Sunday, December 12, 2010

My other Blog...

Folks, this is  my other Blog; Click on Pak Idrus's Post  to get there.

I am slowly moving to this new blog and hope that folks who frequent my blog would bookmarked it for easy reference. Thanks.

Have a nice day.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A nutritious Vegetarian curry; Dalca...

Above is one of our favorite; a Vegetarian Curry that we call Dalca. It is great with Bread or Roti Canai or with rice.

Have a nice day.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A nutritious simple dish...

I love this simple dish. It is a combination of poached eggs in coconut milk with cut long beans, to add to the nutrition. It is a dish that could be done in an instance. Taken with steamy white rice and Sambal Belacan [Chilly shrimp paste sauce] and Anchovy fried with chilly sauce it does made great lunch. One of my grand kids often asks grandma to prepare this dish, his favorite and he would really enjoy his meal of white rice with this dish. I did enjoy watching him finished his plate of rice. Folks it is just a simple dish and its does make the family happy at lunch or dinner time.

Have a nice day.[click image to enlarge]

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An elegant white!...

It was one of those days. I went to the little garden and watch all the greens grow. It has been my morning ritual and I am happy doing it. It is one of those things that made me happy: taking care of the plants in the garden kept me busy in the early hours of the morning or in the late hours of the evening. With time on my sides I often take it easy and while the time away careless of the happening around me. Enjoying every moment in the garden, watching the ants running around doing it business, watching the little birds perching and tweeting on the branch. And at time saw that elusive squirrel of mine comes to eat the fruits that I had left on the plate on the top of the fence. It now more friendly but still elusive. They say it would be friendlier as time passes. Sometime while doing the gardening it rains. It does not matter for my little garden is under a translucent roof. I love to see the pattering of the raindrops on the roof and enjoy the coolness that rains bring to the humid tropical temperature. In a way the garden rejuvenate me and I often felt fresh and happy. That is why the garden means so much to me. It gives me that green atmosphere as well that rural feels that is not easy to get living in the city. This little garden gives me that touch of the rural. It is a place that inspire me to wild my thoughts and at time daydreams. This morning while browsing the garden I saw this little white flower. The branch of the flower sat on the leaf of a fern above the fish pool. It was just one tiny flower and yet it looks so elegant on its own. I did enjoy that brief moment looking at it. I snap it up and sharing it here for everyone to enjoy. Have a nice day.[click image to enlarge]

Friday, November 26, 2010

A bright Friday morning...

Woke up to a beautiful Friday morning and I took a walk outside the house and enjoy the fresh air and watch the insects enjoying it morning breakfast on the nectar of the yellow flowers. I felt good. That freshness of the morning air and sun make me happy. I met my neighbor and the Mobil market vendor, chat awhile with them and then took my camera and snap those images about. I did enjoy those flowers and it does made my day. As they say flowers is the keeper of our joy. How true. Have a nice day folks.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Under the weather...

I have been slow in my blogging for a simple reason I had been under the weather lately. It started with a bad stomachache that got worse in the early hours of Friday, so got myself admitted at the nearest hospital for treatment. Since I am not the one who could stay at such an enclosed space in more than three days I decided to get home and continue the treatment from there. I am now taking a rest, ate a proper diet and continue to take the given medicine in a better atmosphere than the hospital, where looking at the greens of my garden alone bring relief and joy and that help in the recuperating process. At this age sickness just comes without notice and I am taking it just a day a time.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Eid Adha...

Happy Aidil Adha folks;. May we continue to enjoy peace and prosperity together. Have a nice day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Whiling the Sunday...

It was a beautiful Sunday folks and I felt good. The sun was out and the sky was blue with patches of cirrus clouds. With that clouds there would not be rain today. It humid as usual but not that hot. I took the Volvo classic out and drove to the gas station and fill her up and check the air pressure of all the tires and then fill it up too. Got it done and move on for a spin around the neighborhood. I turn off the air condition and down the windows and enjoy the breeze of fresh air that rushes into the car. It was indeed refreshing just like the old days when cars are not air conditioned. Then I stop at the nearby stall and had Roti Canai and Teh Tarik, the all Malaysian favorite breakfast combines. I sat there and enjoy that snacks and then a friend came by and ordered a takeaway Roti Canai. After a short chat he left to get his morning paper. I then continue to enjoy my Teh Tarik and Roti Canai careless of the happening around me. It was indeed a great week; a few days ago I got a gift of the Amazon Kindle from my youngest daughter who had just returned from the US after attending a Seminar there. It was really nice to get such a gift. With that I now could read e book with ease. Grandma is now at our eldest daughter house taking care of the grand kids while their parent went to do the Haj. So all in all life have been good and I am enjoying it. 

Have a nice day.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Periok Kera @ Pitcher plant...

When I was a kid playing in the bush in between the rubber trees I would come across this  wonderful plant that we call Monkey Pot. It just grows wild and most of the time we would watch how it trapped the insects into it. It is one of the plant that is alive and could trap insects and then the pot's lid would closed. 

As we progress on this plant soon disappears from the bushes. Nowadays it has been breed and grown by farmers and sold in pots for display in garden. I recently bought one and it is now growing in my little garden. 

The images in this posting shows the plants as it grows. Such a unique plant and with the kind of attention I believe this species would live on to enriched the ecosystem of our garden. 

Have a nice day. [These images are taken with Macro lens; click to enlarge]

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Happy Dewali...

Happy Dewali folks. May we all continue to enjoy peace and prosperity together.

Have a nice day.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Of Facebook....

It has been raining folks and the weather has been cool and pleasant. I sat here at the Kopitiam table at the patio and writing this. I thought that for today I would write about the social network in cyberspace, the Facebook. Malaysians are catching up on this new phenomenon in cyberspace and today I believe there are millions of Malaysian on Facebook. I was a bit reluctant to go join in at first but eventually join the gang about a year ago. When I join FB I actually did not know of how it works. I just add anyone who wanted to be my 'friend' and eventually found that it was not a wise thing to do. As I was new into it I have not found the 'hide' and the 'delete' button as yet and because it soon became a nuisance I decided to just closed my FB Account. Actually it takes awhile to learn of how to get out of FB but eventually after many tries I got out of it.

For a while I was not in this social network but then I found at the last year Hari Raya gathering at our home that many of my relatives are in it and ask me to post all those images that I had taken during the Raya. Eventually after much thought I decided to go in again and registered myself again as one of the FB person. So here I am in Facebook for more than one and half years already and still learning the best way of using this media in cyberspace for my advantage. I have been blogging since 2003 and am well verse of the pro and con of the culture of cyberspace as far as posting articles or comments and edit my posting, so that when I posted it for public reading it would be a good material to read. And later on enjoy the exchange of comments as its come. Unlike Blogging where we at time discuss in the comment column on the subject of the posting, in Facebook there are really no article but just a brief of one's thought, which would generate discussion. I thought that it is a good place to discuss issues and refreshes our memories of things but then it also has it pitfalls.

Eventually I learned that if I were to get advantage of using Facebook I must be smart in the way I select 'friend' and posted my thoughts as well as comments. It takes awhile before I got the hang of it. Soon I began to delete all those 'friend' that I felt of no use to me and that includes those insincere one. I consider those Facebook friends who refused to put his or her true Personal Profile image and true name or user-name, as person not sincere. Thus I consider them as insincere who want to be in the community but did not want to share personal information like all friends should be. I hope those folks at Facebook see to it that People who registered on Facebook put on their true identity especially their Personal Profile image and Name or User-Name on their Facebook wall. Surely they could develop software that would reject all the images that are not true or computer generated images. Only those who put their true Personal Profile image and true name or user-name be allowed to sign on to Facebook. Those who refused to do so should be rejected outright. As for me I now no longer allows those Cartoon or Avatar folks to be my friends and I have also taken a further action by not posting comments on those wall where there are Cartoon or Avatar participating in the comments columns. I felt it is an insult to my intelligent to associate myself with those insincere people who are so afraid to show their true identity and at the same time want to be part of the community in Facebook.

So folks, Facebook should be treated like a real community in the real world in that it is a place where we could share out thoughts with each other in order to make the community a better place to live and enjoy life. Like the real world it has it set of problems but the culture of a good community remains the same. In the real world we have etiquette whereas in cyberspace we have netiquette and if folks adhered to the rules then things would turn out alright. So be always guarded in whatever one does. So far I am doing alright now but continue to be vigilant on the misuses of the wall of my Facebook. I do not allow people to use SMS language on my wall and anyone using it would be deleted after a warning. I am sticking to a few friends who are sincere rather than having a thousand whom I hardly know or insincere one.

BTW folks there are some 5 millions Facebook user in Malaysia now.... Read this...

Have a nice day

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

That elusive squirrel again....

I sat here at my patio writing this. It was a gorgeous Friday morning with the sun just up. Surfing the net and getting lost in cyberspace, suddenly my eyes caught a moving object in front of me. It was that elusive squirrel looking for food. Most probably did not notice my presence, was taking its time crawling slowing and playing around in my little garden. It crawl slowly and almost came over to me but eventually realized my presence and run away to the other end of the garden.

I then went to the kitchen to get some cut apples and cheese to put it in the empty container hopping that it would come back looking for food at the usual place. Sure enough after a while it came back and happily enjoying it apple careless of my presence.  I have already got my camera at hand and slowly snap as many images as possible while it was enjoying its morning meals. And here I am sharing these images with all to enjoy.

Have a nice day. [Please click on image to enlarge]

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Mat...

Above is an image of a mat made of tropical leaves. It is a kind of the Pandan leaves that grows on the coastal area of the country. It is a piece of hand woven traditional floor covering made by the Malay and use indoor where once the Malay would sit on the floor to chat or enjoy their meals. Nowadays it is used more of as a decorative item to enhanced the floor space.

Have a nice day.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nothing to do today eh!...

Folks I pick this up from a friend Facebook wall and sharing it here for all to enjoy. I think this frame should be in every home of those in their golden years. Maybe we all should try it some days. 

Have a nice day and take care.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Zaharan's world view!...

Saturday October 9, 2010. It was 10:30 AM. I am at  the Seremban R & R area waiting for Zaharan to arrive. I was to pick him up after the Sungei Besi Toll Plaza but he was not there. I call him and he told me that he is in front of the Sapura Building. That mean he is on the wrong road. I had told him specifically to wait for me after the Sungei Besi Toll Plaza between 9:00AM to 10:00AM. There is a KFC there and parking spaces. One does not stop anywhere one like on the Highway. Obviously he does not know there are other highways to the south leading to the North South Highway and did not follow my direction to the later.

I had invited him to go to Malacca with me on October 9, 2010 since I am going there for a meeting. Asmah my spouse is not coming. Just before I left home this morning he call and said that he had overshot the rendezvous place and would wait further up. I then drove the Honda and after the Sungei Besi Toll Plaza start looking for him but he was not in sight. I call him and he told me he is on the side of the road near the Sapura Building. I told him the Sapura Building is not on the North South Highway and there are many parallel roads to the south and that he is not on the proper North South Highway. I told him to take a taxi to the next Rest Area which is at Nilai but he told me that he was riding his bike[Kapcai Motorcycle]. Well obviously I could not turn around and pick him there and told him to meet at the next Rest Area at Nilai. And when I arrived at the Nilai Rest Area I found it was closed for redevelopment and there is no way to stop there and besides it is not a safe place for him to park his bike. I tried to call him but because he was riding his bike there was no way he could talk on the cell phone. At least I know the next time he looks at his cell phone he would see a missed call. I then continue to the next R & R  area which is the Seremban stop. I drove on and eventually got to the Seremban R & R area; found that it is packed to capacity with cars and folks having a break/tea/lunch. I found a car lot and parked my car. Then I got a call from him telling me to hold on. I told him that I am now at the Seremban R & R area and repeatably told him of the place and that I would wait for him here.

So here I am writing this as I wait for him. Well that is what happens when one had not adept to the culture of city living. Probably he thought that it is like Dungun or Kuantan where one could easily turn around but this is a city with millions of cars traveling everywhere at a given time. The North South Highway is always full of traffics and there is only one Sungei Besi Toll Plaza to the south. That is why I told him to wait for me after that toll plaza but it look like he has yet to come to grasp of the culture of living here. It could be my mistake but then I told him specifically to be there. I did that in writing and not through the cell phone. I post a message in his FB so that he got the correct message. Well, as the Malay saying ‘Nasi dah jadi bubor’ translate the ' the rice has become porridge'. Anyway since he insisted that he would catch up with me he rode his bike all the way here at the Seremban Rest Area. I would wait for him here as long as I could and hope that he would arrived at the right spot this time [time now is 10:50AM ] and I am having a Teh Tarik and waiting. Not to waste time I am writing this on my laptop. The Wifi here is not that good so I have to post this when I arrived in Malacca. Well that is what happens when one does not follow direction properly. We are lucky in these days and age in that we have the cell phone and could communicate. Without that there were no possibilities of getting in touch with him. I hope my friend Zaharan, a former lecturer and journalist would understand the culture of folks differs from place to place. That things changes with times and places do change too like that Nilai Rest and Recreation Area where we were planning to meet. It is now in a mess and closed from the public. So like I had related above the Seremban Rest Area is the next best place I could wait for him. And I am waiting here. Eventually he arrived. We had lunch there and then he join me on the trip to Malacca which he had not seen for the last twenty five years. He left his bike at the parking lot and I told him I do not want to know and that on the return trip I had to drop him on the other side of the Highway. I am wondering of how he is going to get to this side of the Highway to collect his Bike but thought that he is big enough to figure it out.

Well folks it is important that one do one's homework before going on any venture especially in a city like Kuala Lumpur. Even the local resident like me who have been living here for almost forty years still got lost if I do not planned my trip well ahead. BTW last September 15 Zaharan was to fly to Taiwan for his first leg of his Cycling Adventure in China. At the eleventh hours he was not allow to board the plane to Taiwan because he did not have a return ticket. So now he has almost aborted that cycling trip to China. I had told him to do all the visa things here in KL before leaving on his trip. Obviously he did not get that message well like this message to pick him up at the Toll Plaza at Sungei Besi. Because of that he had to ride all the way to the Seremban R & R area to catch up with me. Well it look like he had to learn the new culture of living in the city. Interesting eh! This story of Zaharah!!.

The first image shows me waiting for Zaharan at the Seremban R & R area  having Teh Tarik and writing this, whereas the second shows Col.Yap with Zaharan at my condo in Malacca.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The vege in my garden...

I love gardening. During my childhood I used to plant vegetable near our house and enjoy watching it grows. As time passes by I became interested in agriculture and wanted to study agriculture. I was dreaming of going to Australia to study at one of the colleges there. The reason of why I had chosen Australia was because at that time there were ship that ply the Kuantan - Perth route and some of my friends did went to Australia by ship. Besides it was the cheapest way of going overseas at that time. Traveling by plane was but a dream which most folks could never afford. Anyway to cut this story short, my dream never came about. I did not go to Australia to study Agriculture but start working in a government agency to make a living.

During all those years I kept learning about gardening and would plant vegetables and flowers to enjoy seeing the process of growing. My experiences in the Boy Scout movement while camping in the woods and learning the way of nature made me understand the best way of dealing with plants. And that give me more knowledge on of how best to handle nature and get better result in gardening.

I have started a small vegetable garden behind my house and the plant has start growing. Some has even start producing little fruits. It is really nice to see these plants grow from tiny seeds into plants that flowers and producing vegetable. Above are the flowers and baby Bitter Gourde and Zukini or Japanese cucumber that are growing in my little garden.

My kind of gardening is more for recreational purposes and whatever gain I get is a bonus, like getting to enjoy fresh vegetables that you grow it yourself.

Have a nice day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Life.. moving on...

The Ramadan and the Eid Fitri has passed. With that life is back to normal with the normal ritual of breakfast, lunch and Dinner and the occasional tea with friends. Asmah my spouse has been under the weather lately so the kids and grand kids told her to skip the ritual of cooking that she love to do every morning. She has been an active woman all the years and for not been allow to cook, it was not easy for her. Anyhow as to not allowing her to get bored, she did a little cooking with the help of the eldest grand kid. The eldest grand kid has just graduated from the IB program and out of school for now, waiting to continue her study when the semester starts. Other than that the Ramadan was beautiful. Off and on the kids and grand kids was around for Buka Puasa. Then came Eid Fitri on September 10, Lin our youngest daughter came back from Singapore and with that the whole family was around to celebrate the Eid with the usual fun and joy. It was really nice to have everyone around and it felt good to have all the loved one around at this juncture of our golden age. Like most folks in their golden age the kids are on their own now and the house is left to both of us. Where once we hear the cry and laughter of kids, now the atmosphere has changed but as usual we managed to keep ourselves busy by taking the happening a day a time. If we felt like going out to have lunch or dinner or just to shop we would just go to the nearest Mall, like the KLCC, the Great Eastern Mall or the Pavilion. At time we would go as far as the Curve at Damansara where Ikea is nearby. I love Ikea for the innovative ideas of home furnishing and most of the time came home buying new items for the home.

Anyway now that I have most of what I wanted of Ikea, I now concentrate on quality wooden furniture for my love of things made of wood. Just a few days before Eid I bought a teak side table made in Bali. It has a carving of Banana leaf on the top; making it such a unique masterpiece of furniture. I had wanted to buy this table when I first saw it but it was expensive. So I kept postponing buying it and until two weeks ago when I saw one in the furniture shops nearby. It was not on displayed but put up as one of the decorative item. And it was on offer with a special price tag. A few days earlier I had bought two collapsible wooden stools and was hoping to buy that table on my next visit. I told myself that if that table is mine it would still be there when I came for it. Sure enough when I went to have a look, it was still there. I ask how much he would give me for that. The salesperson whom I have befriended for my frequent visit there told me that if I wanted it, I could have it for a special price, sort of an Eid gift to me. With that price I decided to buy it and above is that exclusive teak side table; now my priceless possession. It is an old saying in our culture about furniture, in that the furniture in the showroom awaits its owner. In this instance that furniture has chosen me as its owner. With that folks I am now the proud owner of this piece of a quality teak side table.

Have a nice day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grandparents' Answering Machine...

Folks, I got this on the email. In these days of electronic the function of the phone has change our lives. This may happen when you call your parent's home. BTW I am still using the same old landlines phone and have yet to go totally electronic. Anyway read on...

"Good morning!

At present we are not at home, but please leave your message after you hear the beep.

beeeeeppp ...

If you are one of our children, dial 1 and then select an option from 1 to 8:

If you need us to stay with the children, press 1

If you want to borrow the car, press 2

If you want us to wash your clothes and iron them, press 3

If you want the grandchildren to sleep here tonight, press 4

If you want us to pick up the kids at school, press 5

If you want us to prepare a meal for Sunday or to have it delivered to your home, press 6

If you want to come here to eat, press 7

If you need money, press 8

If you are going to invite us to dinner, or to take us to the theater, start talking ;
we can hear you!"

Have a nice day folks.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Of images; the Peaches...

For today just enjoy this photography of mine; the Peaches, an imported fruits best in the can rather than the fresh one. It does made great dessert after a hearty meals. I just love it.

Have a nice day. [Please click on image to enlarge]

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Happy Eid Fitri...

Selamat Hari Raya [Happy Eid Fitri] folks. May we continue to enjoy peace and prosperity together.

Above is the scene of my little garden.

Have a nice day.

[Note: This year the Eid Fitri fall on September 10,2010]

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Just what's left of a tree...

I took the above image at the Taman Ampang Hilir  [Park] recently. It attracts me simply because I love trees and this one has just been cut down to its stump. From the look of it the tree is still healthy. Probably it has broke down due to strong wind and had to be cut down for the safety of passerby who jog around the jogging path. Anyways folks just enjoy this image which would remind us the important of plants to our lives. Have a nice day.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Awapuhi-ula-ula in my garden...

When I first got this plant which is already flowering, I thought that it would not be easy to grow and multiply it to get more plants and flowers. I did not even know what this plant is call but love the flower anyway. I posted an image of the flower in my blog. A friend who is now living in Bali read the posting and wrote to me saying that this flower is native to Hawaii and that it is call Awapuhi-ula-ula. Since the weather here is somewhat like that of Hawaii except for the humidity, the plant seem to grow well and blooming all the time, giving us that gorgeous flower as seen in this posting.

As usual with me after the first flower wilted and what left are some new shoots I decided to plant the new shoots and nurture it with care. One thing that I had learned in gardening is that one must nurture the plant with loving care. It is that extra loving care that would later on translate into a gorgeous bloom for one to enjoy. While it grows I just enjoy the green of this plant and was hoping that it would eventually blossom. And after a few months I began to see the center of the plant turn from the usual green color to a light red color. It does not look like a flower but just an extension of the leaves. So I kept nurturing it and at the same time feed it with the normal fertilizer that I had used for the other plants. Eventually after months of waiting it blossomed into a flower red in color as seen in the image above. It continues to grow and it stayed a healthy flower for months at time.

With that first experience I decided to plant more of the shoots, one in each pot. Over times I began to have more and more pots of this plant at various stages of growth. What is interesting about this plant is that the flower never seems to fades away and it lasted for two to three months. So by staggering planting the young shoots I managed to get to see the flower blooming all the year around. So now it is common to see this flower bloom all the time in my little garden. On the left are the smaller plant that is still growing and yet to flower. During this period of its growth it kept the surrounding always green; a refreshing looks indeed.

Have a nice day. [Please click image to enlarge]

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Merdeka @ 53 years...

Happy Merdeka Day to all. May we continue to enjoy peace and prosperity...

Have a nice day.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The mind of a child...

Well folks like grandpa, one of my grandson is a blogger too. He is just eight years old, the youngest in the family. A few days ago he was happily telling me of his new posting [August 25 and 26, 2010], which he say is much longer than before. I went over to his blog and have a look and found it to be a brilliant piece of writing for his age. Here it is and I believe you too would enjoy his narration of his thoughts.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gifts from the hearts...

Above is the Birthday Card created for my seventy one birthday. The five grand kids put their heads together and came out with such a unique birthday card, that one could never get at the store. An original card, a creative work by these kids and they did it with loves. I am indeed glad that these wonderful kids are our own.

The Birthday cake, two small one is special too; one with seven candles and the other with just one, making Seventy One. How creative! Instead of putting all the seventy one candles all over the cakes which might look messy, they had two cakes for that and only eight candles. Nice...

It was such a wonderful moment in my life. Grandma and the kids were there too, enjoying another great moment of our lives. I was delighted to get such gifts and from the look of it the kids and grand kids were delighted too. A joyous moment indeed.

Have a nice day.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A beautiful week a beautiful life...

It is the weekend again folks and it has been more than a week of Ramadan, the month Muslim fast during the day. The weather has been helpful in that it rain off and on and kept the temperature down. As usual during this month, the Ramadan Market has sprung up everywhere like mushroom after a rainy night, where one could get varieties of foods and drinks for the Buka Puasa [Iftar]. Personally I do not subscribe to this festival of food during the Ramadan. For me one should not be talking about eating especially been tempted to buy foods when one is hungry. So I do not go to these markets except when I do really need to buy some small items for the Iftar. Otherwise our family break the fast in our own simple way; just by consuming ordinary food like we do everyday of our lives, except that during the Ramadan we often eat much less.

To me fasting during the month Ramadan is a state of mind. It is not about not eating or drinking during the day. It is about self discipline of oneself in going through a changing ritual of living style. That first drink and that first mouthful of food at Iftar made you appreciate more than ever the true meaning of having a drink and eating. Every Iftar became a joyous moment indeed. At the same time enjoying the change in our eating habit; instead of eating during the day, we now enjoy our food during the night. In a way it is good for the physical body; our system get to rest during the day for one month. A sort of a detoxification of the system; preparing to go on working again doing the normal ritual for the next eleven months. Fasting is also an excise of the spiritual side of our being. It is the combination of both the physical and spiritual aspect of our being that fasting could be carried out with ease, every time. The experience of Ramadan would made oneself appreciate living more than ever. Life is indeed beautiful.

About is a scene in our litter garden; a beauty by itself, enhancing our quality of living. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My 71st Birthday...

Well, I am Seventy one years old today August 17, 2010, so Happy Birthday to me.

I am as healthy as ever and enjoying life in my golden years surrounded by my loved one, as well as relatives and friends from near and afar.

May we continue to prosper and enjoy life.

Have a nice day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Air Batu @ Buka Puasa..

It was the writing of fellow Blogger Temuk that triggers my thought to write on this subject. First let me explain the title; in English it would be "Ice @ Iftar during Ramadan".

In the Tropic there is no such thing as a natural ice thus there is no such word in Malay which mean Ice. So when ice was introduced during the colonial era, it was translated as Air Batu which translated as Air [water] and Batu [stone] so it is Water Stone or Stone Water. Thus in Malay Air Batu mean Ice.

In the forties before the coming of electricity and running water folks in the Kampong [village] break their fast during the month of Ramadan by just drinking plain water to go with their food. Ice water was never in their menu until traders in the town start selling ice water. Ice water is where ice cube or broken pieces of ice are place in a glass and plain water is added to it which later became known as Air Batu Kosong or Ice Kosong. So if you happens to be eating at a stall and need to have a plain water with ice, just ask for Ice Kosong and you would get just plain water with ice in it. As years goes by folks in the village soon learn to use ice in the plain water or syrup water and there is where the Air Batu came along and eventually added as a menu at the Buka Puasa. In those days ice is sold in block and for the takeaway it is usually in the size of 1'X 6" X 6”.

It was common for boys to cycle to the town to buy the ice block before the time of breaking of the fast [Buka Puasa]. In our family I would be the one who would cycle and buy the ice block. At the town I would wait as the china man saw the ice block, dump it into a sawdust box and then rap it with old newspaper and tie it with a string. I bought two blocks and tie it to the rack at the back of my bicycle and ride home happy. It was a four-kilometer’s ride and along the way the ice would slowly melted in the tropical heat and drip alongside. By the time I get home one fourth of the ice block would be gone by the melting process. It would be more had I stop to chat with friends along the way. Anyway folks at home would be happy to see me coming back with the two block of ice. My mom would take over the ice and we all wait for the time to Buka Puasa. The first taste of that sweet rose syrup with the ice floating in it made the daily eight kilometer rides worth the while. It does quench your thirst. It is a ritual during Ramadan that I still vividly remember till this day; buying the Air Batu.

Nowadays folks it is a different story altogether, you just walk to the refrigerator and Voila! you would get your glass of cool Air Batu.

On the left is the scene of the happening as sketch by the famous Malaysian cartoonist Lat. The image was taken from Lat's book 'Lots of Lat'

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Of the Pencil and Knowledge...

The Pencil is one of the most versatile writing tools ever invented. No matter how advance our writing tools have progressed, the humble pencil is still in use till these days.

When I first start going to school in 1946, just after the war, there was no pencil around and for writing we were given a Slate and a Slate writer. These are the only tools that we kids had when learning of how to write. Using the Slate writer we would write on the Slate and then we would erase it with a damn cloth or just by using our finger. It was only some years later that our generation of school children were introduced to the pencil, which made it easy to write on paper in the form of book. And till these days I would still use the pencil from time to time to write on paper. Amazing that after all the years and the new inventions of writing tools, like the fountain pen, the ball pen and other tools we still have not let go of the pencil.

It is a simple writing tool and yet it is through using this tool that we had managed to acquire knowledge. From learning to write the first means of calculation to writing words that translate our thoughts into writing, which made it possible for others to read our thoughts. Eventually books are written and printed that could be read by others and preserved as record of our civilization. It all started with this humble and simple tool we call Pencil. Above is an image of pencils taken using the Macro lens.