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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.