Don’t cha…

Well, don’t cha like fish? I most certainly do! But my in-laws do not (They have this phobia because of the bones) so most of the time, when somebody gives them some fresh fish, they’ll pass them to me. The other day, for instance, they gave me this fish but I do not know what it is called. It is something like ikan terubok but has fewer bones and the flesh is whiter and softer. I just cut a few pieces of ginger and some chilli into thin strips and peeled a few cloves of garlic and scatter these over the fish. Then I took some Foochow red wine, added a bit of ikan bilis (anchovies) stock to it and poured that over the fish…and steamed it…

Steamed fish 1

The photograph was taken as soon as I had removed the lid of the wok…so that’s why it appears “steamy”! It tasted very good indeed. I would have put some Chinese celery (daun ketumbar/daun sup) or chopped spring onions on top as well but I did not have any in the fridge. I heard that the chopped garlic helps remove the fishy smell…but they look like bits of fish and I do not like the taste of garlic with the fish, so I will usually just put them in whole.

Sometimes, my in-laws will give me some ikan bawal putih (white pomfret) which I would also steam. Here, you can see that some salted vegetables had been used together with ginger, chilli and spring onions…

Steamed fish 2

Sometimes, I would use Thai fish sauce that is available in bottles at the supermarkets or oyster sauce. Well, frying is also nice but I guess steaming is healthier. Don’t cha agree?

Now, moving on from fish, I received these photographs via email from rubberseeds
Wild mushrooms 1

Don’t cha think they look too colourful to be eaten? These are wild mushrooms and the only wild mushrooms I’ve eaten before were kulat ta’un. I think the Chinese call those “chicken mushrooms” because if you cook soup with it with ginger, red wine and egg, it tastes like chicken soup. Nice to go with mee sua too! But it has been years and years since the last time I saw any…and I do not think the cultivated oyster mushrooms come anywhere close.

I have never eaten these colourful ones though…
Wild mushrooms 2

…so if you have eaten them before, do share with everybody your opinion and perhaps, the recipe as well. If I’m not mistaken, the dark ones in the second photograph are straw mushrooms. These are available at the native jungle produce section of the Sibu Central Market…..

Selling wild mushrooms

Well, the weekend’s here. Going to cook anything special? Fish perhaps? Or wild mushrooms, anybody?


This old house…

Yes, this is the old house where Chricaca used to live and she mentioned in one of her comments that she fell out of the window while playing hide and seek with her sisters…

Chicaraca's old house

Incidentally, this post is not going to be about anything specific in particular. I will just make some back references to a few things that had cropped up in the earlier posts. For instance, Gundot mentioned that the Sungai Merah chai pau (vegetable bun) is very nice, so the very next day, I went to buy some…

Sg Merah chai pau

Ok, Bongkersz, I know! You don’t have to tell me what they look like! It’s mostly skin…which is a good thing as the skin is very nice, unlike the yellowish and rubbery traditional pau skin that is typical of those local Sibu ones…

Sg Merah chai pau inside

As for the inside, it is mostly cabbage and carrots, not as nice as the homemade ones I had the other day…and there is so very little of it. And since I was in the Sungai Merah vicinity, I decided to stop for a bowl of kuih chap

Sg Merah kuih chap

This is the “special” and it costs RM5.50 (A normal bowl would cost RM4.00) but it was very nice. The gravy has this rich fragrance of spices such as cinnamon sticks and of course, I enjoyed the generous serving of pig’s innards. However, I was quite disappointed that there wasn’t any liver though! Anyway, moving on, we were also talking about nyonya kuihs in that post about chai paus, remember? Well, I had some more the other day…

More nyonya delicacies

Those pulut (glutinous rice) kuihs with gula melaka flavoured coconut on top are very nice…and you get three for RM1.20 (or was it four? Can’t remember whether I popped one into my mouth while taking the photograph. LOL!!!).  Yesterday Clare sent me an sms to gloat about the Wednesday-only popiah she had at Handsome Court at Nanas Road in Kuching. I know it is very nice as I had had it before…and all right, all right! You do not have to tell me how EXTRA BIG it was. This one that I had was from the SRB Chung Hua canteen and at one time, people were praising it to the skies. I thought it was just ok but I felt the filling did not have enough chilli and ground peanuts… 

Popiah inside

I prefer the ones sold in the mornings at Chopsticks at Pedada Commercial Centre. Of course, none can compare with Handsome Court’s. Drool! Drool! Are you going to post about it, Clare? Then everyone can see how BIG it is! ROTFLMAO!!!

So that’s about it for this post – just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Well, how has your week been so far? Good, I hope…..

So far away…

Normally, I do not venture very far from where I stay…even before the hike in the oil prices, but once a month, I would need to go to my bank on the other side of town. Initially, the branch was at Rejang Park, very near my house but they closed it down and moved to Cityvine in the Upper Lanang area…and since I was there, I decided to roam around the vicinity. This Sing Kwong Building has been opened for well over a year now…

Sing Kwong, Salim

There is the departmental store downstairs and upstairs, you have the supermarket. You can use the travelators to go up and down…

Sing Kwong, Salim inside

There are a few shops in the main wing as well, like Bata…and in the attached wing, there is the SOS shoe shop, one Pensonic outlet, a computer shop and lots of food outlets like KFC and Pizza Hut…

Sing Kwong, Salim Pizza Hut

and a Sushi Tie Kiosk…

Sing Kwong Salim Sushi Tie kiosk

as well as a bakery…

Sing Kwong, Salim French Bakery

…and they even have free wifi at the entire place!

Sing Kwong Salim free wifi

There’s a food court at the back and darn!!! Now I’ve to go back there again one of these days! They’ve got salted fish claypot chicken rice!!! I haven’t had that for a long time…and I wonder if it is any good. I was there past lunchtime and most of the stalls were not open.

I left the place and went over to the other side where Farley Supermarket and Departmental Store is. I dropped by a shop in that area sometime in May and I saw this Swiss cabin-size baggage that I really liked so much…

Swiss Army cabin-size baggage

I enquired about the price and was told that it would cost RM100 plus. Well, I am not an impulsive shopper so I did not buy it there and then. Instead, I went and tried to pull some strings to get it at a lower price. Eventually, I was told that I could have it for RM80. But the shop being so far away, I never went back until today…and when I asked the proprietor how much he was willing to sell it to me for, I almost fainted when he said RM50. I had to confirm with him several times to make sure that he was not selling it to me at a loss because of “the strings attached”…and finally, I paid him the money and left…feeling so very happy with the unbelievable bargain!!! Swiss, no less!!! Got class mah! ROTFLMAO!!! 

Knocking on Heaven’s door…

This is so funny! It takes all kinds to make the world go round but be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die. Here’s the story I received via email; the name of the bank has been respectfully removed.

Credit card balance/thomastoons'

My aunt died this past January. The bank billed her for February and March for their monthly service charge on her credit card, and then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00 and now, it was somewhere around $60.00. I placed the following phone call to the bank.

Me: I am calling to tell you that she died in January.
Bank: The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.
Me: Maybe you should turn it over to collections.
Bank: Since it is 2 months past due, it already has been.
Me: So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?
Bank: Either report her account to the frauds division, or report her to the credit bureau or maybe both!
Me: Do you think God will be mad at her?
Bank: Excuse me?
Me: Did you just get what I was telling you – the part about her being dead?
Bank: Sir, you’ll have to speak to my supervisor!
(Supervisor gets on the phone)
Me: I’m calling to tell you she died in January.
Bank: The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.
Me: You mean you want to collect from her estate?
Bank: …..(stammer)…. Are you her lawyer?
Me: No, I’m her great-grand nephew.
Bank: Could you fax us a certificate of death?
Me: Sure.
(After they have got the fax)
Bank: Our system just isn’t setup for death.
Me: Oh!
Bank: I don’t know what more I can do to help.
Me: Well…if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her, I suppose. I don’t really think she will care.
Bank: Well, the late fees and charges do still apply.
Me: Would you like her new billing address?
Bank: That might help.
Me: Nilai Memorial Park Cemetery (North South Highway and plot number given)
Bank: Sir, that’s a cemetery!”
Me: Precisely! Smart fella! Now, perhaps you want to tell me what you do with dead people on your planet?

Old MILO tin/laokokok4's

…And to think that you trust these people with your life savings!!! Perhaps it may be safer to keep it in that old MILO tin and hide in under your bed!…..Yes, Cibol? LOL!!!

Monday, Monday…

So how was your weekend?…..Mine wasn’t too good! Well, let me tell you why. When Gerrie had this rich, moist, tempting, alluring, enticing dark chocolate cake…

Gerrie's chocolate cake

…I had to be happy with this homemade chai pau (vegetable bun)…

Homemade chai pau
Homemade chai pau inside

…and while Huai Bin and Clare feasted at Mitsu Tea House, I had to settle for the now-very-diluted beef soup noodles at the coffee shop across the road. Now can anything be more miserable than that? LOL!!! And that’s not all! To appease my craving for nyonya kuihs, I went and bought myself these…

Nyonya kuihs

The white ones were quite nice – crushed glutinous rice with gula melaka inside and coated with grated coconut. We call the long green ones kuih lenggang here – grated coconut with gula melaka wrapped in pandan-flavoured pancake-like skin. They were ok too…but good grief! How they’ve shrunk in size! I think they’re about as big as my middle finger now! As for the last type, what we call tinggi salad…but I think, they’re actually called seri muka , it was bad enough that it was not lemak but the texture was like rubber. Definitely not worth the calories! Oooo…how I miss those sold by the old lady at her stall outside the Green Road shops in Kuching! The ones that I’ve tried in Malacca or Penang come nowhere near hers! Slurpzzz!!!! 

Anyway, it’s Monday! I know a lot of people don’t like Mondays…so here’s something that I hope will cheer you up! Please be reminded that this is NOT a political post! I was quite tickled a few “movie promo posters” that an ex-student emailed to me and here’s one of them…..

Image source unknown

Well, I have a lot more…but I think I’ll save those for another day, if all of you will behave, that is! No need to get carried away! Just a comment to say whether it made you laugh or whether it brought a smile to your face will suffice!!! Then I’ll consider posting the rest…In the meantime, here’s wishing everybody a great week ahead!

Smells like teen spirit…

Nope, it certainly does not smell like teen spirit. As a matter of fact, many old people smell of it, old women in particular. A Kuching friend once called it the “Foochow perfume” (Now, don’t shoot me! I wasn’t the one who said it! LOL!!!)…

Minyak cap kapak

This is “Minyak Cap Kapak” or Axe Brand oil or what we call “hong eyew” (wind oil). It seems to be some kind of panacea; they use it for insect bites, headaches, stomachaches…and if you have heat stroke, some Amazon-like Foochow woman lady would come and pour a whole lot of it on your back shoulders and neck and pinch you black and blue. When I was still working, sometimes I would get bitten by a mosquito or something and all I needed to do was to ask around the office and without fail, there would be some lady who would fish a bottle out of her handbag…and let me use it.

Students would keep a small bottle handy in their pencil boxes to apply when their heads started to spin and some would even apply some on their eyes when they felt sleepy so they could stay awake. I did not mind this…but I could not stand the other type – green in colour with a strong horrible smell. Somehow, I do not seem to notice its presence that much these days. Maybe people do not use it anymore? I wonder if those of you who are younger are familiar with this “Minyak Cap Kapak”.

And since I’m recalling things from days gone by, you may remember the radiogram that I was talking about in an earlier post. Later in the late 70s, I bought one of these in Singapore…

SHARP portable hi-fi stereo

This is a SHARP portable stereo hi-fi. Someone was saying the other day that stereophonic sound reproduction was the in-thing in those days. This set is quite heavy, despite the claim that it is portable…and it incorporates a radio tuner with an FM band, MW (medium wave, now known as AM) and short-wave bands…and a cassette recorder/player. In those days, we could record songs playing on the radio on blank cassette tapes, so to prevent that sort of music piracy, radio announcers/deejays had to “speak over the songs”.

I had just started teaching in a rural town then…and that set was used during school assemblies, talks, forums, meetings and even parties! One can tell from the size of the speakers that it was loud enough. So at parties, we would play the songs on cassette tapes, thus eradicating the problem of the stylus jumping grooves during the “chu tor liao lor!!!” (the house is falling down) phenomenon! For the uninitiated, these are cassette tapes…

Cassette tapes

…or at least, the cassette cases, and this is what a cassette tape looks like…

Cassette tape

There is a very thin tape rolled up inside a plastic casing…and you should not fast-forward or rewind it too often as it would stretch the tape and spoil it. If it gets stuck in the rollers, you must get it free carefully because it may break easily…and that would be it! Bye, bye!!! If you keep it for too long, the brown coating may come off and stick to the playback head in the player and ruin the sound production. In a nutshell, it had a lot of problems…and eventually gave way to the compact disc (CD) as you know it today.

Well, that should be enough for this time. We’ll go for a walk down memory lane again some other time… 

Nothing lasts forever…

I received the following via email and I would like to share it with everybody…


Before marriage….

He: Yes. At last. It was so hard to wait.
She: Do you want me to leave?
He: No! Don’t even think about it.
She: Do you love me?
He: Of course! Over and over!
She: Have you ever cheated on me?
He: No! Why are you even asking?
She: Will you kiss me?
He: Every chance I get.
She: Will you hit me?
He: Are you crazy! I’m not that kind of person!
She: Can I trust you?
He: Yes.
She: Darling!




After marriage….

Simply read from bottom to top.

Around the same time, I also received this…

Some people say that a WIFE is a HARIMAU and a GIRLFRIEND is HARI HARI MAHU.


And some say that a wife is like a TV while a girlfriend is like a handphone (HP). At home, you watch TV but when you go out, you bring your HP. When you have no money, you sell your TV but when you have money, you change your HP. You enjoy TV sometimes but you play with your HP most of the time. Your TV is free for life but as for your HP, if you do not pay, the services will be terminated. The TV is big, bulky and most of the time old, but your HP is cute, slim, curvy and very portable at any time. The operational cost for TV is often acceptable but for your HP, it is high and often demanding, Most importantly, your TV has a remote control but not your HP and last but not least, the TV does not have virus, but your HP may have and once you get it, HABIS LAH! So it is better to choose the TV!

So, what do you all think? Any comments? LOL!!!