Just like a pill…

Now, now…calm down, everybody.  This is NOT going to be a post on contraceptives! Well, if you’ve noticed, I’m using titles of songs for all my posts (except for a couple of earlier ones) and this is the closest that I can get to what I am going to share with all of you.

As we all know, there is this shift in the medical world to alternative medicine and that includes natural herbs, even those that we can find growing around us. For one thing, I understand that herbal medicine takes some time before there can be any effect.  Recently, I saw the label of one for osteoarthritis (The composition includes ginger, lemon grass, tumeric and so on!) that states that it will take a week or up to a month, so if the pain persists, the indiviidual can take painkillers in the meantime.

I have also been told that some of these herbal treatments will detoxify and cleanse the body and improve blood circulation to enable the body to handle whatever health problem the individual is suffering from, thus promoting recovery through natural healing.  Some people, on the other hand, insist that they should not be taken together with western medicine because not enough research has been done and there may be unwarranted contradictions.  Others say that they will wash away all the western medicine you have taken, rendering them virtually useless; in fact, the same has been said about Chinese tea.

Well, I am not in any way prescribing or asking anybody to follow suit but I have been taking these leaves for a few years now and my blood tests have been encouraging – none of those threatening luminous yellow highlights (though rather high on my triglycerides) in the reports!                                 Well, these are daun hempedu bumi or andrographis paniculata. I understand that they can lower a person’s blood pressure, and others claim that it can lower one’s blood sugar level.  There have been cases of friends and relatives (or their parents) who have taken these leaves…and they will testify to the fact that they are very effective.  Actually, you can google to read up on these leaves; there are quite a number of websites that will provide you more detailed information on them.

Last year or maybe it was the year before, the Sarawak Herbal Society published a series of articles on medicinal herbs in a local newspaper and these leaves were featured in one of them. The article claimed that the leaves could be helpful for many kinds of ailments and even inhibit the growth of any cancerous tumour in the body.

I usually drink it once a day. I will pluck a few leaves every morning and place them in a mug and then, I pour boiling water in it.  After sometime, I will drink the water…but be forewarned! It is extremely bitter (The MOST BITTER bitter gourd will pale in comparison!)…but after having been drinking it for so long, I can just gulp it all down in one go. Anybody wants a cuppa…?

P.S. Another intention of mine in wanting to post on these leaves is to show off that I CAN take and post good, clear photographs! Now, anybody has any more complaint??? Humph!!!! LOL!!! 

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Turning Japanese…

There are a few Japanese restaurants here but I don’t know exactly how many are still in business.  One in particular, however, is doing so well that it has extended its business upwards; now, you can dine either at the ground floor or on the 1st floor. I, for one, do not actually fancy Japanese food but my daughter loves it, so I will have to make it a point to take her there once in a while.

Once you enter the place, the workers will start drumming on the tables and counters, chanting something that sounds like, “Dua puluh sen! Sepuluh sen!!” Liars! Nothing there is so cheap!!! In fact, I would think it is quite expensive and not worth the money spent especially when I do not think it is all that nice. When we went there recently, my daughter had the Maki plate and unagi (eel) – two tiny pieces of the fish, as you can see in the photo below!

Note the miserable-looking eel in the background!I can’t remember how much that cost but one thing’s for sure, it wasn’t cheap!  I opted for something cheaper – RM11, I think it was – the Terrayaki chicken lunch set…

It was okay, but for that money, I would rather go to the dimsum place across the road and have 3 baskets of char siew pau and still get 50 sen change…..

I hear the chef’s from Beijing and they’ve got the whole works – siew mai, har kau, lo mai kai and so on. Well, at least, we can get value for money…from my point of view, that is! As they say, one man’s meat is another man’s poison…but if you’re going for dim sum anytime soon, do give me a tinkle! Yum! Yum! Dim sum!

Sunday morning…

Kids in the past were a really deprived lot. We would have to wait all week for Sunday when we would be dragged to church…and during the service, we would have to behave or else, after that, we would go straight home where the rotan/cane would be waiting. On the other hand, if we were able to  withstand the long dreary hour without the devil getting into us and making us do some childish pranks, when it was all over, we would head to Kiaw Siong, a coffee shop that used to be located opposite the present-day fire station,  for oooo….KAMPUA !!!

For the uninitiated, kampua is simply noodles tossed in oil (In the past, they used lard!) and a dash of light soy sauce and a pinch of msg, garnished with fried shallots and spring onions.  At the time, a plate cost only 30 cents and for 50 cents, we would get a few pieces of boiled pork that was coloured red to make it look like char siew.

Simple, you say? Yet, people crave for it, believe it or not.  Students studying in West Malaysia who are not able to come back for the holidays will ask their friends to ta-pau (takeaway) and they will wait for them at the airport…and the moment the friends arrive, they would grab the kampua and eat it there and then. Once I heard of this lady who had migrated to Australia and when she was expecting a baby, she wanted to eat kampua and the family had to courier some over to satiate her craving.

Sibu Thomson Corner seafood kampua

Kids today are much luckier than us for they can enjoy a delicious plate of kampua any day of the week at any time of day! Here, you can see a variation of the real thing.  This is the seafood kampua available at Thomson Corner, opposite Sacred Heart School in Sibu (They have an outlet at Medan Mall too!). Needless to say, with the prawns and what not, it is more expensive – RM3.50! However, there isn’t much quality control so some days, it will be just right and on other days, the noodles may be overcooked – soft and soggy.

I would very much prefer the kampua at Rasa Sayang in the vicinity of the Sibu Bus Terminal.  Gundot loved it too…but she said it was not authentic.  True enough, for it seems like a cross between kampua and Kuching kolok mee…but the end result is absolutely fabulous. Personally, I think it’s nicer than the original kampua and kolok mee for only RM2.00!

But die-hards may insist on what they’re accustomed to over the years in which case they should try Soon Hock, a coffee shop in Pedada Commercial Centre, next to Lilian Pharmacy…along the same row as Chopsticks ( where the chicken rice is something not to be missed).

They say there’s a stall at the Taman Selera in the Pedada area run by the guy in the Malaysian Book of Records for being bestman the most number of times…but I’ve yet to go and try it. It only opens at night.

Well, to those of you who will be coming home for the holidays or for good pretty soon, in the meantime, just drool…and drool…and drool…! ROTFLMAO!!! 

Lying eyes…

What did you see in the photograph? A group of indecently-clad nuns?

Actually, somebody sent me this via email sometime ago (Can’t recall exactly who it was. Was it you, Gundot?) and I’ve posted it in the TraxxFm fansite (The webmaster did it for me!). I was surprised by the fact that there were some people who actually saw a group of nuns in fishnet stockings!!! Now, would you consider that an optical illusion or the reflection of a person’s state of mind?

As the saying goes, “there is none so blind as he who will not see,” and more often than not, people see what they want to see. It is indeed very sad that when someone is blinded by his prejudices, he may miss the beauty in what he sees.

If we go to a place, for instance, and from what we have been told (or read in some negatively-inclined individual’s blog), it is a boring place and everything about it is horrible, we may criticise and pick on everything when we are there…and we may not see all the good things that are right in front of us to behold.

Likewise, in relationships, we may be influenced by gossips and what others have told us of a person, so much so that he does not even get a chance to disprove all the rumours that surround him…and whatever good he may do will not be appreciated.

So, to sum up, here’s some food for thought to ponder upon: “Everything is beautiful in its own way…” (Ray Stevens). Have a nice weekend, everybody!

Photographs…

SARAWAK LAKSA
Gosh! This is just like somebody who has completed his education and found a job and everybody starts pestering him to find a girl and get married, and when he has done that, they’ll harass him further telling him that he should begin thinking about having a baby and starting a family…and it goes on and on and on!

So it was with me! I was quite happy making a nuisance of myself, commenting in other people’s blogs…but no, they would not leave me in peace. Everyone kept asking me when I would start my own blog, and when I was FORCED into having one of my own, people started asking me to post photographs… Gee! I certainly hope this is it! There’s nothing more after this, or is there?

Well, this photograph has nothing to do with the post. After all, I’m only trying out my “skill”… It’s a photo of the Sarawak Laksa that I cooked the other day, so feast your eyes on it and I hope it makes everyone drool…and drool…!!! After all, you asked for it! LOL!!!

UPDATED: Ok! Ok! Now pic big enough or not!!! Chesh! LOL!!!!

Do ya think I’m sexy…

The following extract is taken from something I wrote on “Teenagers” in one of my books…

…Never for the life of me can I understand why the boys must wear their pants hanging gingerly on the edge of their hips looking as if they would just drop off at any time, exposing more than half of their briefs.  There is a perfectly logical explanation for this, they will declare.  After having spent a fortune on their designer underwear, it makes no sense at all if no one gets to see them…”

That sounds like a reasonable excuse, but perhaps they should just wear their briefs on the outside, like Superman.

Anyway, what this is leading to is…why do girls wear those jeans that barely cover the cleavage in their butt?  Actually, there was a discussion on this on the afternoon show on TraxxFm last week. So, what’s your opinion on this?

Personally, I would think it should be fine when some SYT (sweet-young-thing) wears it to go clubbing or the like. The bone that I would like to pick is with those aunties who still think they’re teenagers (mentally, maybe) wearing those jeans and short figure-hugging tops to church. Gosh! They certainly seem oblivious to the fact that their hour-glass figure is long gone, and the curves that they have now are all in the wrong places. In cases where one chose to sit right in front of me, exposing the complete (almost) view of her big arse, I had to fight this urge to dash out to throw up…but instead, I just closed my eyes in prayer for God’s mercy and compassion! For her, not for me! It’s not at all decent apparel for going to church! Don’t they have any respect at all for the Almighty? One would think that their brains are located exactly at that part of their anatomy that they sit on.

And once I was driving along the road when a motorcycle overtook my car. (Yup! I’m a very slow driver!!!) And lo and behold! There was this guy on the bike with his girlfriend riding pillion…and she was wearing one of those jeans and she was leaning forward on the guy with her arse in full view of anybody tailing behind! Now, I certainly wouldn’t want my girlfriend to make a public exhibition of her asset for all to see…no matter how sexy she may be…..Would you? 

The way we were…

When I was little, my house was near a three-point junction (simpang tiga) with the Melanau kampung/village to the right and the Malay kampung to the left.  Thus, my childhood friends were all the Melanau and Malay kids from these kampungs and we all spoke the Sarawak version of the Malay Language.

We played football on any piece of land sticking two sticks in the ground for the makeshift goal.  We went into the jungle, built huts out of the branches and leaves and spent the day there, enjoying ousrsevles and cooking our own food.  Never mind that it was not very hygienic, well-cooked nor delicious; it was fun!

 We made catapults from forked branches of trees and lots and lots of rubber band and pieces of leather cut from old, discarded shoes. We made pop-guns using bamboo and sticks and used the pea-like seeds of a certain plant as the pellets. And we would strip down to our homemade boxers and jump into the river for a whale of the time. Needless to say, everytime there was a flood in the town, we were the happiest of all!

I can go on and on about the things we did, our exploits as kids…but the point that I would highlight is the fact that we were friends, regardless of colour or creed. Sometimes, they would eat at my place and with due respect to their religion, we would not serve pork – canned sardines, cangkuk manis fried with egg and “sayur rebus” and when eating with friends, the simplest fare woiuld seem like a banquet for a king and rest assured, we would lick our plates clean!

At the time, we were all Sarawakians under the rule of the “ang moh” or “orang putih” (We did not call them “Mat Salleh over here!) but somehow, today it seems that much has changed… Children do not have the time to be children anymore and after attaining independence for some 50 years now, we should be living together as “one people, one nation” but are we? Well, at least, my friends and I did!

I would like, therefore, to close with the lines from the song by Barbara Streisand:

Can it be that it was all so different then? Or has time rewritten every line? If we had the chance to do it all again, tell me…would we?…..Could we?