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Apom – the breakfast of champions! January 18, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Culture, Food, Malaysia, People, Places.
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If you are an ordinary Malaysian who’s constantly on the move and in a hurry, you will bound to come across the ubiquitous apom. Walk into any Indian restaurant in the morning and you will find a worker hard at work flipping the flat, round dough on a mini kuali.

Two is usually enough for a normal office worker but if you are feeling rather ravenous, throw in a roti canai kosong as well. that should do it for the morning, until lunch appears three hours later.

Those of us who have been in and out of various kinds of restaurants and coffeeshops all our lives swear by our apoms on the table that this simple meal has helped keep hunger at bay for many a year. Only in Malaysia, can a person fish RM2 out of his pocket and have a hearty breakfast without breaking out into tears!

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Woof! Woof! And how are you today? January 16, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Craft, Malaysia, Miscellaneous, Places.
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You know what they say about feathered creatures and furred ones don’t mix. Well, boo-hoo to you. This pair are close buddies.

One would have thought that the two creatures would have kicked up quite a ruckus by now but no sirree, they are thick as thieves.

 I found this friendly duo inside a shop in Chee Cheong Kai (Petaling Street in Cantonese). The thought of God’s great creatures, great and small, did pass through my mind several times. How wonderful that lifeforms from the animal kingdom can get along so famously unlike we so-called intelligent beings.

That’s a lesson somewhere there for us all. By the way, both these creatures are made of clay!

Copper tooling at one of its finest January 13, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Craft, Culture, Malaysia, Places.
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I saw this piece of copper artwork during one of my outings at Brickfields. It reminded me of how great is art in the hands of a master.

A cursory glance, though greatly appreciated, revealed in my mind’s eye, the artist’s ability of fine detail. The artwork also exhibited the mastercraftsman’s propensity for an expanded vision of what he had already conceived in his mind.

Fine art like the above can be analysed in two ways. One, it looks great on your wide expanse of a bungalow wall. Two, it shows you have decided to invest a tidy sum in recognition of someone else’s hardwork and artistic skill. Either way, it will be a conversational topic when friends and neighbours drop by for hi-tea.

Look at the price tag, actually it’s not much for a really fine piece of artwork.

Kacang putih – childhood memories are made of these January 13, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Culture, Food, India, Malaysia, Places.
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If you haven’t tried anyone of these kacang putih, you must be from another planet. As a child, there were times when my very physical survival was dependent on the ubiquitous kacang putih.

I almost want to get down on my knees and thank those people who created kacang putih. These days, of course, a small plastic packet of kacang putih, regardless of variety would fetch a ringgit or two.

Back in those bullock-wheel days, a packet of kacang putih (enough to feed two young mouths) cost a princely sum of 10 sen, or sepuloh kupang (if you are from Perak like I am).

Too commercialised, that’s my verdict on the modern development of kacang putih. In the 60s and 70s, kacang putih was done in somebody’s kitchen. Probably, a housewife who was trying to earn some pocket money was doing it in her spare time to buy her children some much needed school books or uniforms.

In those days, we don’t have computers or the Internet, so everything was hard-earned. Adversity builds character and don’t we know it. Kacang putih occasionally turned out to be almost our staple diet. Ahhh… those were the days when life was like kacang, like they say.

Broken stairway to leafy heaven January 10, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Malaysia, People, Places.
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Somewhere at the end of the road along the beach road in Dungun, Terengganu is this rickety, half-broken wooden stairway that leads to a little mound on top of a sandy hill. The place is Taman Bandar Teluk Gandung.

  The UiTM campus is near this place. Located opposite the campus is a row of gerai and warung. The sea is usually wild and the waters untamed. I don’t recall seeing anybody swimming in the waters. I think the locals know better.

Taman Bandar Teluk Gandung is a very long, quiet stretch of finely tarred road that sees light traffic. If you are riding a bicycle, it will do wonders for your peace of mind and body. Keropok ordered will be freshly fried in a wok-ful of oil by the warung owner.

If you are having a meal at a stall facing the sea, the thrill of it all costs nothing but a few ringgit. Better than some of the five-star sea resorts that will only admit you if you don’t look like a bum. Here in this secluded spot in Dungun, you can be a bum and still dine like a millionaire.