Sunday, October 18, 2020

Here We Go Again!



Unfortunately, we find ourselves at the start of another partial lockdown again due to a sudden resurgence of Covid-19 cases in my country. 

Our government enforced the Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order (TEMCO) in high-risk areas and my suburb is one of the hot spots.

This really sucks! 

When will this nightmare ever end?

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Phat Phong, Kaddu, Labu

The monsoon season has started and the cooler temps almost feel like fall over here in my corner of the world.

And fall screams PUMPKINS to me!

There's nothing like a hot and spicy pumpkin curry to warm hungry tummies on a cold day.

Here are my favourite pumpkin curry recipes to share.



Gaeng Paed Phat Phong  (Red Curry Pumpkin)


Kaddu Ki Sabji (Pumpkin Masala)


Masak Kuning Bayam & Labu (Spinach and Pumpkin Yellow Curry)

Happy fall y’all !

Sunday, October 4, 2020

A Dinner Treat

My younger son Rodney treated the hubs and me to dinner to celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary.

Rodney is in his final semester of university and the money came from the voice-over gigs he has been doing part time. 

We are so proud of this young man that we have raised and truly appreciate his sweet and thoughtful gesture.


Thank you, son!

Ah, the rollercoaster ride that is parenting!

During those teen years, he and his elder brother were a constant challenge to my patience and a full-on attack on my sanity!

 YES, parenting is the toughest and most rewarding job you'll ever have.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Balloon Girl

 This mural grabbed my attention when I was ambling around the Straits Quay promenade. 

I thought the artist's style was vaguely familiar. 

Turned out, I was right. The artist is Lithuanian Ernest Zacharevic of international fame.

I find the artist's signature style of involving real props in his street art fascinating.

From the archives (2013)

More photos here.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

How to order Kopi 101

Me : Kopi-O *satu, Kopi-Ping satu, Kopi-Cham satu, Kopi-Si satu.

Waiter: Okay, boss!

 *satu in Malay means one.
A typical kopitiam 

Yep, that was coffee lingo and I had just ordered black coffee for myself, iced coffee with condensed milk for hubby, coffee+tea for Josh and coffee with evaporated milk for Rodney in a Malaysian kopitiam (coffee shop).

Suffixes to the word 'Kopi' are codes to indicate to the waiter how you like your coffee.

O = black with sugar

Si = with sugar and evaporated milk

Cham = with tea  Yes, coffee mixed with tea for those who can't make up their mind and want both!

Ping  = with ice

Kosong = without sugar

Kaw = extra strong

These codes can be interchangeably used for 'Teh' (tea in  Malay). 

So if you want a cup of black coffee with ice, you would say Kopi-O-Ping!

And if you don't want sugar in it, say  Kopi-O-Ping-Kosong!

Now you can order your coffee or tea like a boss in a local kopitiam!

Interestingly, kopi or tea without ice is always served in this standard ceramic cup and saucer set with the traditional Chinese green floral design in all old-school kopitiams wherever you are in Malaysia.

Sunday, September 13, 2020


My younger son Rodney volunteered at an animal shelter recently with a group of his former high school classmates.

Together, they bathed 200 + dogs!

Meet Snoopy, one of the dogs at the shelter.

Isn't he adorable!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Hungry Ghosts

Oh, oh, it's that time of the year again when the gates of hell are open and  ravenous ghosts are released to wander the earth!

In case you are wondering what the heck I am talking about, you can read about the festival here.

During this period, offerings of candles, joss sticks, food and drinks to fete the wandering spirits are seen on roadsides.

Throughout the entire Ghost Month, several superstitions and beliefs are observed and wandering out after dark (more so when you are alone) is totally taboo, lest you bump into one of  'them' !

Interestingly, I noticed that starving stray dogs do not go near these food offerings in the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival —  they would rather scavenge the trash bins nearby!

You reckon they see something we humans can't see??

Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Writing On The Wall

Patience is certainly a virtue my son, Josh, sadly lacks.

Growing up, Josh had quite a temper and his raging outbursts when things didn't go his way used to cause me great alarm.

I recall a funny (not so funny then) incident that happened when he was little.

Josh was attempting to fly his kite together with his younger brother and cousin when all three kites became entangled.

The boys tried to unravel their strings. While the other two patiently worked on the tangled mess, Josh gave up and threw a hissy fit. He started to shout and stamp about, impatient to get his kite flying again.

We were in my uncle's village and there were chickens running around.

Suddenly, a cockerel that was perching on a fence near Josh started to crow loudly.

"You! Shut up!" Josh yelled angrily at the cockerel!

Several villagers who witnessed the whole incident burst out laughing!

*"Ayam pun kena marah!"  One of the villagers remarked amusedly in Malay.

*Loosely translates as "even the chicken gets scolded"

I was more angry at his bad behavior than amused but looking back, it was pretty hilarious!

You should have seen the look on the cockerel's face!

After the chicken episode, I stuck this wall decal in Josh's room as a daily reminder of his short fuse.
I am happy to say that over the years, he has learnt to tame his temper.

Sunday, August 23, 2020


I love the puzzled look on my city friends' faces whenever I offer to treat them to a bowl of Haw Hee when they visit my hometown. Donkey is the first thing that comes to their minds!

Nope, no donkey is involved!  Haw Hee is merely the name of a noodle dish though I am not certain why it was so named  probably a translation fail from Chinese to English.  But it does have a nice ring to it, don't you agree?

 I think it is uniquely Malaysian.

So far, save for one coffee shop in my neck of the woods, I have never seen any Haw Hee vendors in other parts of Malaysia besides my hometown.

Haw Hee always brings back fond memories of a certain noodle dish from my childhood in the 60s where I grew up. I can't really recall what exactly it was but it tasted very HawHee-ish!

Folks back then called it the "tok-tok" noodle because the hawker would announce his presence by knocking on a bamboo slab with a stick. Tok, tok, tok...

Interestingly, you could tell the different types of noodles sold by the hawkers by their distinct tok-tok rhythms — wanton noodle, fishball noodle, prawn noodle, fried noodle, etc.

Back in those days, people rarely ate out and itinerant hawkers pedaled tricycle food carts and roved in neighborhoods, usually around dinner time.


I still recall the sense of anticipation while my sisters and I waited impatiently at dusk  for the hawker to make his rounds. We would strain our ears to listen for the tok-tok sound. And as soon as he approached our street, we would dash out of the house with our empty bowls, lying in wait for him!

And yes, you were required to bring your own bowl!

To order, you would hand your bowl over to the tok-tok man and state your choice of noodle (glass vermicelli, rice vermicelli, egg noodle, flat-rice noodle, etc)

He would then drop the noodle in a wire-mesh basket and blanch it in a pot of boiling water.

Next, the cooked noodle would be placed into your bowl and topped with a fish dumpling, slices of fishcake  and several types of fishballs. The tok-tok man would snip the larger fishballs into bite-size pieces with a pair of scissors.

Lastly, he would fill up the bowl with steaming fish broth, a sprinkling of scallion slices and a dash of pepper.

And we would gingerly carry our piping hot bowls of tok-tok noodle back into the house!

Not an easy feat for a child, mind you!

And usually, by the time we reached the dining table, much of the broth would have been spilled!

I was ecstatic when I stumbled upon the following video on YouTube!


Sunday, August 16, 2020

You Die, I Die

Malaysia imposes a fine of RM1000 for not wearing masks in public.

This notice outside a grocery shop made me smile!

Literal translation from Malay

                                               IF YOU DON'T WEAR

                                                         YOU DIE

                                                            I DIE

                                                EVERYBODY DIE

*Before DIE fined. Gotta pay RM1,000

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Weird Sky

The sky has never quite looked like this before.

It was a  little past 10.00 pm when I took these photos.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Chow Chow

The hubs and I were passing a parking lot when we spotted this friendly chow chow in a pickup truck.

The owner was nowhere to be seen.
We hopped into a pharmacy nearby to pick up some meds and according to the pharmacist who was attending to us, the dog in the truck is a familiar sight in this part of the neighbourhood.

Apparently, the owner stops by regularly to run an errand while the dog waits patiently in the truck!