Showing posts from 2007

One Summer's Day

Insects, we travel along the freeway, numerous members of the insect kingdom hurl themselves on to the front of the all-wheel drive, splattering their bits and limbs on the bonnet, the grill and the windscreen mirror. We as humans head in one direction in speeds faster than we can physically manage ourselves, and we meet against these flying creatures also moving in a hurry through the air - except that they are in the opposite direction, and they collide not with us, but with our metal, glass and plastic structures that we protect ourselves in.

Insects also come out in colony groups in this warm season - whether they be scrambling on our ceilings, walls and shelves, or weaving sticky webs that are as strong as Velcro - as we humans congregate into shopping centres for the sales or in front of strangers' houses to admire their Christmas lights. If one were an insect, then one could have an overview of the endless line of vehicles along the major highways of the nati…

Happy Holidays!

Every year, when I get my new manual diary, I cannot wait to browse through the information section of public holidays declared in various countries of the world. Globalization has dictated that we share so many common, international holidays, perhaps set in place by history and domination of some cultures over others. What are more fascinating are the unique holidays that distinguish specific countries and regions.

It is interesting that what is mostly accepted as the universal New Year’s Day is actually called the Gregorian New Year in the Indian sub-continent. Even Orthodox Christian countries like Greece and Russia, utilizing a separate calendar for religious purposes, join in the 1 January celebrations. The Lunar New Year in east and south-east Asia provides a minimum of two government-recognized holidays, if not more.

It is natural that festive seasons and holidays reflect the requirements of the contemporary majority and dominant ruling groups. Catholic significant days are dec…

KL in Parramatta

A close family friend had organised and shouted a sumptuous dinner last night in a quiet corner of one of Sydney's booming and growing shires, Parramatta. Bordering the now famous Bennelong electoral constituency which recently cost a long standing Australian Prime Minister his seat, Parramatta is the fifth largest growing urban concentration in the Australian economy - after Sydney, Melbourne,Brisbane and Newcastle, and churning a GDP by itself faster than Adelaide,Cairns, Hobart and Darwin.

The day had been dry hot, averaging thirty degrees Celsius and I had been looking forward to some spicy-kick food. A new set-up called Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Cuisine had been established near a primary entrance/exit of the rail station, with a menu that reflects the multi-cultures of the homeland of most of the diners. Cooked by ethnic Chinese, my group of 13 persons could sample the variety of dishes offered, including Penang char koay teow; chicken rendang; bean sprouts stir-fried with salte…

Ridges Street

In the dusk hours, it had a certain charm, especially when the harsh light of direct sunlight had ceased. Walking in the grey blueness of this short road, we felt the peculiar attraction of Ridges Street. It was a quiet enclave and refuge from the hustle and bustle of surrounding roads and suburbs. Here one can find solace in an old but well maintained church or find delight in the hundreds of photos plastered on the walls of a modest old-styled barbershop operated by George who emphasised his Italian heritage.

Dining at one end of Ridges, we dabbled in Armenian-Lebanese cuisine. The place was full with customers on this weekend evening, with tables laid out in small shop lot reminiscent of the European quarter of Istanbul, rather than North Sydney. The clientele was more Anglo-Celtic than in ethnic Arab Punchbowl of multi-racial greater Sydney. The food was thoughtfully prepared at Safi's. Delicate dips made of chilli, walnut and pinenuts or mild eggplant were a good way of famil…

Is The Grass Greener?

Latest statistics on legal migration numbers to European countries reveal 125000 persons moving from Poland to Germany, 89500 individuals leaving Romania for Spain, 62300 persons leaving Romania for Italy and 33,500 former Australians settling in the United Kingdom. 9500 Algerians moved to France, 2500 Brazilians relocated from the tropics to Portugal and 1300 persons came from China to Denmark. Some migration movements seem natural as they involved neighboring countries, like from Sweden to Norway, Ukraine to Poland, Russia to Finland, Germany to Austria and France to Belgium.

Do people move because of the search of a better life, better jobs or returning to similar shared cultures? Romania is the single country in the European Continent with the largest emigration. The destination countries for Romanian immigrants all have a better economic and social quality of life. Does the high value of the British pound induce Australians to forsake blue skies and better meat to come to the i…

Return to Goulburn

For a regional town that has experienced the Biblical seven years of drought,Goulburn was blustery shiny on this Sunday morning. More shops were open for business when they were not a few years back. There were the under thirties and a spattering of teenagers walking out and about which is vital to the demographics of any urban concentration. Businesses like Harvey Norman had taken a vote of confidence in Goulburn by occupying that vital corner store location along the main road - when others like Harris Scarfe were before. There was even a spanking new Asian food outlet.

The icon of Goulburn - the Big Merino - had been moved to nearer the Hume highway to Canberra. The other icon of the town - Bryants Pieshop - has steadfastly maintained its two outlets, one in its original shop and a branch at the shopping centre only a block away. The pie varieties remain the same good consistency and in taste. An outlet selling casual wear to Gen Y had a hive of activity near Sunday lunchtime. The …

Food, Politics and Change

I was in the electorate of Bennelong, Sydney when the news came through - a Federal Government which had been in power for around 138 months had been voted out in a sheer process of democracy. Over the delicious Indian rojak salad that cousin Susan and her hubby Boo Ann had prepared, the people in this gathering contemplated the experience of change. A sitting Prime Minister, who perhaps had stayed on for too long, was almost on the verge of being replaced by a fresh newcomer in Bennelong. Political history was being made over the night.

The evening before, in another suburb, I had tried Swiss pizza for the first time, with thinner crusts and more meat. I was not convinced that my group of colleagues were not eating Italian pizza, for how can one separate the two definitions? It was a warm night outside, but we were sitting in air-conditioned comfort. I watched, with intense interest, the goings-on of an open kitchen preparing the food, with the woodfire oven in full view and a fatigu…

At Home

I love chicken curry, South Indian style – smooth aromatic gravy over juicy meats marinated in the flavours of several spices, chillies and seductive coconut milk. A sister of a Portuguese mate living in Wollongong remarked that she could not understand why I put potatoes in the curry mix and then serve them with rice – a double whammy of carbohydrates that bewildered her logic.

The curry I learnt to cook comes from Mum, who experienced a forerunner of current Australian multiculturalism by sharing and exchanging recipes with her cosmopolitan neighbours in the tropical heat of Malaysian afternoons. It took me perhaps a quiet weekend in summery New South Wales to realize why she and I – plus the multitude of others stirring up Tamil-styled chicken curry in the former Malayan peninsular – had put both potatoes and rice in the same meal.

The British had ruled Malaya in colonial days, and it dawned on me that they had been raised on potatoes and bread. Savoury, well-textured potatoes mu…

A Traveller's Life

The only three essential things to have, when travelling, are having sufficient money, authorised passports if you cross different countries and the right tickets at the required time. Beyond those basics, what is really important is a sense of adventure, humour and friendship.

I was in Rome when I thought I was being ripped off for a transaction. A well dressed lady approached me and the vendor and helped settle the misunderstanding. In Shanghai, I knew I did not have sufficient speaking grasp of standard Mandarin and went to a MacDonalds outlet along Nanjing North Road to get some change in currency -as they spoke English there. In the darkening forests near a lake in New Zealand's South Island, I temporarily got lost on the walking trail but got back to the known, through some benign force.

At Kobe in Japan, I befriended a local motor bike rider who was coming on the same overnight ship to Oita on the southern isle of Shikoku. In Koh Samui,life was so easy going no battered an…

Life In A Pond

Below Mount Keira
Twice at mid-day they scurried across the grass and footpath from one pond to the next. In two separate groups,they represented two different generations of the protected species dwelling in the reserve where my office is located. At dawn, I can see them lying on the slopes surrounding the pond, in couples or in family groups. I think these ducks live in a world of their own, but they are not oblivious to the on-goings of other denizens who share their environment.

There are many different types of ponds on Earth, the biggest being the planet itself. However, most of us have carved out niches and perspectives according to the requirements and pleasures of the specific ponds we choose for ourselves. Some of these ponds need not be side by side, but they have to be connected, whether in belief, physical facility or cyberspace. Some ponds remain in a corner of a part of the world. There are systems and ways of behaviour in each pond - they can involve rituals, laws or a…

The News

Why is that the free-to-air TV news bulletins are all presented around the same hour? And why are all pay TV news bulletins repetitive, trying to be more like magazine formats instead of finding their own niche.

Most news stories thrive and aim for the spectacular and the sensational. Is that the only reason why viewers tune in and stay tuned in? Around the world, there is this presumption that the market wants to know about national and local news first, followed by international stories in the middle and then topped up by sports before a filler on arts just when the bulletin ends. News of local interest in Australia aim for those events that find individuals in distress, being treated unfairly or with a surprise element. There are seasonal flavours, those revolving around an impending national or festive holiday, or the monthly timing of political or economic triggers.

The use of live telecasts can get to ridiculous dimensions, as a camera fixated on nothing but waiting for someone …

Return to Thai Pothong

Fifteen years ago, this restaurant was already a highlight, operating on the southern side of King Street, Newtown's main strip in Sydney's inner west.

A weekend ago I had the opportunity of re-visiting Thai Pothong. It has significantly expanded its floor space and street frontage. There was a healthy hustle and bustle about the ambiance on a Saturday night. My group had initially wanted to re-visit another of King Street's continuing and consistent performers, a Vietnamese restaurant called Than Bin, but we had not booked earlier and obviously expected a full house. We had sauntered along King Street and then remembered this Thai place.

The same sanuk (love for life) feelings from way back when were accentuated by the waiting staff members, as they clasped both hands in traditional greeting to customers. The menu however is totally revamped, with packages labelled as Chiangmai, Bangkok or Phuket settings - what a terrific idea. We ordered ala carte ca rte, and I noted th…

Deja Vu

I hardly watch tv anymore, but just for the memories, here are my best delights:
- Slumped down on the sofa with the family watching Cantonese-language soap operas;
- Getting entranced and absorbed with Discovery Channel documentaries, especially those with eye-captivating graphics and well portrayed historical re-enactments;
- Enjoying the Red and White New Year musical stage performances from Japan's NHK or the suave and smooth live shows from Hong Kong's TVB;
- following intently with Mum on the exact recipe measures given out on Malaysian television cooking shows;
- Literally double-tasking with both the images and subtitles on Euro movies screened late night on Australia's SBS channel;
- Sitting through three hours of Hindi-language movies that cover the whole plethora of issues under a life, from dancing around trees to having sumptuous feasts; and
- Soaking in my first cosmopolitan arts programme on the telly box from Singapore's Channel 5.

New Supply Chains

Five years ago, the Wollongong area's concept of Asian food and ingredients was seen to be caught in a time warp, with anything labelled short and long soups, sweet and sour or satay sauced expounded as the representatives of something Oriental. East Asian or South-east Asian parents of overseas graduands at the nearby University did not stay around after the ceremonies to partake in Wollongong cuisine - they rushed off north to Hurstville, Cabramatta or Sydney's Chinatown, to have their seven to ten dishes in celebratory banquets, which may reflect their unfounded fears of non-Asian food or just reinforces their gusto for food from back home.

The so-called Chinatown Street in Wollongong Central - Keira Street - has several outlets of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai and Malay origin - but they do supplement these offerings with a sampling of southern Chinese dishes. Asian food is accepted in Wollongong as noodles, peanut butter laden sauces and small mouth bite pieces of meat or v…

On City Pavements

He looked fluffed,carrying in a lazy manner, a shoulder grab bag. What made me notice him was his continuing munching of a burger, and an obviously fatty rich fast meal at that, the chomps going furiously as his walking gait and manner. Maybe he dealt with customers front line, or through the phone, and his growing moustache was ruffled, with the eyes having a bleary, glazed look. He must not been more than in his mid-twenties, but he did somehow look older. Whilst waiting at the set of pedestrian lights, I sneaked a look at his open bag - and there was more of that greasy fast food in one big brown paper bag.

I thought to myself - obviously a single person with no structured meals and maybe no tender loving girlfriend, or that girlfriend was also chasing the rat race herself to actually insist on a home meal together!

I was also pounding on the city pavement - rushing back to Sydney's Central Station to be on time to jump (literally!)on to the fast train back to North Wollongong…

Celebrating Life……..and Love

With a mellowness in my heart, and I would like to think, as well in my inner soul,
I woke up on an October Sunday morning recently after one of the most beautiful weekends I have experienced. All right, it was actually past noon and I had slept in, as I should, on a lazy morning.

On the surface, it may have been just another series of social functions. However, stirring my inner cycle of strength and motivation, I realised that I have been juxtaposed with the right alignment of stars and planets to be sufficiently fortunate to attend, in a row, a series of celebrations and to be able to share in a series of the more important things of human existence. Not just mere things, I should correct myself, but in a true series of remarkable events.

All functions I had attended had one common element – joy and passion. I also strongly felt the sense of achievement celebrated over time, and the culmination of true understanding over time. This is reflected in a contented baby who smiles under…

The Curry Club

It's a cloudy afternoon, an easy looking day that threatened with impending rain but also promised hints of the weather cooling down. This group of work colleagues - and friends -had planned an outing to the local curry joint, more of an imposing complex with an adjoining pub and with intricate drawings of southern Indian sculptures. We looked forward to this opportunity of sitting down in the airy outdeck of the venue and savouring various concoctions and condiments, downed with - not beer this time - subcontinental styled pancakes called rotis. A few of us were really famished as we arrived, having being busy in the office for the whole morning.

The seven of us had not had an opportunity to gather and partake such food together for a long time. Each of us ordered a sampling of meat curries served with basmati rice and bottled water. I enjoyed the creaminess of the essentially Northern Indian curries, whether with lamb, tandoori chicken or a helping of salad. I quietly reflected …

The Sheer Airiness of Meaninglessness

The emerging sunlight promises to come gradually, and then blasts full on, literally, like a spotlight shining suddenly into the calmness of his developing dream. Shucks, he had forgotten to close the window curtains – or did he leave it open on intention, to receive the benign effects of last night's moon glow?

Oh yes, another day, another promise of new things beginning. Or is it? What used to be the thing that made him want to jump out of bed and look forward to the possibilities of a new day, had just, well become, just mere possibilities.

His optimism had been progressively whittled by the cumulative acts of an uncaring culture, bred and nurtured by selfishness, the inability of most to see beyond the confines of their narrow thinking and the provincialism of a few go-getters who did not realise that they could not flex their perceived might beyond their little pond of existence.

He observed that most others had withdrawn into a kind of so-called protective shell in a knee-je…

Inspiration from Suzy Domingues

I would like to share with you some of the image creations of Suzy Domingues, whom I am privileged to meet and know through mates.

Before Take-off

Wood Mushroom (above)

Rainbow over cloudsea

Native Plant

Pelican Dance

A Corner of Paradise

Messages from the Past (above)

Sitting in the Southern Heaven (above)

Vista of the Tasman Sea

City of Effort and Dreams

Singapore is a good choice for putting up your feet on the way home from anywhere in the world, and provides a window to the variety offered by Asia. It may be too orderly and clean in this city-state, a let-down for some who expect something more exotic and thus label Singapore antiseptic; however, the English language is widely used here, although it is but one of four official languages and the city’s verdant greenery reminds one of Australian capital cities. In an island in which you can ride its suburban commuting line (the Mass Rapid Transit or MRT) in under two hours, Singapore packs a lot in sightseeing, choice of food, shopping, architecture, sampling of different cultures and modern convenience. However, the attractive prices of a shopping haven past from the seventies are long gone. And be prepared for the humidity outdoors, although I miss the short evening thunderstorms that break out to provide a sense – and aroma – of relief.

Short of natural resources, Singapore nevert…

Despite Ourselves

I hope that you, the reader, shall be inspired to go forward feeling positively inspired and be encouraged to take positive steps to further realise your own personal dreams and ideals. It may be a gradual step as to stop procrastination and deal with a problem in small but effective steps to resolution; or you may decide to visit a place that you have always hoped for; or it may instinctively point you to view matters from a different but helpful perspective.

I believe every human being we interact with – either as a person or as a group – affects us in various ways, but I believe in learning the best from every encounter. Sometimes negativity can overwhelm us, but if we snap out of it and realise the good that comes from the bad, the hope from the disappointment, and the calm after the storm, then every experience is offered to us to help us clarify our thoughts, sharpen our attitudes and move our hearts and minds to more liberating dimensions.

Each of us has different needs and e…

Where Can I Go

What did I do, what did I not
The scenery that envelopes me is beautiful
But some things do not turn out as I hoped and thought
from relying on surface impressions given by a surprising few

What I should let go, what I cannot
Even in the face of the obvious renewed
You can put your hand and heart to share the lot
It still does not mean there are no more stitches to sew

Where can I go, where I do not want to
When faced with passing ships, day or night
I am torn between wanting to come and go
But I know it's best to detach, to be able to see the light

Where can I float,where can I cling to hope
I look into my inner self, I look into my true friends
It then dawns on me these have always given me a rope
To scramble upon, to realise dreams and to say I can


Numbers were conceptualised to help mankind grasp more effectively with time, distance and the relationships inherent in Nature. This year we have 777 to fascinate us - and for business, philosophers, numerologists and the media to speculate and rave about. The series of sevens refer to the 7th of July, when my dear friend Eu Hock from school days reaches a landmark birthday as well. The new Modern Seven Wonders of the World are, as this is posted, due to be announced.

Next year the magical number eight grabs its hold on East Asian populations, with their obsession with that specific digit, that rhymes with the pronunciation for the word for prosperity. The Beijing Summer Olympics shall be launched at 8pm eastern China time on the eighth night of August of 2008. The most recent time when 8 figured fascinatingly in the calender was in 1988, which coincided with the Oriental Year of the Dragon, and when the last Olympics were also held in Asia.

Next year proves to be a bountiful year for …

Along The Way

Grapefruit,they must be that, all of them fat, with rounded plum bottoms and the unmistakable green colour that should then yellow, if left uneaten for too long.
We had momentarily disembarked at a convenience stop along the highway, and other coaches also disgorged their passengers to use toilets and visit fruit stalls. The majority of the vendors were brown-skinned, but the sellers of the supposedly grapefruit outlet were fairer, and elderly, older than the others.

Passing rain showers broke the monotony of the ride from a capital city to this tropical island enclave that we were heading to. The experience was not unpleasant, starting right after lunch hour and we expected to have a seafood dinner under palm trees with our toes massaging into warm sand. It was humid outside, but not in the cocooned comfort of air-conditioning inside.

The only irritating thing was a loud woman mouthing a variety of languages on to her hand phone, English included. From what was forced for the others …

The Lure

The vongole had dark blue-black shells, that opened up like gaping mouths. as they cooked in the braised concoction. I rarely have had crispy potato cubes mixed with marinara portions of such mussels, flavourful limbs of crab, tomato gravy and garlic marination, but there they were - reminding me of the penchant for small potatoes cooked in South Indian chicken curry.

Here I was on a mid-week night, along Victoria Road in Drummoyne, a convenient fifteen minutes drive away from Sydney CBD's George Street, dining with good friends on a rather balmy night in a so-called August winter. The question was then raised: do I plan to come back to commercial life in the Big Smoke?

Yes, Sydney is getting crowded, more expensive and impersonal. Young families are relocating away to other parts of Australia; established families are finding the cost of living going up while the paper value of their assets are doing likewise; the changing ethnic character of whole neighbourhoods is transforming…

A Place in My Heart

The ice-cream seller wore a round white solid hat, the colour contrasting with his skin, darkened by the harsh equatorial sunlight. The freezer box sat on a tricycle placed against the grey-brown walls of the house. There were other vendors invited to cater for this children's birthday party, but this purveyor of frozen delights stands out in my memory.

The party was organised by the Lim family, supervised over benignly by a doctor who always wore fitting clothes and whose big eyes shone out behind her glasses. Whether adorned in her traditional kebaya blouse or in her Western fashion, she always provided a picture of orderliness, kind straight talking and a twist of humour. I loved going to visit her and her family on Sunday evenings, and also because I enjoyed interacting with her children. I also had opportunity to stay overnight at times with her sons, and her youngest daughter is like the sister I never had.

There were the picnics by the rather sheltered beaches of my home is…

The Sweetness of Life

The weekend begins, but before I lose myself in the state of being voluntarily hanging in a state of nothingness, with no care for a sense of time and the rigour of schedule, I want to be thankful for some things today that are wonderfully important to me.

I have had my eyes opened and my mind broadened to rise above the apparent surface and regime of what life seems to be. Whilst I subject myself to the so-called requirements of a life, it is only fair that life subjects me to certain encounters that widens my perspectives and thereby liberates my attitude and thinking. And that experience has been gratifying.

I just had the opportunity to know that a close mate has been given the all clear bill in health, after persistently and patiently overcoming a growth that is not desired. I salute him in this welcome positive of events, and I admire the consistent and reliable care that his wife has bestowed on him.

Inside me, I begin to acknowledge more the efforts of individuals in my work…

Be AWARE in Our Personal Time Management

After years of available time to practice, I am no master of this, the delicate art of time management.

Do I have a structured plan to do things as it should be? Not all the time. Do I actually finish off the more important things in a typical work day filled with must-dos, look-forward-to-dos and hijacked energy-draining diversions from people who do not care for me? Maybe. Do I feel totally satisfied by day's end that I have achieved what I set out for earlier at dawn - remember all that stuff about "tomorrow is another day" and a fresh start? Nope.

Effective time management to me is the result of a confluence of several things - attitude, emotional intelligence, planning, navigation and persistence to want to achieve mitigating the most risky items in the midst of environmental limitations, undue influence and how other human beings treat you. I still ride this journey of time management, and if I allow myself to experiment, observe and learn, I enjoy how to apply be…

A New Beginning

After the fun of test driving and developing patience over administrative processes, the long wait was forgotten as enjoyment set in - my appreciation to Danielle and Shane Campbell for joining me in this adventure to choose a new vehicle.

Goodbye Zoom Zoom

Hey what's this yellow Twitty Bird? Complimentary car from dealer while waiting for new car arrival

How Was Your Weekend?

I was asked , so what do you do on a weekend?

My preferred answer was "Nothing, I just let myself free of schedules, follow-ups, the computer and just let my mind ride on the wave of liberation". The reality is very different.

Friday evening should be for chilling out, but when my commitments at work and business call, I make time for them, even then. The end of the week was normally released in catching up with mates working in the central business district, and taking a late train home to the suburbs, but now that I am living outside a capital city, I just make sure I give my inner soul a special treat. Dining out, having drinks, catching a movie or laughing with friends. I think it is important to celebrate the week, to recognise people who do not care for me and more importantly, acknowledge those who do. And then to sleep late, to not be bound by the demands of time and obligation. There is no shopping pressure, as most retail outlets are closed at the same time as off…

The World of the Straits Chinese Maiden

Settings for meals (above)

Inner courtyard (above)

Kitchen long table (above)

Traditional tiffin carrier (below)

Bridal chamber

Working Teams

Davin Gaynes, Kevin Yong and Josh Atkins (above)

Elaine Kow, Theodore Sokolovic, Phil Williams, Chris Mowbray and Chris Perre (above)

Chris Perre, Kevin Yong and Shibani Iyer (below)

Krish De, Josh Atkins and Daniel Redman (above)

Krish De, Josh Atkins and Kevin Yong (above)

John Walter and Daniel Redman (above)

Dancing In the Street

"You can't hurry love, you just have to wait."
"It was only my imagination , running out of the way."
"Twist and shout!"

Human Nature, an Aussie singing group from Sydney's south-west heartland, are better than ever. Not just in showmanship, continuing captivation, audience grabbing attention and building up the crescendo for the fans to be literally dancing in their seats, but also to show a sense of giving back to the community. Having a TV personality, Andrew Denton, introduce to the audience a lady who has endured much deterioration of health, but whose personal wish is to publicly sing with Human Nature and apparently looks fine, may seem to be a publicity stunt by some, but to me, it makes a statement about the heart.

I was privileged to witness the latest tour of this four-man group whose key display tool is their voice box. They can harmonise effectively on a tune without any musical instrument, and yet render their versions of retro songs…

Graceful, Grateful Moments

On a cool winter's night, think of cream brulee. Soft melting insides hidden below a thin crispy crust that is neither overdone nor too flimsy, but just with the right texture when you bite into it, savouring the flavour of infused caramel. Combine it with the sour-sweet sensation of fresh dark red raspberries and the nippiness of the evening air seems a distant window away.

The dessert is what you have been saving yourself for, after a light mains of seared scallops, juicy and firm, graced by sweet green long beans and refreshingly slim baby carrots. You recall the savoury cuts of john dory blending into the fettucine on another occasion, with the pasta pesto highlighted by spiced prawns. Tonite, the fettucine would have been too heavy with the cream brulee.

A meal is accentuated with the right company. Individuals whom I feel comfortable with and can relate to without effort. People who make me want to be myself, when politeness is not imposed but spontaneously accompanies relax…

Recently Lingering Inner Soul Food From Outside The Home

1. The curry puffs that cousin Lai Han got from a stall in a coffee shop in SS2, Petaling Jaya, Klang Valley
2. Curry laksa ala Vietnam from Hurstville, Sydney
3. Nasi lemak combination with Chinese roast chicken cuts from the Killerney Road Cafe, Sunway Damansara, Klang Valley
4. Roast suckling pig from Restaurant Yat, Section 14, Petaling Jaya, Klang Valley
5. Straits Chinese choon pniah (deep fried spring rolls) from the Penang Swimming Club
6. Ampang Road yong tau foo (vegetable-stuffed bean curd concoctions) from Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur
7. Pumpkin seed and apricot flavoured bread from Shellharbour Stockland Shopping Centre
8. Warm broth of black glutinious rice with a touch of coconut milk, from Thornleigh, Sydney

Muddy Confluence

The rains still come down at twilight
With the ease I gathered back with my mates
No thoughts at all on what could have been my delight
Had I stayed on in this tropical valley bed

What is reality, what are impressions
As I lay awake, with rekindled memories
of fondness, food and friendship as utmost expressions
of the most important of life's desirabilities

Countless hours of routine and persistence
melt into precious moments of reunions
The ordinary becomes special and not existence
The circumstance of a unique communion

To savour forgotten experiences
To sit at the same table
To ride on the same journey of shared nuances
And to realise that it was not before possible and able