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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Rice Dumpling Day

Last Thursday, 25th June, was Rice Dumpling Day aka Dragon Boat Festival.

More info about the festival here.

Pre Covid-19, we would be practising the tradition of dumpling exchange with our neighbours, friends and relatives. All the cousins would gather at my elderly aunt's house for a dumpling feast to savour the different versions of our fruits of labour.

For the first time this year, we decided to give the custom a miss. Instead, we stayed home to enjoy our store-bought dumplings.

The tradition of making these dumplings dates back more than 2000 years!

I can never get used to the element of surprise in uncovering these bamboo leaf-wrapped treats. You never know what 'gems' are buried in each parcel as the fillings vary from cook to cook.
Sweet, savoury, spicy, pillow-shaped or triangular, cream-colored and yes, blue(!), the dumplings are made of glutinous rice and packed with an assortment of fillings, from oysters to abalones to durians!

The *Peranakan blue ones are tinted with a natural dye that comes from the butterfly pea flower.

*Peranakan - A sub-ethnic community of Malay-Chinese ancestry.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The New Normal

Finally, after being holed up in my own house for 90 days, I stepped outside and into our car for the first time!

At last, we were able to make that long awaited road trip back to my hometown to visit my parents whom I hadn't seen since lockdown.

Thankfully, my parents are fine. Angels had been looking out for them during the curfew. Strangers left food and essentials on their doorstep. A neighbour who fell out with them years ago even sent food over!

I guess you can say it took a pandemic to mend their feud of more than 10 years and over some silly tree if my memory serves me correctly!

The pandemic is not only healing the earth but it is also patching up broken relationships.

It has brought out the worst and best in people.

Navigating this new normal was initially awkward but I am adapting.

Masking in public is the law.

A masked society is somewhat freaky.

It's like living in a world without smiles.

Dining out and shopping are no longer what they used to be. At the entrance of every business premise, temperatures are taken and customers are required to leave their names, contact numbers and temperature readings either by scanning the QR code on their phones or by filling up a log book. Those who don't abide by the rules are denied entry.

I accept that these procedures are necessary for contact tracing but I am not at ease with the privacy trade-off.  I dread the thought of a security breach.

Dining out and indulging in the foods we had been craving since lockdown
Hubby's favourite meal of Ayam Goreng Berempah

Sambal Stuffed Fish

Hakka Noodles

Celebrating Father's Day in our favourite restaurant that has just reopened for dine-ins
X marks the spot where you can't sit

Yes, it was a bit strange walking into my favourite noodle shop  half of the tables in the shop had disappeared!

And it felt odd and absurd sitting with my family with empty chairs between us at a table marked with red Xs. When a fellow diner glanced in our direction, I flashed a smile at her. It was kinda sad that she couldn't read my facial expressions behind the mask 'cos a smile always makes two. And I'm accustomed to smiling at folks most of the time.

Sunday, June 7, 2020


This is what I woke up to this morning.

The front page of our local newspaper.
Our MCO (Movement Control Order) that was implemented on the 18th of March became the CMCO (Conditional Movement Control Order) when certain restrictions were lifted and now we have the RMCO (Relaxed Movement Control Order).

We are on the road to recovery!

I don't want to jinx it but I think we might have flattened the curve.

Our borders are still not open for travel but meanwhile, I'd like to share with you this award-winning video and let you take a peek into my corner of the world.