Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Wedding Lunch at Skudai

Last Saturday, I went to a wedding lunch at Restaurant Pekin Sutera Utama, Skudai. It seems that Johor Bahru folks nowadays prefer to hold their wedding receptions at Skudai, which is about 20 minutes' drive from JB town, to get away from the perennial traffic jams and parking problems.

Chinese weddings have become elaborate affairs for those who can afford them. There were more than a hundred tables, which meant more than a thousand guests were invited. It was supposed to start at 1.00 pm, but like all Chinese wedding receptions, it only got moving at about 2.15 pm. Of course guests who came with empty stomachs could make a beeline to the lobby where light refreshments were served, if baked oysters, one of the items served, are considered light. They disappeared as fast as they appeared; only the empty shells littered the small tables.

The lobby of Restaurant Pekin Sutera Utama at Skudai

Posters of the newly weds adorned the lobby and the dining hall

No expense was spared to celebrate the union

Slide shows of the newly weds in their various poses in a studio were presented

The main table

A large poster of the newly weds forms the backdrop

The live band

An arch along the aisle

The bride smiling radiantly

It is a custom now to provide gifts of sweets or cakes to guests

Friends from Muar

Friends from Batu Pahat

The menu

The cold dish

I don't know what this is, but it is delicious

Now, this is special; it's called Hakka seafood pot. The first layer comprises prawns, broccoli topped with shark fin. The second layer contains braised sea cucumber, belly pork and duck legs. The third layer has dried oysters, and Chinese cabbage, dried scallops and black mushrooms

The Hakka seafood plate

Hongkong style steamed fish

Deep fried chicken with prawn crackers

In case you are still hungry, you can have the steamed lotus leaf rice

Lastly the dessert of longans and sea coconut

Longans and sea coconut in syrup

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Rojak English

I was amused by a reader of a blog who took a swipe at the anglophiles and those who insist that English should be spoken and written as it should be. This is Manglish at its best (or worst?):

Wah, you so terror one, ah? Your English so good meh? Don’t simply see people no up lah. Your father got money, can send you go overseas to study, but don’t be so LCLY lah. We poor people, got no money, some more cannot get scholarship, how to go overseas? Go Singapore also cannot. Can get to study here, lucky already. Some more you want to compare.

People like you, they call ‘kacang lupa kulit’. Aiyah, so sorry, you educated in west. You can read Malay or not? It means, the bean forgot the skin lah. English say forgot the roots lah. Where you learn your English? Not Malaysia ah? Just because you study in west and can write and speak little bit like Mat Salleh (aiyoh, sorry again, this time it mean Kwailoh), you think we local graduate all useless one.

US graduate also same lah. Last time I got two staff, both graduate from University of Oklahoma City. Engineer some more. Their English is so bad, I tell you, if you read, you sure laugh one. I think my English is bad one but their one is worse.

When I ask them, they tell me their SPM English, they only get C4 and then some more, dare not take Cambridge O Level English paper. I said, no wonder lah so bad. I wonder how they can graduate from US university if their English is so bad one. Of course, I didn’t tell them that lah. Give them face mah, also I don’t want to make them angry, otherwise they wallop me, I die.

So, what you get for English SPM? You got take Cambridge O Level English or not? I think if you got take this exam, sure score A1 one.

I only get A1 in English SPM and A2 in Cambridge ‘O’ Level English. And I never study in Mat Salleh school before. So, ‘Phai Say’ lah….

Tomboys protest against fatwa ruling

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters)- Malaysia's police, who have recently cracked down on dissident bloggers and broken up anti-government demonstrations, say that protests over an edict against Muslim women wearing trousers are a security threat.

Mainly Muslim Malaysia's National Fatwa Council recently issued a religious ruling that wearing trousers was un-Islamic.

It said that, by wearing trousers, young girls risked becoming "tomboys" who became sexually active.

That move triggered small protests later from two non-Muslim non-government organizations -- Katagender and Food-not-Bombs.

"I'm warning them and will take stern action as it involves national security,"Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan told reporters Thursday, according to the state-run Bernama news agency.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Senggarang Coffee

Yesterday, a reader of my blog gave me a call to find out where he could get wood picture frames. He also wanted to know whether Tongkang Pechah coffee is still sold at the main market. Tongkang Pechah coffee? Never heard of it, but it must be quite well-known as this reader, Mr Chan, is from Johore Bahru. Anyway, he requested me to find out and buy some for him as he is coming up to Batu Pahat today. So I went to the main market searching for this man selling coffee. It is actually a mobile stall that grinds and sells white coffee which is from Senggarang and not Tongkang Pechah. This type of coffee is lighter in colour than the traditional coffee normally favoured by drinkers. But Senggarang coffee has caught on in popularity recently. This man took over from his father who had been selling it at the same place for the last 30 years.

According to him, his coffee beans are roasted over a wood fire which is much better than beans roasted using gas. He roasts his coffee at Tongkang Pecah, his home, which is near the source of his wood supply.

The stall in the main market

The coffee seller

The coffee grinder

The grounded coffee goes into a tin

One and a half kilos of white coffee at RM 20.00 per kilo

Thursday, 20 November 2008

"Vallina Ice-cream Puzzled General Motors"

That's the trouble when we are merely consumers of technology: we are completely helpless when things break down. When my astro remote died on me, I thought buying a new one would solve the problem. It didn't work even after following the instructions on how to set the remote. Now it is collecting dust.

The other day, the car battery died on me at my friend's office. I thought it was the connection; knocked on the battery terminals a few time thinking that it was the accummulation of 'white powder' cutting off the connection; nothing happened. Since the battery was installed only a few months back, I thought it could be an ignition problem, as the horn was completely soundless. It wasn't, it was the battery. Then the man brought along a battery fit for a BMW. To cut the story short, I went back to the shop and told them I didn't need such an expensive battery for my old junk.

My internet connection is still down and I have not bothered to call Telekoms to fix it, preferring to use my friend's office's connection; for the air-con of course. When you call them up, they say they will serve you within 24 hours, which means you are trapped the whole day in the house waiting for them to call you. And when they called you they told you they couldn't find your house. That's what happens when we are consumers.

You must be wondering why I am posting this. Well it is just to lead you to reading a true story posted here: Vanila ice-cream puzzled General Motors.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

At long last, a much smoother ride

These past two weeks, the Public Works Department has been stripping street after street of their layers of asphalt for resurfacing. It appears that all the major streets in the town are to be resurfaced. The residents are in for a smoother ride soon.

The police too will soon have their new quarters which is being built on its existing site, which is diagonally opposite the police station.

Jalan Jenang

Jalan Abu Bakar

Jalan Sultanah

The new police quarters

Sunday, 16 November 2008

"Welcome back, Ameria"

He cried as he watched Obama's victory speech in Grant Park. That's how much America has meant to him.

In an open letter to the people of America, Huzir Sulaiman paid a glowing tribute to her people:

When a lanky unknown named Barack Obama galvanised the 2004 Democratic National Convention with his keynote address, we listened closely to what he claimed to be the true genius of America, “an insistence on small miracles”:
  • That we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm
  • That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door
  • That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe
  • That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted, at least most of the time.
Once again, we are ready to say that we love you, America, for all that you have meant to us in the past, and for all that you can be to the world in the future.

Treat us with respect. Live up to your own ideals. Value the dignity of our lives as much as you value those of your own citizens. Walk tall, but let us walk with you.

Thank you for coming back, America. We’ve missed you.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Can of Worms

I just love these two images. The can of worm is taken from Malaysia Today; the other from ksl svc.stanford.edu

They seem to typify Malaysian politics lately.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Aluminium Furniture and Cabinets Anyone?

I recently paid a visit to an aluminium furniture company, Ideal Imperial, belonging to a friend. It specializes in making customized furniture, closets and kitchen cabinets.

Aluminium glass and fibre glass doors

Kitchen cabinet in gleaming black finish

Made to measure wall cabinets

The aluminium cabinets come in any colour of your choice

An aluminium shelf

A shoe cabinet

A dining table and chairs in black finish

Aluminium ceilings that come in various wood grains


Ideal Imperial sdn bhd
No. 20-1, Tanjong Laboh
83000 Batu Pahat
Johor, Malaysia.

Tel: 607-4312222
Fax: 607-4324222

"Shssssh...its exam time"

"Rush hour rescheduled, flights changed for crucial South Korea exam. Education authorities said about 590,000 students sat the day-long exam at nearly 1,000 centres. To prevent cheating, they were banned from carrying electronic gadgets such as mobile phones or MP3 players".

When I was taking my exam eons ago, my mother prepared kidney and liver soup for me every morning, which was fortified by Brand's Essence of Chicken which supposedly increased my physical and mental powers to go that extra mile. The kidney and liver were not completely cooked so as not to destroy their nutrients. Fortunately, she never fed me with pig-brain soup. As a double protection, I had to drink a bowl of water containing ashes of talisman paper and keep a folded one in my wallet for good luck.

South Korean parents' anxiety over their children's performance in college examinations is no less different from parents the world over. But in South Korea's case, it seems their world comes to a temporary standstill to provide these students the optimal condition and encouragement to do well in their exam.