teaching! At least, now I can do so without the hassle of all the paper work, the records to keep, all the co-curricular activites, the unfair/uneven distribution of workload and responsibilities etc…etc…etc…!

But this month, I’m taking a break!!! The mid-year school holidays will begin the 4th week of May, and under my terms and conditions, I don’t do public and school holidays. That means the students will have 3 weeks left…and most of them don’t come during exam-time and that will take up another two weeks. Some may come, looking so tired and tense (and try to study their other subjects every opportunity they can get)…probably forced by their parents who do not want their money to go to waste. That means that for most of them, I’ll only get to see them for a week – two times…so I decided to call it off for the whole month. Of course, that means I’m not getting any money this month…but it doesn’t really matter. Money isn’t everything and I won’t starve to death!!!

Well, I did get something…an ang pow last Saturday when I went to give a talk to teachers of a school in the Sibu district on how they can help their students to do well in English in the SPM Examination. A token sum, but something is better than nothing! Tea was provided and also lunch. We had curry chicken…

and sweet and sour fish…

and fried chicken and mixed vegetables…


as well as fried noodles-mamak style, rice and some agar-agar/jelly for dessert.

That was at Li Hua Hotel here. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that they have buffet dinners on Saturday nights for only RM11…and you’ll get a bit more than that (I love their daging masak hitam!!! Best lah!!!) plus a salad counter and more dessert selections and free flow of cordial or Chinese tea. For that kind of money, I think it’s really worth it!!!…..So, anybody wants me for company…??? ROTFLMAO!!!!

Sad movies (always make me cry)…

I mentioned in an earlier post that as I was watching “Miss Saigon” in London, when it came to the heart-wrenching part where she had to say goodbye to her son, the dam burst!!! Gosh! My tears fell like rain…and probably, at the time, I had been away from my little girl back home for quite a while. But anyway, do you cry at movies?

The guys would probably deny ever doing a thing like that…but many, many years ago, when I was much younger, of course, I went to see a movie with a group of friends – a mixed group of both sexes.  During the touching scenes, there was stone cold silence…and you probably can guess why! Then all of a sudden, one of the guys sniffed…and everyone broke down, crying and laughing at the same time. Now which movie was that?

From www.moviesunlimited.com

The touching scene was when the boxer-father was fatally injured in the fight to win the prize money so he could retain custody of his son, and the boy was crying piteously beside his lifeless body saying, “Wake up, daddy! It’s time to go home…Get up, daddy!!! Let’s go home daddy!!!Now, you go and get a copy and watch…then you tell me whether you cry or not!!! That was a Franco Zeffirelli’s production with little Ricky Schroder. Big names, excellent tearjerker-movie…but it lost out at the Oscars to “Kramer VS Kramer” which had almost the same story line but I think I prefer “The Champ”. Jon Voight’s the estranged father of Kuih Lipeng lips, Angelina Jolie, right?

Another movie that brought tears to my eyes was the Bollywood hit, “Khabi Khushi Kabhi Gham”…in particular, the father-son conflict.

 From www.hindu.com

Anybody saw this movie? I bet many of the ladies did, considering that they had TWO Bollywood hunks in it to make all of them go weak in the knees…or THREE, if you want to include the ageing one!!! LOL!!! I always call him Ami tak Belacan (Translation: Ah Mi steps on belacan). And another movie that I saw, with the father-son conflict, was…

 From www.imdb.com

There may be some sad, touching romantic scenes…but I only remember being moved by the scenes depicting the conflict between the son (Jericho Rosales) and his stubborn father. Gee! The father character in Khabi Khushi Kabhi Gham was stubborn too! Are all fathers so stubborn???

I also found the Hallmark movie, “Tuesdays with Morrie” starring Jack Lemmon very emotional. Ah well…say what you want! Despite the gigantic, rough exterior, I do have a soft heart indeed inside – so gentle, so kind, so charitable….and what do you mean “Ewek! Ewek!!!”?? LOL!!!….. Anyway, to get back to what we’re talking about,  there are a number of movies that I find most memorable but I think I’ll leave that to another post.  In the meantime, have you ever seen a movie that brought tears to your eyes? Do post a comment and share that with the rest of us…..

Song Sang Blue…

I have always been a fan of Neil Diamond…his low, rich, mellow, soulful voice, and some of his songs sound just as fresh as when I first heard them years ago. After a few best-selling albums such as “Song Sang Blue”, in the 70s, he released his live album, Hot August Night…

 From http://www.8notes.com/pictures/diamond/

It was hot! And I loved especially his renditions of “I am…I said” and “Sweet Caroline” on this album, much nicer than in the original albums. And then he released the soundtrack from the movie, “Jonathan Livingstone Seagull” for which he did all the songs; my favourite was “Be”. Later, he was in the remake of “The Jazz Singer” which spawned memorable songs such as “America”, “Hello Again” and ooo…the beautiful “Love on the Rocks”. Then there was the unforgettable duet with Barbara Streisand, “You don’t bring me flowers”! Actually, an American DJ mixed their solo versions of the song and played it on air and it was such a hit that the two greatest singers decided to release the collaboration…and I’m certainly glad they did!

Hence, I was looking forward eagerly to last night’s Americal Idol show but sadly, it was such a disappointment. For one thing, they only sang a few of those songs that I love, or come to think of it, perhaps I should be thankful for that! My favourite of the night was Syesha’s “Hello Again” which she made to sound like an R&B number, something from people like Whitney Houston. It was very nice, just that it was not Neil Diamond.  The Cow did not like it though; he said it was old fashioned! Her second song, “I thank the Lord for the night time” was good but not really my cup of tea.

No doubt David Cook’s “All I really need is you” was good, sung in his usual rock style…but I’m getting a bit bored with all that rock stuff. His first song was not as good. And what on earth was that dimwit doing? Cook had just sung one song and there she went, rambling on and on about his second song! She probably had one too many prior to the show or was lost in her fantasies with Cook and his just-got-out-of-bed look!!! LOL!!! David Archuleta was disappointing with his “Sweet Caroline”.  Standards like that should be left as they are; he modified the tune too much…so much so that the song sounded completely different, except maybe for the chorus.  As for “America”, he was all right…but it lacked the liveliness, the feel to the song the way Neil Diamond did it.

Brooke did “I am…I said” and omigawd!!! I almost cried!!! That was my favouritest (if there is such a word) Neil Diamond song and she absolutely ruined it…sounding at best, like what’s-the-name-now? The girl who put herself on Youtube and got discovered??? You can hear her song played on the radio day in, day out…and I can’t even remember her name! Yucks!!! I know someone from Kuala Penyu who can do that song and make you go, “Wow!!!” Too bad he’s just too old for American Idol! But hey! Isn’t he going to hit the Big 5-0 too this year? Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! Welcome to the club! The more the merrier!!!…Anyway, Brooke’s other song, “I’m a believer” was a hit song for a group called The Monkees!!! Well, to cut a long story short, the name says it all! And wasn’t it used as the theme song in “Shrek” or something? That certainly says a lot about her song choice! 

But if anyone should go, I think it would have to be Jason.  The first song was not familiar…and very forgettable.  I can’t even remember how it went now!!! However, the nail in the coffin has got to be “September Morn”. It was bad enough that he does not have a voice like Neil Diamond’s to do half as well…but the arrangement was horrendous! It sounded like something from crooners such as Michael Buble, not that I’ve anything against the Buble guy! It just wasn’t Neil Diamond!!!

Well, we’ll have to wait till this evening to see who will be leaving…..Knowing all those tone-deaf people and the overwhelming number of hysterical females (even at the venue alone) , I’ve a feeling it will be Syesha!!!

UPDATE: Hooray! That woman with an attitude is OUT!!! Good riddance, Brooke White!!! Absolutely killed my song, “I am…I said”! LOL!!!

Beautiful…

Nope! I’m not like that…even though I should, for health’s sake and not because of my appearance. I am old, fat and not in any way, good-looking but I believe that I am beautiful…inside. Very often, we hear people commenting, “She’s such a B***H! She thinks she’s SO beautiful!” Or they will say this of a guy, “He’s so full of himself! He considers himself God’s gift to women!” Well, these individuals are blessed with good looks on the outside…but obviously, they are not very popular.

Now, what makes a person beautiful? Here are some extracts from the song, (I am the) BODY BEAUTIFUL by Salt N Pepa

Everybody’s beautiful in their own special way…Beauty comes from within…Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, you will achieve…Open up your mind so your eyes can see…Bodies come in all different shapes and sizes…You’re beautiful, too, just realize this! Can’t you see the beauty in me?…Open up your heart and set your mind free…Everybody’s beautiful in their own way…Express yourself every day and when you’ve got joy on the inside, it shows on the out…Be confident and you’re beautiful without a doubt.

Yes, beauty comes from within and everyone is beautiful in his or her own way. The song talks about believing in yourself and being confident. I reckon that if you have high self-esteem, you will be able to project a personality that may be appealing to others, as opposed to someone who has very low self-esteem and always thinks lowly of himself and negatively about life and everything else for that matter, and that will definitely put people off. I bet not many will want to hang around people like that…unless they are birds of the same feather.

For one thing, a person’s character, rather than his physical attributes, will contribute towards making a person beautiful.  A person will exude “beauty” from within if he is kind, patient and understanding, generous and charitable, considerate and helpful…and above all, loving and caring. These qualities will make him attractive to others, pleasant to be with; these are the qualities that will make a person beautiful. Nobody’s perfect, of course, that’s for sure! But if one can have some of these characteristics, even if it is just to a certain degree, he or she can be beautiful…at least to some extent.

Well, recently, I came across something by Eileen Ramage (1996: www.citylights/daws.com) and I am of the opinion that she has managed to put it all down in words so beautifully indeed  in her poem, “THE BEAUTY WITHIN”…

Such beauty that lies within

No joy can compare

You can search the world all over

You won’t find it anywhere

You may like the shine of diamonds

The glitter of pure gold

A body that is beautiful

Nice things that you can hold

All these things are fragile

Get old and pass away

But the beauty that lies within us

Lasts forever come what may

This rare and special beauty

Can lay hidden from your view

I know that you can find it

By searching within you.

Great joy I know will follow

Your life will be free.

The serenity that you’ll feel

You then can share with me.

And I would like to conclude with these lines from Christina Aguilera’s song: “We are beautiful no matter what they say…we are beautiful in every single way!” Yes, I am….. Are you?

Photo courtesy of gerrie via email. Source: http://gee_lw7.very.c0o0lthing.info

Home (1)…

I was born and raised in Sibu,…left at the age of 20, and came back 10 years later…and I’ve stayed here since! I’m not going to go into the history or the geography of the town;I bet you can find that in other blogs or elsewhere but I must say that previously, it was notoriously known to be the dirtiest town in Sarawak, and indeed it was! Visitors from other towns would just litter indiscriminately even though they would not do that in their own place; they said that the whole town was already so dirty anyway, so it would not make a difference! Pedestrians ruled the roads at the time (like the trishaw pedlars in Penang in the 70s); cars had to swerve to avoid them or stop to give way! And there were so many bicycles then!

Anyway, sometime back, the town council chairman then decided that it was high time for a change and  took the initiative to do something about it and due credit must be given to him and all involved for the massive facelift that changed the image of Sibu completely!…

Today, after the makeover, it is definitely a nice town…pleasant, not too busy, not very big and comparatively CLEANER than in the past and cleaner than many other places in the state/country.

Well, what’s the attraction, you may ask? The food, of course! Very nice and very, very cheap! Don’t worry, I’m not going to dwell on this as I’ve had quite a number of posts already about the food available here (And there are many more to come, I assure you! LOL!!!)…and you can get to see lots of that in other blogs as well.  For one thing, if you come to Sibu, perhaps you should take the opportunity to try the local delicacies, be it Foochow…

 

…like this bowl of dianpiangu or Melanau – the umai (raw fish) or the see-ert (sago worms) or Iban – the ayam pansuh (chicken cooked in bamboo), the babi kasam (fermented preserved pork)! You’ll be spoilt for choice, I assure you! What I just cannot understand is why people go all the way to a place and insist on eating the same kind of food that they have back home.  Many Asian tourists to Western countries, for example, would insist on having Chinese food provided in their tour package…or foreign tourists coming all the way here, would choose to eat at McDonald’s. But anyway, before I start straying off to the point of no return (…which I always have the tendency of doing!!! Hehehehehe!!!!), let’s get back to my post proper…

Other than the food, perhaps you would like to do a bit of shopping? Well, what do people do when they go to KL? Shop and eat! What do they do when they go to Penang? Shop and eat! Singapore? Shop and eat too!!! See!!!…..I rest my case! Well, some may have signed up for some tour package, so the guide may bring them somewhere to see how rubber trees are tapped or how they make pewter handicrafts!!!! Zzzzzz…..!!! You can shop for some real cheap bargains here; a friend will never fail to come here every December to buy his clothes for Christmas and Chinese New Year.  According to him, he can get the same in Kuching but at twice the price.  However, don’t bother to look for branded items or designer goods. Even if they are available, we won’t know whether they’re genuine or imitations. But, as far as I know, many people from West Malaysia or other countries will buy souvenirs – the native handicrafts e.g. the pua kumbu (handwoven blanket) or the rattan mat or they may want to bring home one of those beautiful Sarawak vases, a few salted terubok (fish) or the roe , and a kilo or two of the STRAIGHT udang kering (dried prawns). I always buy this for my friends in West Malaysia, and they always ask me why they are straight.  My answer is simple, “Because…they’re not gay!!!” LOL!!! It can be quite pricey now; the last time I bought some, it was RM70 a kilo.

But if anyone insists on sight-seeing, he can start at the Dewan Suarah (Civic Centre)…

  

The cultural museum on the ground floor can give visitors an insight into the history of the town and the cultures of the people. Then there are a number of memorial parks around…but one must not miss the Sungai Merah waterfront where the first Chinese settlers landed and lived. Here are some glimpses at the historical bazaar, the way it is today…

Anybody knows the person after whom the road is named? Well, for one thing, I do wish that the people concerned had restored and preserved the bazaar in its original state.  Today, hardly anything of the old settlement remains…and I feel that somehow it has lost its authentic rustic charm. Well, as they say, time changes everything, so we’ll just have to move on….. 

So, to do just that,  what on earth do you think this could be? The stairway to Heaven???

Well, in a way, it is…or to the Catholics, at least! Those are the stairs up to the inside of the majestic Sacred Heart Cathedral.  It is huge…and may be worth a visit. Well, when we go to Thailand or perhaps, China, what do we visit? Temples…temples…and more temples!!! Here, there are a number of churches, a Tua Pek Kong temple with a pagoda that is one of the landmarks of Sibu…or you may prefer to drop by the Central Market! The live chickens wrapped in newspapers with their heads sticking out and all tied up in bondage are a tourist attraction.  I’ve seen many bloggers posting photos of the poor birds!!!

I will not recommend a visit to the nearby longhouses as they are all very modern so you won’t get to experience much that is authentic. For that, you will have to take a ride in the Boeing 747-lookalike express boat to Kapit or past the infamous Pelagus rapids to Belaga and visit the longhouses there…but you will need a number of days to do that.

So, if anyone would like to visit Sibu, you can fly MAS or Air Asia from KL, JB or Kuching…or from Singapore via JB or Kuching…or by MASWings from Kota Kinabalu!!! Come, “ngui neng ting nee neng li lor wo!!! (Translation: In Foochow, “We are already waiting for you all to come!”)

Thank you…

Last week, an ex-student from my Form 5 classes last year contacted me to invite me to a barbecue that they would be having to bid farewell to their friends who will be leaving for further studies – matriculation in Labuan, JPA scholarship and all that and I went….. I must say I was flattered as I was the only one invited (Or maybe the other ex-teachers are not so greedy so they did not show up! LOL!).

It has been a few months since I last saw them. I was there each day when they sat for my subjects in the SPM Examination just to give them a bit of encouragement and moral support…but I could not make it when the results were released due to some family commitments.  Thankfully, they did outstandingly well…and that means more than anything to me, their teacher.

There was a lot of food, that goes without saying. This is Jacky, one of the nicest students I have had in all my years of teaching, taking charge of the barbecue pit…

I don’t actually care very much for those chicken wings, fish balls and sausages…but that night, I just could not resist…

…the pork belly/three-layer pork and it certainly did not help one bit that they gave me one whole plate of it all to myself…

And that wasn’t all. They had a buffet spread catered from a local hotel/restaurant. I did not think of taking the photographs before everyone started eating (I was so hungry, you see!) but I managed to get a shot at one of the dishes…

Well, apart from the food, it certainly was nice to see all of them again and I hope the feeling was mutual. I remember something that Jacky wrote in some kind of an autograph book that they gave me on my retirement…

You leave no poem for the world to read, you leave no written words to tell…of your noble thoughts, your kind acts and deeds. But in the throbbing pulse of human life, there shines a brighter gleam of joy and hope…because you have lived and loved…and given of yourself unselfishly.  Your life is a poem in itself, not realised by those it has touched so richly through the years but living still…to spread its rays of gladness and of cheer within the hearts of all humanity.

That meant more to me than anything else in the world…and as teachers, we must realise that what we give today, we will one day, get it all back in return…a hundredfold! I have said in one of my earlier posts that it distresses me greatly that there are so many teachers who are disillusioned, who do not seem to see any meaning in what they are doing. I believe that is exactly what their students feel about or think of them as their teachers. Love them and you will be loved much more in return…

And to all the boys who were at the gathering and those who were not, I thank you all for the affection over the years; nurture it always in your hearts for it will surely help in no small way to make you become better individuals in the years to come. May God bless each and every one of you in your undertakings.