Family affair…

It was strictly a family affair last night (Saturday) when the Dimong cousins gathered at the Sarawak Club in Kuching to celebrate Sophia’s birthday. Regular readers would be familiar with names like Kpg Nangka Boy, Gerrie and Gundot who were all there but sorry…we’re all camera shy!!! (Well, the truth is there’s no camera with lens wide enough to fit all of us in!!! ROTFLMAO!!!) So all that you’ll get to see in this post is the food. We had the special birthday cake from Tom’s; was it coffee creme or something, Gerrie?…..

Tom's birthday cake

As for the dinner proper, we started off with this dish of birthday noodles for longevity… Ooo…got lots of quail eggs! I love those!!!!

Birthday noodles

I think this was something like those Cantonese fried noodles you get in KL. Then came the sushi platter. My daughter would love this dish as she loves Japanese food but unfortunately she was not able to attend…

 Sushi platter

After that, the combination platter…and the tofu followed…
Combination plate
Tofu dish

The tofu was very nice; its topping of minced meat had a hint of salted fish! They said it was dried anchovies (ikan bilis/pusu). There was also the yam basket…
Yam basket 

It was actually a mixed vegetable dish served in a “basket” made of yam…and then we had the specialty of the house – butter prawns! It was very different from the dish with the same name that we can get elsewhere. Here, they had prawn balls coated in some creamy buttery sauce…and I assure you it was very very nice!!!

Butter prawns

And on top of all that, we had dessert-the usual peach and longans and almond jelly, and coffee (with the yummy birthday cake, of course)…

Fruit and almond jelly dessert

…and after the delightful reunion/get together…with lots of hilarious jokes and explosive roars of laughter (much to the disgust of the other diners), we adjourned to the karaoke lounge at the club, but that will have to wait till another post…

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Times of your life…

Happy birthday, Sophia…and may your days ahead be blessed with blue skies and everything nice! In conjunction with your Big 5-0, I would like to dedicate this song specially to you; I bet you’re familiar with it.  Well, you can click on the title below and listen to it on YouTube if you can’t recall how it goes. I find the lyrics very meaningful now…though I didn’t feel the same way when I was younger. The song I’m referring to is TIMES OF YOUR LIFE by Paul Anka.

Good morning, yesterday
You wake up and time has slipped away
And suddenly it’s hard to find
The memories you left behind
Remember, do you remember

The laughter and the tears
The shadows of misty yesteryears
The good times and the bad you’ve seen
And all the others in between
Remember, do you remember
The times of your life

STP and Sophia
Reach back for the joy and the sorrow
Put them away in your mind
The mem’ries are time that you borrow
To spend when you get to tomorrow

Here comes the saddest part
The seasons are passing one by one
So gather moments while you may
Collect the dreams you dream today
Remember, will you remember
The times of your life

The greatest love of all…

Teachers' Day

This poem is dedicated to all teachers…by profession and by obligation (parents included).

A PIECE OF CLAY

 

You take a piece of clay

And slowly fashion it day by day

Your fingers press it and press it still

It moves and it yields to your will

 

You add a touch of kindness, a touch of care

And you listen with your heart each passing day

You look beyond what it then appears to be

At the feelings, the dreams, the destiny

 

You take a piece of clay

And patiently shape it day by day

You handle it patiently with your tender touch

Nurturing the dreams that mean so much

 

You reveal what is right and what is wrong

You teach how it is to be steadfast and strong

You inspire values of respect and loyalty

To make it what you hope it one day will be

 

You take a piece of clay

And gently mould it day by day

You instil feelings of love in it

In all that you do, gradually bit by bit

 

And when you come upon it as the years fly by

You will look at it with a smile and a sigh

For the form you have given still it will show

And you know that you can change it no more

 

A VERY HAPPY TEACHERS’ DAY 2008… 

STP and students

The graphic above is taken from a special post dedicated to me by an old blogger-friend on Teachers’ Day 2006.

I can’t help it…

Many people are going to hate me…and Clare, the Glutton Queen is already suggesting that I should amend the name to “Still hungry after all these years…” but I couldn’t help it if I had a last-minute invitation to dinner, could I? And I can’t help it either if I have this urge to post the photos so that I  can share them with everyone…

The first dish was a hot-cold combination dish with lobster salad, some steamed stuff and some deep-fried rolls…and it all came in a ship…

The Ship

Very nice!!! After that, we had THE soup which I shall not name here for fear of being attacked by certain groups! LOL!!! Anyway, I accidentally deleted the photo while trying to email it…as somebody was talking to me! You know lah…when you’re old, multi-tasking can be a pain!!! And after the soup, we had steamed fish…or perhaps we should call it steaming fish;as you can see, it was served steaming hot!…..

Steamed fish

They had the bawal putih (white pomfret) done in 3 different ways – steamed, fried coated strips of the fish…and one more but I don’t know how the fish fillet’s done. It was all right but I thought for the amount of money they paid (RM400, inclusive of drinks), we should be getting imported cod or snowfish! Then came the pork dish…

Braised pork ribs and crackle

That’s peppery braised pork ribs on one side and the crackle of roast pork on the other, served with baked man tao (buns). Absolutely delicious but I had to resist the strong temptation and restrict myself to one serving only cos all that fat isn’t that good. This was followed by the sea cucumber, meat balls and abalone combination…
Sea cucumber meatballs

It was pretty good but by then, I was about to explode already…but as they say, they always save the best for last!!! And for that, we had the baked cheese prawns…
Baked cheese prawns

I would give this dish a 10 out of 10! It was heavenly!!! Ooo…I can still feel the taste on my tongue…Drool! Drool! ROTFLMAO!!!! But I’ve a bone to pick regarding this!!! Each person got only half a prawn, believe it or not!!! Just half a prawn!!!! It left me craving for more…more…and more!!! I’m going back there to tapau and this time, I’ll eat it all by myself!!! LOL!!!

Well, for dessert, we had the usual plate of fruits (I didn’t take the photo! I’m sure you all know what a plate of pomelo, honeydew melon, pineapple and so on looks like!!!) and this plate of or-nee (yam paste) served on glutinous or sticky rice.  It was good though a bit too sweet!
Yam sticky rice dessert

So what do you all think? RM400 inclusive of drinks? Cheap or not? And if you get married here, the standard ang pow rate is RM50 per person, so you can still make a profit of RM10…or maybe you can opt for the RM350 table! No? What about the RM300 table then and you can make RM20 profit out of each guest you invite? Gee!!! Isn’t that good? Getting married here is a profitable business enterprise!!! But when Clare gets married, I’ll just give RM25 as I’ve retired and I’m now drawing a pension – half pay only!!! OK, Clare? Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!! 

Do you know where you’re going to…

Compared to the days of our forefathers, we certainly know more these days…or do we?

When I pull the flush in my bathroom, I have no idea what happens next, …not that I even care! I just walk away, feeling quite happy that someone else will do the dirty work. It may end up in the rivers or get recycled and pumped back to our houses as drinking water. It’s the same with whatever garbage each of us may have. We happily pack them in plastic bags, which, we’ve been told, is not at all environment-friendly, and we dump them in the bins outside for someone to come and cart it all away…not that we even care where they’ll take it or what they’ll do with it! 

Recycled plastic bag

These days, we live in the world like guests in someone else’s house. We have only the faintest notion about what is going on around us, and we do not even seem to want to know at all! Someone is polluting the rivers and the seas, someone is cutting down the forests, someone is adulterating the food, injecting meat with hormones or genetically engineering the tomatoes. But who are these people? Thanks to the wealth of information we have at our disposal, from the newspapers and magazines from the tv to the Internet, we should know more about what is going on than our ancestors ever did but the sad fact is…we have never been less in touch with what is going on around us in our daily lives.

 

Year in, year out, the forests in Indonesia go up in smoke. We get to know about that because the SMOKE GETS IN OUR EYES!

Smoke gets in our eyes

Everyday, my living room is crowded with famine victims, big-eyed and boney, jostling against victims of natural disasters, or terrorism, from countries that my grandparents probably had never heard of. Even I have only a vague idea where Rwanda or Serbia-Croatia are! Meanwhile, tiger economies have been reduced to mewing kittens and nobody is really sure why their money has devalued.

 

Our ancestors lived simpler, more primitive lives but one thing’s for sure, they had better control of things…

Scooter boys

When they were sick, they would go into the jungle to look for roots or leaves for their ailment. They knew exactly what they put in their mouths! They knew exactly where their food came from and they took care of their own garbage. 

Modern science is supposed to be the great liberator, but most of us are blinded by it as we are by the forest fires. Scientists clone sheep and what-have-you, and harvest human eggs according to their whims and fancies and whether we believe it is for the general good of all or the work of the devil, there is very little we can do…either way! And who made the decision to feed the cows with bits and bobs from other animals? We may beef about it now But it is too late to stop the cows from getting hopping mad! Now they tell us that happy hens lay bigger and better eggs and we even have healthier low-cholesterol eggs! What on earth are they?  How do they produce them? Well, we don’t know and we don’t even care! We just eat them!

Evolution

What exactly is going on in the world today? Are we, like those unfortunate laboratory mice, participating in some vast research experiment? If so, that would explain why the messages keep changing! – Coffee is bad for you; correction, actually it is good for you. Pass the margarine, not the butter, please!…No, sorry, butter is actually better! Eggs are bad for you…No, they’re good!  Just take the yolk and the white together. This goes on and on and there is no way you can prove or disprove anything that the so-called experts tell you.

 

Today we live in fear of cancer, AIDS, the bird flu, SARS, JE and all kinds of diseases. In the bad old days, people just died and they did not necessarily know what had caused it. Sigh! In this technologically-advanced world where information is at our fingertips, I find myself feeling insignificant and helpless, …clueless like a billion other lost souls.

 

So do we actually know more these days?…..

 

Footnote: Sources of photos unknown.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s…

Well, not exactly…but if you’re having breakfast at Gerrie’s, she may serve you this…..

English Breakfast

This is the typical English breakfast…minus the sausages, and usually, you get toast and coffee or tea with that. You may choose to have the eggs scrambled, served fried bull’s eye or sunny side up or as an omelette, half or hard boiled, but personally, I love scrambled eggs, the creamier the better! No doubt, that can be very expensive here as a packet of ham at Ta Kiong, in which you may find four or five thin slices, will cost over RM10.00…and the same goes with the bacon!

But if you’re at STP’s for breakfast, you may get something like this…

Energiser Breakfast

It’s actually instant noodles (chicken flavour and I love the made-in-Sibu Mee Daddy) with ginseng (that promotes blood circulation and brings about countless health benefits) and kei chi (the red seeds that are good for the eyesight and renal function and are believed to be remedial for diabetes). An egg is added for protein and also some green vegetables for roughage. Believe me, if you feel lethargic, this simple breakfast will serve to pick you up and sustain you through the day!

But if you prefer to eat out, you can pick one of the numerous choices that have been featured in my previous posts, or perhaps you may want to try this…

Gutor Kampua

This is kampua…but with gu tor (the cow’s stomach) soup. To me, it’s just something different for a change but some people really go for it! Or perhaps, you prefer something Malaysian and would rather have roti canai instead…

Roti Canai

This is from a stall at a coffee shop at Sungai Merah here that serves it with curry gravy and I prefer that to the usual dhall that we get at other places. And recently, I discovered a stall at Bandung selling yew chia kwai at RM1 for 4 and you get some curry gravy to eat with it as well. Nice!

Yew chia kwai

So, what will you be having for breakfast tomorrow?

Finally…

One of the very deplorable habits among some of us is the somewhat infamous Malaysian time. Often has it been said that punctuality is a virtue, yet it seems that many of us, Malaysians, consider it the norm to be “fashionably late”.

Well, there MAY be people who claim that it is part and parcel of our culture, our tradition, and insist that it must be preserved. But, let’s be frank about the whole issue. Don’t you hate going for dinners that are supposed to start at 7 p.m. and by 7.30, the guests are still trickling in one by one? It isn’t so bad for some who appear to enjoy using the time fruitfully to catch up with the latest gossips.

But there you sit, miserable and bored to death, your stomach rumbling away like thunder (despite having cleaned up the plate of complimentary peanuts) and you’re positive that you’re dying of hunger. And finally, when at long last, the dinner begins, the food is already cold and hardly palatable, and your mood is absolutely ruined, so much so that you really don’t have the appetite to eat anything anymore.

Now, how did it all start, we may wonder? “Don’t go early,” they tell you, “or they’ll think that you’re SO greedy, and you’ve never eaten in your life before!” Believe it or not, it is actually considered polite to make your grand entrance no less than half an hour after the time stated on the invitation card. Well, if you ask me, tradition is one thing but some things HAVE to change if change is for the better.

For one thing, I personally feel that it is EXTREMELY rude and inconsiderate to be late for an appointment or a date. Take, for instance, the case where a friend of yours has promised that he will be at our house by 9. Surely you will not make other arrangements or do something else while waiting. Hence, when that nincompoop turns up at say…10 or 10.30, you would have wasted 1 hour or more, just sitting there – waiting, doing nothing. Worse still, more often than not, these selfish individuals do NOT even bother to call to let you know that they will not be on time. The worst thing is they may just sashay in nonchalantly as if they have NOT done anything wrong. DON’T, for heaven’s sake, expect them to apologise and say, “Excuse me, please. I’m sorry I’m late!” Such words, I’m afraid, SIMPLY do NOT exist in their vocabulary. Somehow they just do NOT realize the seriousness of the whole thing. After all, everybody else does it, or so it seems.

Why, over the years in school, students are subjected to a thousand and one school rules and being punctual is ONE of them. They MUST be in school by a certain time and the whole day in school, their lives are regulated by the ringing of the bell. Don’t they ALL know the consequences if they were to arrive at school AFTER the bell? Don’t they ALL know that they would have to face the music if ever they were to come to school late?

Day in, day out, the teachers (though some of them may need a crash course themselves) would drum into them how important punctuality is, and YET, the moment they step out of the school gate, it most certainly seems that all those homilies have fallen on deaf ears. Education is not merely about passing examinations and getting a string of distinctions. It is also about learning good manners. As the age-old English proverb goes, “manners maketh the man”. It is of no use whatsoever if an individual has a stack of degrees and certificates, and yet he or she hasn’t the slightest idea of the simple social grace of being punctual.

In a nutshell, we should ALWAYS be punctual. We should ALWAYS be on time. PUNCTUALITY is a virtue and there is NOTHING fashionable about being “fashionably late”.