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Thank god for places like these! April 30, 2007

Posted by asianpixmen in Culture, Food, India, Malaysia, People, Places.
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Malaysia is  a glorious paradise as far as food is concerned. The above two pictures of those of a eating joint near my work place.

It serves up a storm as far as lunch and breakfast menus are concerned. Many a time duriing the day, office workers make a beeline for this place to have a drink or a bite.

The third picture is that of a stall selling Myanmar food. Considering the number of Myanmar workers who are now woworking in Malaysia, it is only natural that sooner or later some of the Myanmar people will set up stalls selling dishes that will remind these people of their own home.

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Yesterday’s things are today’s treasures April 26, 2007

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Craft, Malaysia, Miscellaneous, Places.
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Some people like new things. They visit new tourists spots, new shopping malls, play in new golf courses and enter new cineplexes. I am one of those oddballs who prefer old things.

I browse around old towns, old hallways, old institutions and old shophouses. One day, not so long ago, I was wandering in the vicinity of Campbell Street/Cintra Street area in Penang.

I came upon this old shop which looked like it had seen better days. Walking in, I found its walls were adorned with old things. These were the items that were considered new in my grandfather’s time.

Naturally, I was fascinated. It was like being in a time machine going backwards to the days when bullock carts were still common in Penang. I had almost expected to see some pig-tailed coolies along the road.

 The charm of the shop’s interior was unmistakable. I was thrilled and feeling like a man from the future. The flavour of the days of yore was prevalent. The atmosphere in the shop was one of sentimentality, nostalgia and forgotten charm. Somehow I wish there were more shops like this one. It reminds me of my ancestors who came to this land with nothing but the shirts on their backs.

   Because of their toil, blood, sweat and tears, I am where I am today. Their sacrifices in that instant were remembered and appreciated. God rest their souls.

Sometimes man lives on alone … April 24, 2007

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Culture, Food, Malaysia, Places.
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Please, ladies and gentlemen, give me a moment. I really must extoll the virtues of this small bread factory in the heart of Bukit Mertajam. It “saved” many a dining day for me back about 17 years ago when I was staying in Taman Bukit Indah, next to the old St Anne’s Church.

Kamalia Bakery, as it is still called, has some of the finest freshly baked bengali roti I have ever come across. Only those of us who were privileged to remember the bengali bread of yore can praise it sky high.

These days, you can still find some remnants of what it used to be bengali roti but there are few places you can get a taste of the real McCoy. Bengali roti tastes best when you dip it in hot curry chicken. Forget the rice, just grab the roti.

The last time, I passed by Kamalia Bakery, I bought 12 loaves. All for a grand sum of about RM8.9o. Pretty cheap, eh?! That’s the charm and magic of small towns like Bukit Mertajam. It may not have the great shopping malls found in Klang Valley but there are still advantages that places like BM has that can’t be found in the cities.

April 22, 2007

Posted by asianpixmen in Craft, Culture, India, Malaysia, Places.
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The island of Penang has been home to a lot of people whose ancestors came from India, China, Indonesia and other faraway places.

With their permanent residence in Penang stretching to decades, maybe even centuries, they set up businesses and along with that they also introduced wares that are common or interesting in their once homeland.

Above are two pieces of cloth that can easily be adorned on home walls. They are the images of the Buddha and the other a Hindu God. Very colourful, especially when the sun acts as a backdrop.

It was an interesting display of colours that brighten up an old passageway that is part of the old Penang.

The most peaceful place on earth April 20, 2007

Posted by asianpixmen in Malaysia, Miscellaneous, Places.
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It is normal practice among many Asians to visit cemeteries during certain times of the year. For the Chinese, it is during the Cheng Beng period. For Christians, it would be the All Souls Day.

What would strike a visitor to this place is its serenity. Here in the hallowed grounds of the departed, everybody’s equal. The human body afterall is biodegradable. It’s the memories that live on. Most of us would rather retain the happy ones.

 I am constantly reminded by the tombstones and the dates on them that eventually all of us have to check out of Hotel Earth. Our earthly possessions, all our cash, shares, bonds and other toys will have to be left behind. It is a sobering thought.

Perhaps then, we shouldn’t be too concerned about how many cars or houses that we can acquire in our natural lifespan and concentrate a bit more on the intangibles, like love, compassion, kindness and simply being nice to other people for no reason at all.