Sunday, July 10, 2011


So, everybody has an opinion about yesterday's rally in KL, right? Sadly, that's not what I'm gonna talk about today. Just saying that even our sleepy town here bubbled with unrest when our beloved 'angkasawan' (Malaysian term for astronaut'), Dato' Syeikh Muszaphar landed here for an event with the 'rakyat'.

Of course, we're excited to welcome his arrival. A friend even organized a program for kindergarten kids for a meet & greet session with him coupled with a rocket-making and colouring contests. What I don't like seeing was the lack of effectiveness of crowd control by the organizers. Other than the presence of bodyguards and men in uniforms, there weren't much barricades around the area to indicate that things could get a bit out of hands. My daughter Nunu was placed at the left-side of the group, patiently waiting for the astronaut, who was being interviewed by the press, to come out of the VIP room. I think they waited there for at least 15 minutes. The crowd surrounding them was already agitated by the heat and excitement.

When he came out led by the bodyguards, he went straight to the middle of the group of kids, picked up the boy in the middle, put him on his lap and beamed his megawatt smile. The crowd went nuts! I was ready with my camera right in front and kneeled so that people behind me were not blocked from the view. But what happened was beyond anyone's control. The photographers were ruthless, squashing the kids at the sides, and some knocked me over from behind, forcing me to inch closer to the front until I couldn't take it anymore and left the scene. My daughter was nowhere to be found! A few harrowing minutes later, she found me, crying, devastated that she couldn't get a proper photo with the astronaut.

The least the organizers could do was to put some stanchions or velvet ropes nearby, not only to protect the celebrity astronaut, but keep the kids safe to from the crowd.

Monday, March 07, 2011


Where is Anne?
Head above the buttercups,
Walking by the stream,
Down among the buttercups.
Where is Anne?
Walking with her man,
Lost in a dream,
Lost among the buttercups.

What has she got in that little brown head?
Wonderful thoughts which can never be said.
What has she got in that firm little fist of hers?
Somebody's thumb, and it feels like Christopher's
Where is Anne?
Close to her man.
Brown head, gold head,
In and out the buttercups.

A.A. Milne - Now We Are Six

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Assam Pedas Tendang Bontot

There was a time that I was the self-proclaimed 'food snob'. Growing up, we've always had soups and masak kicap, fried chicken and quick & easy stir-fry meals. Basically mild and bland foods.  Konon tekak mat saleh. Occasionally we'll have curry to cater to my younger bro's appetite. Even if there are other dishes on the table, I won't touch them and would only go for my safe and comfort food. Sounds like a normal kid lah kan?

That was when I was growing up. Food at our Dewan Makan (DM) during my boarding school years was an eye opening experience. I had to eat fish called ikan jaket! and tofu! and shrimps! Sources of protein that I never liked or allergic to. I had to eat dishes I'll never touch if I were at home like pajeri, sambal, masak merah, pecal dan macam-macam lagilah. Have to eat lor, if not starving lor. But I adapted.

After kawin, nak makan apa? Due to my limited food preferences, I wasn't the kind who gets motivated in the kitchen. I'm not known for my domestic skills. at all I only knew how to make vege dishes and masak sup and kicap. I'm only good at steaming food. Kalau goreng, gerenti hangit. Husband's a food snob too in his own right, whereby only his and mother's (and occasionally mamak's) cooking is the best. MIL is an accomplished cook and very particular about her food, no doubt about that (the only curry I eat is hers). I lived only one door down from her, but I rarely had the chance to learn to cook from her since I worked 6 days a week. Not long after that, I got pregnant. Cannot tahan  the kitchen smell for too long. Kerja dok melantak lauk MIL je la. Stress or not? How to COOOKKKK???

After moving away from the comforts of MIlL's food to this kampung, I kinda gave up on cooking.  Blame it on my lackadaisical attitude, but nobody wants to eat my food anyway. Sometimes my Tok would cook simple dishes for herself and there's plenty to share with me.  My aunt drops by all the time and gives me more food. The lauk pauk that are sold at a nearby restaurant are so cheap. Ayam goreng is only RM1. Therefore I rarely cook. I only cook to get by, feeding myself and Nunu. Nunu wasn't fussy. She likes my food. She likes pastas and soups and stir-fried all in one dishes.

But now, *sobs* Nunu dah pandai.  Nunu nak tomyam. Nunu nak makan assam pedas. Nak yang Mama masak.

There. Mama masak. This dish really is ass-kicking marvelous. The sort yang tak malu nak bagi mak mentua makan. Don't play-play. First time I heard of ikan seludu though, recommended by the abang fish-monger. This recipe was from my Singaporen friend, Trin. If it wasn't for Trin's husband, I don't think I'll ever learn how to make this. So I owe a lot to these two people.


  • a few pieces of ikan, best are stingray (pari) or tenggiri, but I had only ikan seludu
  • 5-7 lady fingers
  • 1 large tomatoes (cut into 6)
  • 1/2 cup tamarind juice (asam jawa)
  • a stalk of bunga kantan and some daun kesum
  • 4 tbs cooking oil
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass (bruised)
  • salt and sugar to taste
  • 20 dry chillies *
  • 2 large onions *
  • 3-4 pcs garlic *
  • 2 cm ginger *
  • 2 cm tumeric *
  • toasted shrimp paste (belachan) *
  • 3 cups water
* Grind to a paste
  1. Heat oil and saute grounded ingredients and lemongrass until fragrant.
  2. Add stingray, tamarind juice and water. Let it boil and stir regularly.
  3. Add tomato, daun kesum, bunga kantan and lady fingers. Add salt to taste.
  4. Lower heat and let it simmer until vegetables are cooked.
  5. Serve hot with rice.

So, moral of the story is, yes, I've always had it in me. I'll only have to keep cooking more frequently from now on. And yes, the main reason for posting this is to gloat. Oooh come on, can't a woman be proud of herself once in a while? Bukan ada orang puji pun, so angkat bakul sendirilah!

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011


It's anniversary time. No, no, it's not the kind that you might think, it's our car's anniversary that's coming up. I've just serviced my car (which I should have done since last November). Our Latio is three years old come April and I've gotta spare some cash for the road tax and insurance. So much for an anniversary gift, huh?

But our dear old Honda Civic, the car my husband's driving, hasn't been maintained for almost a year now. I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with the head gasket. We need to find a good mechanic to tell us why the car is clanking suspiciously. Other than that, the car's been running well despite the beat up exterior. Oh, did I mention the road tax and insurance for that car expired a few days ago and we haven't renewed them?

Our autoshops here in the village is not like the Los Angeles auto repair or something. It will be handy if we could use a website to estimate the cost of repairing the vehicle ourselves and get useful tips and info as well.


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