Published by simon
April 27, 2013
My family hardly eats any rice, we only buy brown rice for the kids. But i know how the drill is about buying rice, whether brown or white. We go to Tesco, or whichever hypermarket having a sale, but most of the time it was Tesco. We’d go to the rice aisle, pick the brand on sale from the choice of the few we usually buy from. If it was white rice, it was most of the time Dragon Pearl. Nowadays with brown rice, it is usually ecoBrown.
Since our rate of consumption is slow, we go for the 5kg. Back in those days my kids were small and we didn’t have a bathroom scale, i’d estimate my children’s weight in comparison to the bag of 5kg rice (a few years ago, i redeemed a bathroom scale from Bonuslink).
But one day, stuck in the traffic jam, it occured to me that wasn’t how we bought rice when we were small.
Back then, my mom bought rice from the sundry shop near my house. Sundry shops sold, um, all and sundry in those days – stationery, snacks, toys, books, and even some hardware. Outside the shop, in a large gunny sack sitting on the floor was a mound of rice. It was usually next to other gunny sacks containing dried chillies, onions and other grains we never bought.
If you wanted to buy rice, the shopkeeper, usually an old thin guy wearing grey or khaki belted shorts and a white singlet (sometimes rolled up to his torso, depending on how old he was), would open up a paper bag. This paper bag was usually made out of brown paper or newspaper, glued at the bottom with starch made from rice. It’s a miracle how starch can hold such a heavy load.
The shopkeeper would ask u how much u wanted, you’d say the price, or the weight, like 2 katis. What a kati? Dunno, but its 16 tahils. If you were Cantonese you’d say ‘kun’, rhymes with ‘bun’. Then shopkeeper would used a metal scoop and dished the rice from the sack to the paper bag. There was no grade to the rice, no Super AA or Jasmine white rice or any of that. We only knew it came from Thailand.
Then you would pay the shopkeeper and he’d seal the bag of rice. Then you would carefully carry the bag of rice home, to eat for the next few weeks.
Writing this evokes a lot of memories about rice and its link to Chinese society the world over. Rice symbolises livelihood, rezeki. I remember old Hong Kong period dramas that show a poor boy tripping and spilling a bag of rice on the ground meant the greatest tragedy.
Published by simon
April 6, 2013
Whenever i finish reading a book, or after watching a movie, or a particular good season of a TV show, i am compelled to go online to read the reviews. Some people like to read reviews before, i like to see what other people, including experts thought, and whether or not they agree with me.
For movies, there are only two review sites i read – Empire Online, and Roger Ebert. There used to be a few more, especially those that used to listed in Yahoo! Movies. For some strange reason, they’ve done away with this critics’ reviews and replaced it with user reviews.
I like Empire’s reviews, but of late they’ve been patchy. And the thing with Empire is that they usually only do a handful of full reviews a month, other movies only get a short 2-3 paragraphs. What’s up with that, Empire? You’re supposed to be a MOVIE magazine.
And as for Roger Ebert, i think i’ve been reading his reviews since i started using the internet back in the 90′s. his style is immediately likeable – he knows his movies and movie-making. He is witty, sarcastic when necessary, and funny. And he is efficient – every major release is reviewed. He puts his best into every review, no phoning it in. You can read the archives of his reviews from the 70′s and 80′s, they still hold up the test of time.
Some years ago i learnt he lost his jaw to cancer, but it didn’t stop him from his work. In recent years i noticed he started slowing down on his work, more and more movies were not reviewed.
And a couple of days ago, i heard the inevitable news, Ebert has died.
Sad day, indeed. One of the obituaries mentioned he was the last of his generation of newspaper columnist that cut their teeth in the bygone era of print newsroom. For he, he was the one movie reviewer. There is no one else.
Published by simon
March 10, 2013
When i was small toddler starting to learn my alphabet, i noticed the new cars in town had licence plates that started with JAA. Older cars like my mom’s Fiat 146 had only two letters, JH. Even older cars had only the letter J followed by the numbers, but these were rare even in my time. In my small town we could see new cars with newly minted plates quite often, as back in those days, Muar was one of only 2 towns in the state with an RIMV (JPJ) office. The other was the state capital JB far far away. I distinctively remember asking my parents about these car registration plates once, probably as a pre-schooler.
‘What comes after JY 9999?’
‘Why not JZ?’
‘Coz Z is reserved for the military.’
‘So what comes after JAY9999?’
‘Well, you change the 2nd letter, so it will be JBA.’
‘And when we reach… er… JYY?’
‘Then we add another letter at the end to be JAAA and start the cycle again.’
I remember thinking it was a pretty cool system, probably impressed more with the novelty of it rather the logistics of it all. Perhaps, not even my parents envisaged when the time would come for that to happen, maybe because people like us didn’t think that much about the future or stuff like traffic congestion or novelty number plates. It was all in the hazy future.
Fast forward more than 30 years ahead, the our capital city KL is now approaching that milestone. The current plate is past WYA, and it will probably reach WYY9999 in a few months. Next should be WAAA, next? Should be no problem, right?
Well, for a couple of reasons, it may not be so. For one, its too long. Secondly, the first ‘A’ in the plate will be insignificant for the next 20+ plus years, maybe less considering our increasing affluency, but a very long time nonetheless. Maybe it isn’t a big problem to JPJ! And they will still stick to the system, or maybe they will devise another system.
Well, if you ask me, theres a simple solution. Pick another alphabet. Start with F1 or G1 or something. They’ll make tons and tons money auctioning off these 9999 plates, like they did with the WWW series. Nobody has an affinity to the W letter, anyway, if refers to an archaic designation for KL which no one uses anymore (‘Wilayah Persekutuan’).
Published by simon
February 15, 2013
These past few years I don’t really watch many shows due to lack of time. Gone are the days when i can follow up to ten weekly shows plus anime series. These days i can only do a handful, and only if they are highly recommended.
One of the holdovers from those earlier days is the comedy 30 Rock. I just watched the series finale, bringing and end to seven seasons. Lets face it, 30 Rock is not popular. No one else i know watches it, let alone appreciates it. One friend even asked me after watching a few episodes in season 1, “Funny meh?”
Yes, i found 30 Rock funny. For the first few seasons, in my opinion one of the smartest show on TV. I just love how they bring sitcom humour to a higher level, and all the inside jokes about TV industry. But sadly, just like all good shows, this one jumped the shark. I’m not particularly sure when, i there was a point when Jenna’s weekly shenanigans started to become more and more unbelievable, and Tracy Jordan become even more annoying (that was one character i never liked from day one).
All i know was the last 3 seasons i lost the urge to watch it, but i kept on going until the end, cos at its worst it was still one of the best sitcoms on TV.
So it has ended, the finale as irreverent as the series always has been. Ive been told quite a few new shows match up to the standard created by 30 Rock – Parks & Recreations, Modern Family and Arrested Development. I didn’t find Parks & Recreation funny at all, just a little annoying. Maybe one day I’ll start on the other two.
Meanwhile, the Big Bang Theory and 2 Broke Girls are still on my watch list.
Published by simon
January 12, 2013
When I was really small, I remember my mom used an insect spray that looked like this.
You pumped the handle like a Nerf gun, and the spray came out. But then they introduced the tall thin canister spray we are familiar with now. The only difference was the earlier types had this white plastic button on top with the nozzle, and each time you used it, the oily spray would get onto your fingers and hands. If you didn’t wash your hands after, you’d be ingested all the yummy nutritious poison.
See how close the nozzle is to your finger?
It was only recently they introduced the type with the yellow plastic cap, still in use now. I remember the earlier models were quite flimsy, the pressdown part kept breaking off.
My home town had a chronic mosquito problem due to the poor drainage system (it still does) so mosquito is a major problem. We had to spray the entire house in the mornings and evenings before sweeping out all the dead mozzies on the floor. (When that mosquito zapping racket craze first started it was a huge seller in my town)
I remember my mom kept two types of insect sprays – a regular type, usually Mortein, Shelltox or Ridsect (nowadays Shelltox is called Shieldtox). We also had a can of the green coloured Baygon. Why two? Coz the regular types like Ridsect are only good for killing tiny insects like ants and mozzies. For cockroaches, you need to whip out the more toxic Baygon. Even the sound of the Baygon makes is more impressive, a deeper drone. These days any brand can kill roaches. Not sure about centipedes, though.
Over the years I seen people use lots of alternatives – roach traps, bug zappers (popular in Malay restaurants), Combat roach poison (works as well as alien detectors), etc but nothing works as effective as insect sprays. I know they’re toxic if inhaled and burn a hole in the ozone layer, but i don’t wanna get dengue.
Published by simon
January 6, 2013
I started this annual thing a few years back (see 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 here) and its only fitting to do one for the just concluded year.
In summary, 2012 has been a transitional year for me, and also a year of great financial implications. I changed jobs twice (you can imagine how i have to explain to friends why) and bought two properties while disposing of another. So you can have a picture of all the dealings with bankers and lawyers. But don’t get me wrong. It has been a blessed and fulfilling year. I had ample time to enjoy the things i love – church, time with my family, reading, art, and at the same time worked with one of the best bosses i’ve ever had.
But so, my 2012 in 9 points.
Its hard to start an introspective with this. I had only gotten to know his much better only in the last 6-7 years, mostly through the wonderful times spent at his place preparing for Project Timothy, and Project Philosophy before that. Whenever i think of him, i always picture him smiling, asking us “Did Paul really say that?”
2. The Queen
Most people will remember Will and Kate’s all too brief appearance here, but the star of the Royals was the Queen’s performance at the London Olympics opening ceremony. Great to know she has an amazing sense of humour, not to mention a deadpan acting style.
3. Ko Lipe
My definition of an island paradise. No roads, no cellphone coverage, just an tiny island of resorts populated by European tourists. For 5 days, it was swimming, island hopping, kayaking, reading in the shade, snoozing on the beach, and eating the best Italian food this side of the continent. I can hear the island calling me again.
4. Gap Month
Between jobs, i took a month off from work, after 5 years at my previous posting. You can read more about what i did here. Sure, most of you have had much longer holidays, but this was a record for me. And i enjoyed every minute of it.
Related to the above, yes, i quit my job of five years. I had a great job, great colleagues, so it was a little tough to leave it all. But sure, new challenges and all, i left. To what seemed like a dream job. But right smack on the first day of the new job, i found out it was not what i agreed on. But i tried to make the best of the situation. I tried for 5 months, while a lot more started to unravel.
So finally quit. A few days before my last day, i finally found out the real story about how this mess came to be. Regrettable, but I’m not one for regrets. We live, learn, move on. And i did.
6. Chiang Mai
Big holiday for a big family. Probably the last one for a long time for us. You can read the itinerary here.
7. Four More Years
Despite all the reports and opinion polls leading to the elections, i never had any doubt that Obama would win. Who could actually take Mitt Romney seriously? Other than hardcore Republicans, that is. Congrats and good luck, president elect.
8. Of Houses and Homes
And i bought a new place for my family. It will be ready more than a year from now. Its a huge financial commitment for me, so austerity will be the order of the day for the family for the next few years. The very same week i signed for the house, i bought another apartment for investment. I had to let go another excellent investment opportunity to make this happen, but that’s how life is sometimes.
9. And Still Reading
And still at it, about 50 books in 2012. Finally finished GRRM’s ‘A Dance with Dragons’. Bought and read lots of art and painting books. Best book i read last year? Probably one of the 30 year old Earthsea books. I need to read more recent books.
Published by simon
December 30, 2012
This the last entry in my traveloguem to start from the beginning, read here.
Ok, let me finish off this travelogue before the year ends, it has been more than a month since the trip.
Day 7 marks the end of a week in Northern Thailand. Today, we drove off to Mae Taeng Elephant camp. This is more than an hour’s drive outside the city. The last trip here in 2005 we went to Maesa Elephant Park, which is much much nearer compared to Mae Taeng, but Calvin our guide says that Mae Taeng being surrounded by the jungle, is a better elephant camp. Besides, he says that the new owner of Maesai is ‘very arrogant’.
My verdict is that, yeah, Mae Taeng has a more rustic and rural feel, the elephant ride takes you through the jungle waist high in the river (elephant’s waist, not yours).
But i’d say Maesai had a better show than here, but you can’t help to feel sorry for the majestic animals in these shows, no matter how well they are treated. But on the upside, the elephants are much better behaved than some of the kiasu China tourists were encountered there.
But one of the highlights of the experience was getting up close and personal with a 2 month baby elephant… Quite cute and playful. But elephants don’t stay that way long, after another few more months they mature into the slow, lumbering behemoths we all identify them with.
The kids were very much looking forward to the elephant ride, but unfortunately the first available ride was another 90minute wait, due to a large group of tourist that came before us. So we decided to pass on it, much to their disappointment… but we promised another better experience next – Tiger Kingdom!
There is no entrance fee to the place. However, you need to pay to have your photo taken for 10 mins with the tigers. There are 4 price categories, corresponding to the size of the tigers – smaller being more expensive. (This was a little difficult to explain why to my daughter). Unfortunately, it was more disappointment for the kids. This is was pretty expensive, even with only the kids entering (with at least one adult). But there was a viewing deck near the largest (cheapest) cats where we can only watch OTHER people play with them…
Overall, i suppose this was a great experience if you don’t mind paying the fee. I just felt the owners were milking the cats (not literally milking) for maximum profit, and i didn’t like the way the guides encourage people to lie down on tigers, lift up their tails, etc. And they were quite snarky with us when explaining the prices, too.
So we then moved on to something that promised no disappointments – LUNCH! Calvin brought us to his favourite makan shop, akin to our Chinese coffeeshop. They didn’t have pad thai, but they served local noodles that was tasty.
We also tried this coffee place round the corner, run by the British Council. Free Wifi!
After lunch we went to Warorot Market. It’s an indoor market selling dry goods and foodstuff.
Calvin knows this lady here selling cheap snacks, and also she’s probably the only person in town who speaks perfect Cantonese. We bought some snacks and dried fruit to take home.
I then asked Calvin to bring me inside the old city to this bookstore that sells art stuff.
Wasn’t difficult to find, it’s right next to the UN Irish Pub. In terms of oil painting supplies, they are much better than the average KL store. They have a few local brands, and international brands including Rembrandt (which i have yet to find in Malaysia).
Then we went back to the hotel to sleep it off while the kids did the pool thing.
The glow of the night market from my hotel room.
For dinner we went back to the same place 2 nights ago, for more chicken rice, fried chicken, sticky mango rice and pad thai.
After dinner we took the long drive back. Calvin brought us to the flower market and fruit market.
At night, the road outside Warorot market transforms into a food market.
After eating even more stuff, we went back to the night market. There’s this place where artist do their stuff, i remember this place from my last visit. Most of them use the dry brush method.
These guys are so talented it makes me wanna give up painting
So ends another long day in CM. The next morning, we manage one last round of shopping at Tesco Lotus, before our flight. Our last meal in CM.
Well, so ends 8 days in and around Northern Thailand. Great memories, great company. Until the next time, if we ever return.
Published by simon
December 19, 2012
This is part of an ongoing travelogue. To start at the very beginning, click here. I’ve reached the limit of my Flickr upload for the month, so i’m temporarily using my old Photobucket account.
Day 6 is the 2nd of our 4 days in the city of Chiang Mai after the long roundabout sojourn to the Northern region. It starts as usual with brekkie at CH Hotel. A word about this hotel. It’s quite popular due to it being right next to the Night Market, but our stay there was regrettable. The hotel is old and pretty rundown. They are planning to do an interior refurbishing, so make sure you don’t go until you see how it looks like after. The lobby was not airconditioned, so it was hot and uncomfortable. The dining area was slightly better, but still it was stuffy made our breakfast time less enjoyable.
As for the rooms, the airconditioning in our room was leaking down the carpet. The bathroom sink was also leaking. When we complained about the air-con, they came to fix it while we were out one day. But as they needed to climb out of the window to repair the condensor, they left out window open after they were done. Good thing nothing was stolen or it didn’t rain. Suffice to say we wrote a nasty email about our experience, calling them (truthfully) ‘the worst hotel we’ve stayed in Thailand’. Their reply? thank you for your feedback and hope you will stay with us again. NOT a chance.
Since it was Sunday, Calvin brought us to his church, Abundant Grace Church. Visiting new churches is always an experience for me, since i’ve been attending the same church for the last 15 years with little exception. AGC is an bilingual church smaller to mine, they meet in a hotel in CM City. The church is an even mix of expatriates and locals. The locals are predominantly ladies, strangely enough.
Pre-packed communion set given as you enter the sanctuary. To save time.
Now this is something our church should do to discourage latecomers – A countdown clock.
Worship was short and upbeat, led by a Filipino.
The Pastor is from Nagaland in India, his wife is Thai and acts as his interpreter.
After a lengthy sermon lunch was back a Central Airport Plaza. Air-conditioned, wide variety of food, best place for a quick meal in CM. We tried lots of stuff like another pad thai…
…sticky mango rice… (Calvin says its only for ‘tourists’. And i replied, but we ARE tourists!).
…we wanted the sago dessert, but they had 20 different types of iced desserts, so we chose the one that looked the most like sago.
Kids with their ice-cream. I think it was RM2 for 3 scoops.
After the late lunch we took a drive up Doi Suthep.
The place is unchanged since the last visit, but i guess no visit to CM would be complete without coming here.
Last trip here we had already been to the Night Safari, so we didn’t go for it. But now the Night Safari has lots of animals to pet and see outside the gates for free.
Wikipedia IS right. Giraffe tongue IS purple in color.
Dinner was at another great restaurant recommended by our guide Calvin. I don’t even know how to describe the place to you, there’s no English sign. Except that its between Doi Suthep and CM and has its own private lake.
Fabulous authentic Thai food. Fed 9 of us for less than RM80.
After dinner Calvin dropped us off at the Weekend Market inside the walled city.
This guy was carving elephants from wood using an office NT cutter. Skill.
So ends another long today. Tomorrow – Elephants.
Published by simon
December 12, 2012
This is part of an ongoing travelogue. To start at the very beginning, go here.
Day 5! We’re halfway through our vacation, today we are going to the Golden triangle in the morning the laterdriving the long way down from Maesai back down to Chiang Mai via Chiang Rai. This journey of 200km should take about 3 or 4 hours, but we’ve lined up some interesting stops along the way.
First thing to do after packing up our stuff in the hotel is to have a good breakfast. There are lots of good street food in Maesai and Chiang Mai available for breakfast around our hotel, but we always opt for rooms with complimentary brekkie. Its always cheaper and far more convenient, not to mention a time saver especially if you are in a large group.
From Maesai to the Golden Triangle is a short drive. We arrived really early, before 9am, long before the tourists. This is the floating jetty down to the river cruise. If you are in a small group, you will get a narrow longtail boat, which would mean getting wet. But since we were a large group, we got a large (more stable) boat all to ourselves for RM150.
The narrow boats are the ones for small groups.
The Golden Triangle is where this river (Mekong or Mae) divides the 3countries of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. China is also visible from here, a mere 2 hours drive to the north. Vietnam is a little further East. Some the Golden Triangle is sometimes called the meeting point of 5 countries.
The boat made a stop in the Laos side of the river for a short visit. This is a special zone so no passports are required. But a small fee is required, but since our tour guide knows the Laotian official (!), the trip was free.
This special zone has hilltribe villagers selling handicrafts and cheap China knockoff products. The most interesting stuff on sale here is the cobra whiskey. My God, this stuff is potent, i can smell it 10 feet away. They even put scorpions in for added potency. Not something you see in Malaysian Chinese weddings.
Other than that, you can browse the many stalls here.
Fancy a genuine looking Gucci or Prada handbag? Very cheap, miss.
Back on land in thailand theres a small hill next to a 1000 year old temple where you get a good vantage point of the river and the triangle.
Memories of my form 5 Geography lessons.
Lunch today was an excellent buffet restaurant serving Myanmarese food. They have less spices than Thai cooking, but good nonetheless. Another example of Calvin’s excellent recommendations.
Then we start the journey down to Chiang Mai. We didn’t stop by Chiang Rai even though its quite a large town, and the hub in this area. But we did stop by this hot water spring just outside the town. This is well known to locals only, and immensely popular.
Thar she blows!
Late afternoon we reach the small town of Doi Saket, in outskirts of Chiang Mai. Calvin makes a stop at his home to check his mail. Postal, not electronic. His house is in a really nice place surrounded by secondary jungle. A nice bungalow, big enough for his two dogs. All for RM500 a month.
There’s a kindergarten run by Methodist missionaries next door.
There are two very nice resorts near his house in Doi Saket. This one is REALLY nice, called Jasmine Hills Lodge, run by a Malaysian couple. For about RM400 a night, you can stay in one of few bungalows like this.
My question was: How come WE’RE not staying here?!
Nice sunset as we were about to leave. The other resort is on the main road back to CM, called Horizon Village & Resort.
This is a more established an upmarket resort, complete with wedding banquet hall and 3 different resort concepts. Suitable for church camps and seminars but less privacy.
Night was falling and we completed the short drive to Chiang Mai, thus ending a long journey today. Dinner was at some roadside stalls just outside the old walled city. Jeremy loves his chicken rice, and has been deprived of it the past 4 days here in Thailand. The chicken rice available here isn’t as refined as in Malaysia, but my BIL knows of this particular stall here that does decent chicken rice. This is the stall manned by the lady with the cowboy hat.
Calvin had his favourite te kar. There are two stalls here serving this, this is a really popular dish.
Jeremy’s much vaunted chicken rice. Its actually pretty good.
Its pad thai for me, of course. This stall serves it differently, wrapping the noodles like our nasi pattaya. It proved popular, another stall here followed suit.
After a good dinner, we checked into our hotel, CH Hotel, for the first of our 3 nights here. It was a poor experience staying in CH, but more on that tomorrow. I was exhausted after a full day, i crashed after a bath while some of the others walked a bit of the Night Market (it started raining half an hour later).
So after 5 days, we’re back in Chiang Mai, for a different sort of holiday. But it proved to be equally exciting and enjoyable, although in a different sort of way…
Published by simon
December 10, 2012
This is part of an ongoing travelogue. To start at the beginning, click here.
Day 4, start of our first day in Maesai, the small little town at the top of Thailand. By now, we’re used to Thailand time, meaning that our we were starting to wake up at a more respectable hour. Usually about 8am local time. Piyaporn Place Hotel is a pretty nice hotel, nothing fancy, but they have good breakfast (although the seating area is quite small). Breakfast is usually fried rice or fried noodles, plus the staple sausages and sunny side up eggs.
While Maesai is still quite high in terms of altitude (although not as high as Mae Salong), be warned that weather here can be burning hot even in early winter. Even at 9am during breakfast we can feel the heat from the sun outside.
First order of the day, we take a short walk from the hotel to the market two blocks down. The market is sprawls in different direction, taking up the backlanes of the shops and ends in many different exits. Most of the vendors are hilltribe folks, Myanmar immigrants and locals.
The white stuff Jeremy is looking at are bamboo worms. Apparently, it is quite a delicacy around here. Suffice to say, I decided to pass on that.
Anyone can setup a stall anywhere.
But around the fringes you can also find clothes, shoes, trinkets, the usual Chinatown wares. The was even a stall selling knives and blades and machetes. Too bad they didn’t have a slipstrop or i would have bought one. We exited the market further up north.
This is the main road in Maesai leading up to the border checkpoint. During the daytime the traffic entering Myanmar can stretch up to half a mile. Today, the traffic cops are doing an impromptu check on the vehicles.
All along the way, the sidewalk is crammed with stalls selling foodstuff and drinks.
Fried chicken tastes good anywhere in the world.
Somewhere further on to your left, is the entrance to Wat Phra That Wai Dao. In terms of touristy attractions, other than the neverending markets, there really isn’t much to gawk at in Mae Sai, except this temple.
If you walk up the steep road at the end of the market, you will see… more steps. What’s at the top of the stairs? Well, our guide Calvin said, ‘only 100 steps up’. Oh okay, that’s not too bad. That’s like 5 floors up. So me and WY started up the steps. Besides the steps being wide (meaning its harder to climb), it turns out there are 205 STEPS. Yes, I counted every step. 100 steps my foot. So it was akin to climbing up 10 storeys and then back down again.
Anyways, at the top, there’s a stupa, a scorpion statue (er, izzit coz ancient Thais are Klaus Meine fans…?), and a panoramic view of Myanmar.
From this distance, Myanmar looks a lot like Thailand (or Tanjung Sepat, for that matter). But i guess to really experience Myanmar, you need to actually enter the country. Which is actually very easy to do. All you need to do is to pay a small fee, and cross this bridge.
Since there was nothing much to see there, we decided not to cross anyway. The above pic was taken from the road below the bridge across the border. Instead, we turned back towards town and had some ice-cold coffee instead. Walking in the burning hot weather is tiring.
A little further on from there, we stopped for lunch. Along the side roads of Maesai, there’s a small Yunnanese restaurant serving Shanghai Pao and noodles. It’s a little difficult to find, but it’s the only makan stall with Chinese words. Alas, the name of the shop is in Thai so I’ve no idea what’s it called. The modest shop serves pretty good food.
Noodles with minced meat.
After lunch we went back to the hotel for a rest (so… tired… so… hot…) In the afternoon, my BIL had to go back to the orphanage to meet up with some contacts, so we went off to Tesco Lotus again. Before that, we dropped by a factory outlet store owned by Calvin’s friend. Not very big, but i bought an Arsenal jersey for RM20. Not original (!).
Calvin next to a lot of water.
We also sent our clothes to the laundry. This is how a local laundry looks like. Not impressive, but its cheap and effective. RM18 for two loads, they even iron the clothes for free.
Dinner for day 4 was this BBQ / steamboat place my BIL recommended. For RM7.90 a head, you get unlimited supply of marinated meat, vegetables, fruits, etc. Plus, this is quality stuff. The downside? To coat the BBQ plate, they give you lard instead of margarine. I didn’t use any, so by the end of the meal there were bits of charred meat stuck to the plate.
Dinner was together with the missionary who heads the orphanage, plus his family.
The kids playing with a boy from the restaurant. The boy is so strong he can hold down the see-saw with all three kids on it. Bright future as Mr. Thailand.
Then after eating half a cow, 4 chickens and a whole non-kosher farm animal, we went back to the night market. Tonight being a Friday night, there were lots more stalls open. Seen here below, the ladies supporting the local economy.
Night of the main road.