Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Big Party - Lantern Festival

Last Sunday (27/9) was Big Party night with a difference. Besides the usual hair-cut, medical check-up and dinner for the community we also celebrated the Lantern or Mooncake Festival.

Our Big Party guests

The sanctuary decorated with lanterns. It was a back-breaking job
wiring the hall for the lights before putting up the lanterns.

We also held a lantern-making competition and there were 12 entries.

Four of entries

More lanterns

The rest of the entries

(L to R) 1st and 2nd runners-up. The white lantern is so pretty
and I especially like the detailing for the boat lantern

The first prize

The main centrepiece was a giant lantern by Wilbur and KB Lai. As you can see these guys are fantastic.

This masterpiece was a joint effort by Wilbur and KB Lai

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Photobooth Experiment

I decided to experiment with Photobooth after my babee showed me how easy peasy it was to take photos with it.

I'm now a convert!

'bee said that I look better with my hair half-tied so here it is, my first photobooth picture especially for her.

Haha, very self-conscious la until face also all senget

Best Crabs Ever

Pam brought me for the best crabs I've ever tasted.

The place is so popular that we had to line up to place our order and then we were assigned our tables.

There were 3 of us and we ordered Salted Egg Crabs, Lotus Root Fried with Celery and Tofu with Minced Meat.

We had to wait almost an hour for the food to arrive but it was worth the wait. We were so hungry that we polished off the super-smooth tofu the minute it arrived. By the time I realized that I had not taken any photos there was only one tiny bit left.

Then the crabs came. They gave us one big crab each and they were really fresh and meaty crabs encrusted in salted egg yolk.

Look at the size of the pincers!

The lotus root fried with celery was served when we were halfway through our crabs. So again no photos.

The timing was definitely wrong because the crabs require our full concentration. By the time we finished with the crabs, the vegetable was already cold.

I was prepared to fork out about RM80 for the meal so I was completely astounded when the bill came to a mere RM52.20!

Restoran Tak Fok Hong Kong Seafood at No. 2-2A, Jalan Desa 1/3, Desa Aman Puri, Kepong, (Tel: 03-6272 3346) will be a regular must-visit eatery for all future KL trips.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Always A First Time

They had a lucky draw at the wedding dinner I attended last night.

Never encountered that before. Is it the trend nowadays?

I Also Want

I don't need it but if it's free then I must have it!

So kiasu.

Ex-SGGS Year 73/75 Reunion Dinner '09

More than 50 of us had our first gathering in more than 30 years on Saturday, 19 September 2009. The theme was Black Magic Women.

When the doors of the lift opened, it was as if the years had rolled back. With a blast of girly chatter, I was back in those school girl days.

The years have been good to us. Most of us have hardly aged at all but memories have failed 'cos we had to go around asking "What's your name?"

When we registered we were each given a school badge.

Our school badge

Then it was time for group photography sessions. We took photos of girls from the same primary school and then in one big group. Later in the evening we took photos class by class.

We had a scrumptious buffet spread from Cititel Penang - Sashimi, oysters and even a bottle of wine for each table. All for RM80 thanks to Dylia who is working there.

There were table draws and our table received school mugs in all sorts of fun colours.

Mug from the table prize

I received a school T-shirt for the lucky draw. The MC told me to wear it to sleep! Is it that embarrassing to wear a school T-shirt at our age?

Mug, school badge and T-shirt

After dinner, Joyce (Mei Lan) sang for us "Leaving On A Jet Plane" and May Wah put up a slide show of the school with great pictures taken by her very talented son, Justin Khoo.

To test our memories, we also had a quiz on personalities and things from our school days.

Then the Singapore girls presented an item "Singapore Twist." Actually they were hardly 2 minutes into the song before they started dragging everyone down to join them on the dance floor.

Later on we had a ball learning a dance which May Wah taught us. We proofed to be quick learners for dames over 50 'cos we got into the swing of things effortlessly.

There was a lot of catching up to do and exchange of phone numbers and emails. Then we sang the school song. TWICE.

Wow! The feeling of pride and solidarity is still strong after all these years.

St. George's! St. George's!
We'll always be true
Our dear St. George's Girls' School!

The school song was composed in 1969, the year we entered Form 1. If I am not mistaken, the music was by famous Penang composer Jimmy Boyle, whose wife was a teacher in our school, and the lyrics was by Mrs Dorothy Tan, our English teacher.

Those were the days.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Do You Know... (5)

that kueh kapit or love letters are of Chinese origin?

If that is so, then what were they called in Chinese? When and why did they become known by the Malay name kueh kapit?

Anyone care to solve the mystery?

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Yup, cos I'm with my babee!

Hardly any traffic all the way down to KL. Driving down would have been a breeze.

Aeroline made it to 1U in 3½ hours! They usually take 4 plus to 5 hours.

21st Century Mooncakes

The traditional ingredients for moon cakes used to be red bean paste, lotus paste, and mixed nuts, with the addition of a salted egg yolk or two for variety and additional flavour. Nowadays the bewildering array of flavours available is enough to make decision making a nightmare.

Flavours like green tea or pandan are still close to the traditional flavours. Tiramisu, mocha or chocolate are sweet and therefore still acceptable. But sambal udang?


I don't mind trying out these new flavours but not at my expense. I'll gladly accept if someone offers me a bite but don't expect me to spend more than RM10 on a mooncake just to test out some weird combination of flavours.

Flavours may come and go but I believe the traditional favourites will continue to be perennial best-sellers as long as there are people like me around. I always end up buying the white lotus paste single yolk variety, which is my all time favourite.

Strange and unfamiliar flavours aside, what I like best about mooncakes nowadays are their lovely packaging. In the past mooncakes are presented in a simple box illustrated with flowers or a fairy. Very predictable and boring.

These days the packaging can be converted into tissue boxes, toilet roll dispensers and even jewellery boxes. Other include a packet of tea, tea-cup or some other item as a gift set. For those who still maintain the square box, they have improved on their designs.

Since mooncake quality is about the same from shop to shop, every year we would make our choice of mooncake for distribution to our clients based on the packaging. This year we picked Kam Lun Thai.

See for yourself the simple and elegant design on the boxes.

A very pleasant orange box

Gray for the men

A very striking magenta on lime green

Even the paper bag is a keeper.
Note: The gift tag is by Ken Ray.

FYI, Jusco offers 10% discount for all J card members. A real good deal.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We Are So Banana

We, English-educated overseas Chinese, seldom realize how "banana" (yellow outside but white inside) we are. Then something happens to give us a jolt and then, my oh my, our true colours are revealed.

Take, for example, what happened last night.

Blooper No. 1

Hubby and I were commenting during cell fellowship that the relatively light traffic that evening came as a surprise to us because we were anticipating traffic jams due to the long Hari Raya break. In fact we were too early for cell meeting even after taking a makan angin drive around the neighbourhood.

We offered a number of reasons for the lack of vehicles on the road. First, the Muslims were at home breaking fast. Second, Taoist Chinese families would be busy praying because it was "s'nar chap meh".

This was in reference to the last and 3oth night of the seventh lunar month which was also the month of the hungry ghosts. The term seemed appropriate to us until someone pointed out that the correct term should have been "guaik buey" (lit. end of the month in Hokkien) because "s'nar chap meh" is only used specifically for Chinese New Year's Eve when it falls on the 30th day/night of the twelfth and last lunar month of the year.

Wah! So particular wan.

Blooper No. 2

The conversation continued and I proposed that we have a mooncake celebration on a cell meeting which falls nearest to "chap goh meh" (lit. 15th night in Hokkien).

I was referring to the mooncake festival which falls on the 15th night of the eighth lunar month and again someone corrected me saying the "chap goh meh" is a reference specific only to the last night of the Chinese New Year celebrations which falls on the 15th night of the first lunar month.

The mooncake festival is referred to as "pehk guaik chap goh" or 15th day of the lunar eighth month.

Two bloopers in one night and all centred around the same topic. Very fail.


We are Chinese but sometimes it's the nitty-gritty stuff that shows how un-Chinese our worldview is.

Where To Start

It's been so long since I last blogged. Where other bloggers suffer from verbal diarrhoea, I am afflicted with verbal constipation. I've so much to say but unable to get anything out.

The problem is not knowing where to start. Chronologically or in order of importance?

I think I'll just have to write whatever catches my fancy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pengkalan Hulu Trip (12 September 2009)

Last Saturday was our home cell's 6th anniversary.

Instead of the usual feasting we decided to be a blessing to the folks at Pengkalan Hulu instead.

We budgeted RM1,600 for the bus + food for the people + offering for the pastor but collected a total of RM1,900! God is so good.

That's me with Vatthira (left) and Junika (right).
They are sisters and are of Siamese descent.

This little kiddo stole our hearts.

The kiddo and his teenage mom. They marry at the age of 15!
We met one 41 year old lady
who is pregnant with her 13th child.

Pastor Low interpreting hubby's message on the salt of the earth

Pengkalan Hulu is situated on higher ground so
there are lovely flowers
due to the cooler climate.

That banner, at a Pasar Ramadhan in Baling town,
was a reminder to us that we were in unfamiliar territory

The famous Baling hills - Chin Peng's hideout

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Night at the Opera

A Teochew opera, that is, and all the way from China.

I was hit by a wave of nostalgia in those few minutes when we stopped by a teochew wayang performing at the Batu Lancang Road Market for sis to take some photographs for her project.

The theatrical make-up, the the high pitched singing, the dazzling costumes and the scent of joss-sticks transported me back to those by-gone days when we would park ourselves in front of the opera stage whenever the lunar 7th moon comes around.

We didn't understand what they were singing but we could roughly guess what was going on. We were more captivated and impressed by the spectacular costumes, the stage make-up and the stylized moves of the actors.

The Chinese opera is one of our cultural heritage and it would be great if someone could write a Chinese opera in English or one of the Chinese dialects. Just imagine transforming the parable of the prodigal son into Chinese opera. Awesome!

After all, the cultural background of the Bible is oriental so maybe it's about time we intentionally make the medium, other than language, for the communication of the gospel message oriental as well.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Natural Botox

I read this today: To prevent sagging skin, eat till the wrinkles fill out.

So if you're looking for a natural botox treatment, just "plump up" a bit when age catches up on you.

Unfortunately it is very hard to juggle the "a bit" part. Most people end up with too much, and all at the wrong places.

That's the context for conversations like this:

Two women are talking on their daily walk. One says, "It's really hard to lose weight as I get older. I remain apple-shaped no matter what I do."

"I know. I exercise all the time and there's still too much fat. Funny how you have your weight in the stomach. Mine is on my backside and thighs."

"It's true. The lard works in mysterious ways."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dressing for the Weather

It was cloudy this morning when I was picking clothes for the day so I opted for something warm. Then, while I was having breakfast the sun came out and it became unbearably hot. Now it's all cloudy again. Even the weather is indecisive!

I really don't know how to dress for such freaky weather. Sometimes I end up sweltering in warm clothes on a hot day. At other times I end up shivering in skimpy clothes on a cold day. All because of the changing weather.

The best solution would be to layer my clothes. Pile on the layers when the weather gets cooler and remove the layers as the weather gets warmer.

I would never imagine having to go through so much trouble living in the tropics.

Cannot Decide

Firefly, Aeroline, Plusliner or drive?

Firefly to and fro at the moment is RM419.80. Firefly to and Aeroline back is RM302.90. Aeroline to and fro is RM226.00. Haven't checked Plusliner yet but to and fro should be around RM160.

Money aside, driving down gives me flexibility in terms of time and I don't have to be stressed over people being late sending me to or picking me from the airport or bus station.

But then I may have to contend with heavy festive traffic even thought I am going against the flow of the balik kampung crowd.

Too many choices are also a problem.

Update at 6.40pm:

Firefly too expensive. Plusliner all sold out. Hubby against me driving down without him. That leaves Aeroline. Decision made.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Numbering My Days

I am 19, 393 days old today. My days are numbered and so are yours.

Based on an average lifespan of 70 years a person has a total of 25,500 days. What are we doing with our days?

Nowadays, with longer life expectancy, the problem is not a lack of days or time. As Dr Randy Carlson has correctly discerned, "the challenge is to use your time effectively, in a Godly, mature way."

I invite you to find out how many days you have lived using the counter here and to read the accompanying article to find out how important and biblical intentional leisure is for life.


This post is especially dedicated to my babee
who is 9,058 days old today.

May you honor God and enjoy His abundance
as you make intentional leisure a part of your life.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


It is disappointing to discover that men (and women) of God have feet of clay. But having said that, all is not lost, because there are still men (and women) of integrity who seek to do what is good and right in God's sight.

We just have to "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith" (He. 12:2, NIV) and make sure we are found amongst the latter and not the former.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Many people are getting married today. The number nine in Cantonese is pronounced "kau", which is a homophone for part of the phrase "cheong cheong kau kau", which means "forever". So today is an auspicious day for getting married because your marriage is supposed to last forever!

On the other hand, some people are avoiding this day because 999 is the emergency call number!

It all depends on whether you're a half-cup full or half-cup empty person.

Friday, September 4, 2009


When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

Gotta get tough first before there's any going to be done.