Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Goreng Pisang

Goreng pisang taken in the afternoon, wash down liberally with kopi o, in the accompany of family or friends, sometimes over a hot gossip, sometimes over a few raw jokes... What else can nearly beat it?

A House From Muar

A friend of mine, on many occasions voiced out of his intention to build a so-called "istana hinggap" on his farm, which is quite some distance from his residence. Partly as a place to rest during his kebun time, partly as a preparation for his retirement days. Though he specifically mentioned the Terengganu old houses are his model of choice, l repeatly opposed that idea and suggested that the Melaka, N Sembilan or Muar traditional houses design shall be employed.

Was at Muar recently and came across this old, well maintained rumah pusaka. The "ohh, so nice" feeling was immediately felt... Maybe if l manage to get a few good shoots, l can convince that friend of mine.

Though not relevant, but l remember one old song...
"rumah tepi sawah, pakai langsir warna biru ( in this case, merah)...."

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Baking Kueh

Some years ago, before the advancement of electrical home appliances, most local delicacies were baked in a oven like this. Cleverly adapts what nature provides us, folks are able to serve many mouth watering kueh such as Akok, Nekbat, Kueh Bakar, Baulu, Penganan, Beker Nyior, among a few.

Today, we still can find people baking kueh by this way. With this method, mostly, people believe that the kueh will taste better. Probably "bau asap" linger well with the "bau Bahulu" or maybe also, a little bit hard work doing things the old way, put more value into the kueh, thus it will taste better, physcologically.

What ever it is, this is nature adaption at it's best.

Pantai Kuala Abang

If one travel from Dungun to Kuala Terengganu, slightly northward of Tanjung Jara, one will surely find a little, nice, stopover place named Kuala Abang. Further northward is famous Rantau Abang but that's another story anyway...

Not much happening for this beach, only most of the time, one will only find oneself on the beach. Not much if one like the crowded beach like Telok Bidara in Dungun, or like Batu Burok in Kuala Terengganu.

So what's best on this lonely, long strech of golden beach? Again not much, if heading towards Kuala Terengganu, buy some packet lunch in Dungun Town and enjoy it here. The lunch will taste better, me think...

Oh, mind you sampah sarap after that....

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Nasi Dagang

What is Terengganu without it's Nasi Dagang? Well, a well known state's signature dish evolved thru the times, from the dish that the travelling traders had on their journeys to what it become today.

The Nasi Dagang, is somewhat different from other nasi, as the rice was prepared using a mixture of "beras biasa" and portion of "beras pulut", some say by the ratio of 4:0.5, some say a bit more, some say a bit less... The preparation is meticulous, the beras-mix must be soaked before cooking. The cooking itself is the "kukus" or steam style, not the ordinary boil method as normal for other rice cooking recipe.

Then came the unique process, which called "arong", for which the steamed rice is now liberally mix with the coconut milk, off the stove.

The Nasi Dagang in it's true form must be served with Gulai Ikan Aya, which was cooked together with liberal amount of Lada Jarum and some Belimbing Besi. To enjoy Nasi Dagang, it is consider perfect if the dish is serve on the plate lined with daun pisang. Some say "daun pisang menggala" should be the first choice. Some people say, just daun pisang... The perfect nasi itself, should look shiny, not sticking together like the pulut, laced with thin, long slices of ginger. While scooping Nasi Dagang, one should expect to find brownish Halba inside the whiteness of the Nasi Dagang and some slices of bawang merah a few in between.

If one observe, one will see the "rigeur" of eating Nasi Dagang start with squeezing the Lada Jarum on the rice, pour a bit Kuah Gulai Ikan Aya, and off they go. Take a bite of Ikan Aya and "gulai-ed" Belimbing Besi and one is on cloud nine...

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Maal Hijrah 1428

Selamat Menyambut Maal Hijrah 1428
Semoga Kita Berada Didalam Keberkatan Yang Berpanjangan

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Kuala Rompin

Once a while you will find a place where you feel you have been there before. They said, "deja vu". We say, "rasa macam pernah pergi, tapi dimana ya.."If you are very familiar with Kuala Dungun, it won't be a suprise if you will feel almost at home in Kuala Rompin. Kuala Rompin was a town, which in its height, circa 1960/70s, during the iron ore industry was at it's peak. So did the Kuala Dungun, which flourished due to the "iron-ringgit" from Bukit Besi, roughly at the same time, of which l will write it later anyway...

Nowadays, if one drive to Kg Pantai Bernas via a split-off road from Pekan-Mersing trunk route, one will find the road is strangely straight, very straight in fact, heading towards the Kuala Rompin. The road gravels are somewhat rusty, metallic like. The houses nearby, the old ones especially, looks so different, it is almost like in a time wrap. One will wondering why this happen... Take a stroll at Kg Pantai Bernas, you will still find, even today, heaps of rusty gravel. Talk to the villagers, chances are they are speaking in a somekind of Terengganu dialect...

Well, the Rompin's iron industry was operated by the EMCO, the British's Eastern Mining Company, the same company that responsible for Kuala Dungun / Bukit Besi iron fame. Rompin's iron ores were mined in Bukit Ibam, and the EMCO probably used the same master plan that the used in Kuala Dungun / Bukit Besi. They built the rail track from Bukit Ibam to Kuala Rompin port. They developed Kuala Rompin to a one main street town and probably the most radical of it all was, they "imported" part of the Bukit Besi staff, to this new site.

Among other hundreds if not thousand, my late uncle, Ayah Ngah Wan Berahim and my late auntie, Che Ngah Wan Ngah berhijrah to Kuala Rompin since then. Settled in Pantai Bernas, my Ayah Ngah worked with the EMCO until the last day of iron glory. When EMCO chapter was over, my Ayah Ngah's family remained in Rompin as the roots were already planted there. So, all of my first cousins regards Rompin as their home-turf.

In Rompin my late uncle Ayah Ngah Wan Berahim and my late auntie, Che Ngah Wan Ngah went to see the Creator.

All of my cousins are still thick with Terengganu dialect. And the straight road was a rail track before. And the rusty gravels are still the iron ore...

Until late mid-90s, they still have a locomotive in Kg Pantai Bernas...

Monday, 15 January 2007

The Light of Kerteh

This without doubt, is a very significant Kerteh's symbol. In early years of Petronas' activities in Kerteh, whenever one mentioned Kerteh, the other question will surely follow, " Ohh, kat api cerah sokmo tu?" Or, maybe as always mentioned by the womenfolks, over the afternoon kerpok lekor session, rather than the Adam's side, " Anak ambe kerja kat Kerteh nung, kat api cerah sokmo tu..."

This picture was taken during our second waves of monsoon, a few days ago. Come shine or rain, the flare will continously burning, InsyaAllah...

Friday, 12 January 2007

In A Friend's Shoes

Every now and then we are meeting people who living live differently from what we enjoys and taking for granted everyday. Meet Pok Chan, a friend of mine, who is struggling to catch success but very determine at doing it, a criteria that l am not sure of having it.

With his wife, he tap the rubber trees in the morning and rearing goats with the whole family by the extra times, fulfilled their day. Very rare l saw while away his time. Visit him any time at his farm, smiles are always on. Never display his difficulties though l know for sure of their obstacles.

Recently, his eldest daughter scored achievement in her primary school examination, despite helping in family's chores, and being offer a place in an elite school.

And l saw his smiles were very much meaningful this time...

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Drifted Fruit

Was on the beach recently, after quite a stromy night, l found this amazing pineapple like fruit laying on the beach. It came from a pandanus type of tree, grown wildly on the sandy beach of Eastern Coast of Malaysia. As far as l know, this fruit is unedible, but a friend saw it was touted as having some medicinal value of which we are uncertain.

But what l am certain is, for every single thing created, must be for a purpose. Either we know or not, is another matter.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

09 January

My Identity Card carries a serial number, started with 650109, which they say, marked your birthdate. Well, the date above stated the same, which may mean, my birthdate annivesary is today.

Well, maybe not really. My mother told me, when l was born, the tengkujuh was in it's peak, which l always assume, is in the last week of December. So peak that my beloved father was unable to visit the Balai Polis yang berhampiran for repot beranak.

Water did receded, maybe about 10 days later, and it was only then the Sr. had the chance, with whatever resources that he had then, to go to the Balai Polis yang berhampiran for repot beranak. Thus the Jr was officially born on 650109...

Oh, during that time, it was a common phenomenon for the orang kampong like us...

Saturday, 6 January 2007

New House, New Key

Yesterday was a day of "keys" of sorts.

Earlier in the day, accompanied a friend to a jeweller's to buy her daughter a "key" pendant as a 21st birthday gift. Later that evening, upon checking the mail box, was pleasantly surprised to receive the key to our new house. After some minor glitches with the new key, voila! the front door opened with just one turn.

Aaaahh... At last, a place to call HOME.

The house still sounds hollow though. The interior / landscape designer is still not done with the final paint job, the fittings, the accessories etc., etc., etc. ; some fine tuning needed here and there. In any case, he knows best and we will leave it to him to decide on the major items. Nevertheless, we will slowly but surely turn the house into a home. It will be an interesting process, with our myriad of backgrounds and our rainbow of characters - but these, essentially, are what will turn it into "home".

Hmmm .... some have already brought their winged armchairs, chaise lounge, daybed. Now, let's see, where can I lay my pandan mat :)

Since it's a new house and that there will be many of us occupying the house, I do hope everyone will respect each other. Jokes are fine; but vulgarity (with words or paintings one may put up) just belongs to the dogs!

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Catching Hope

( image taken with Nikkor 70-300G )

Was at Kuala Dungun, when suddenly l saw someone is trying to catch his luck during the low tide. l just sat there on the jetty, observed him throwing his net time after time. Sometime he managed to rope in a few small fish, another time it was just an empty net. But, he still cast it whatever it is. l believe he just hope that he will catch something in the next cast...

Probably that is a positive thinking that we should apply while marauding this sea of life...

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

A Year That Was

Another year past, quite fast. In between eyes blinks, it was over.

l am Thanking Allah for...
1. l am still be given the chance to stay and inhale the fresh air while in good health...
2. l am still be given the chance to enjoy the nikmat of having my parents, my father in law, my wife, my children, my sibling around me...
3. l am still be given the chance to live in a peaceful country unlike many others...
4. l am still be given the chance to earn our rezeki...
5. l was treated with 2 chances of travelling, to take lessons of how other people are living...
6. l am having and living in the circles of best friends around...

To name only a few Nikmat, it is only my weakness for l am humbly aware that Your Nikmat are beyond counts...

Monday, 1 January 2007

Goat Farm Visit

A day before Eidul-Adha, we visited a friend's goat farm, mostly just to pay a visit, secondly to bring this girl for a "field trip". We reached there nicely during the meal time and the girl cheekily lend her hands taking care of many lambs there.
This young lad needs a constant tender loving care, as "he" has one siblings too many and usually lost his place at the "milk source", thus the another "milk source" was provided.
Anyway, it was a morning well spent...