Monday, May 29, 2017

Duan Wu Festival aka dragon festival

My sis Rose makes the traditional Zhung Zi eaten during this Duan Wu festival.Image may contain: 3 people

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


In the early 60s, we lived in the Government Quarters along with Malays, other Chinese dialect groups, Ibans, Eurasian and so on.
Near to the houses were a small Hindu temple . There were no windows but had louvers to admit light and air. We climbed up on the wall, my brother supporting me, and we saw some statues in gold. It was full of mystique. It looked deserted because there was nobody there.

In the garden was a deep walled in well. Some one rumored that some one had drowned in the well. The water was murky. We climbed to steal the sour lime like calamansi which we ate there and then. Then there were the gardenia flowers and buds. We stole them. The plants were high up and so we had to climb. Someone screams ghost and we went screaming home.

You see. Mum had warned us not to wander there.
For nostalgia sake, I went three years ago. The temple was gone, and the modern building replaced it.
My friend said it was the smallest temple in Malaysia.

Friday, May 19, 2017

two loaves of bread

Image may contain: food

  Two elderly women didn't have enough money to pay for two loaves of bread. I paid for them and rush to give the loaves of the bread to them. It didn't cost me a lot, but gave an anecdote to write about.
People ask me where I get ideas for my writing, this is one example.

Passiflora_foetida pok pok ji

When we were young, whilst visiting grandpa in the visit, we find this vine which looks like a small cousin of the passion fruit.

We called the fruit POK POK Ji, because it makes a POK POK sould when we popped it in our mouth. Ji means seeds.

Photo from google.

Image result for Passiflora foetidaImage result for Passiflora foetida

grandma's slave

There is on internet a story on "My family's slave" by an Filipino American.

Here's an abstract of my grandma's slave from my book, From China to Borneo to Beyond.

The pronunciation of my Quang Ning dialect MUI ZUI, for a slave sounds like the sour plum, and MUI ZAI as a girl is different. I don't know what it is in other dialects.

It must have been 1900s when my grandmother brought her over to be her slave. The girl was very young. It is not sure if her parents gave her the slave while she was a young child, or whether she was given when Grandma married Grandpa.

My father, John remembered fondly of Grandmother’s mui zai (slave) whom he called Ah Jia, (big sister.) In fact he saw her more than he saw Grandmother. Grandmother worked in the rubber garden, the mui zai took care of him and his siblings. She did all the housework. His fondest memory was her  kindly separated the rough green husk of the sweet mung bean soup, so he would have it as a smooth watery thick soup. We used to tease him to be a super spiolt brat because we ate the green bean husk.

There was talk that the British government in Malaya and Singapore was going to pass an emancipation of slaves, and those not releasing the slaves would be punished.

To preempt this, when this mui zai was 16, a marriageable age, Grandfather Kee Seng arranged for a suitable mate and married her off. This was much to the aghast of Grandmother. Grandmother whinged that this mui zai was paid for by her parents; therefore she was her property. This mui zai was her slave for life. Grandfather Chan had no right to sell her property. But Grandfather would not have any part of this old feudal slavery system. They married her off to someone up the Rejang River.

The emancipation law was never passed and Grandfather never heard the end of Grandmother harping on and on about it.

Some of those mui zais maintained a good relationship, coming back to the family as though they were part of the family. In many cases where they had suffered abuse from their owner and hated them; they never came back to visit.  Some, their new family forbidden them to. Grandmother’s mui zai never came back. Father said Grandma was a difficult person  to handle. The Mui Zai was probably so glad to have her freedom.

Father did meet the mui zai many years later. Father was on official duty in a school near where she was married off to. She came and was hesitant and afraid to talk to Father, now an official of the government. She called him "Young Master" and she wanted Father to help her grand children to get into teachers’ college. She said quietly that it wasn’t that she didn’t want to visit the Chans, it was because she was not allowed to. She had been emancipated from one family into the slavery of another. She mentioned what a good family she had grown up in, and she would rather be old and single and be a mui zai in the Chan’s home. She had always loved Father very much.

I wrote about my grandma's Mui Zai in my book. I also remembered my mum almost got a Mui Zai too. It was after the World War Two. My great Grand Mother aka Ah Tai didn't want my mother to work too hard. So she bought a girl slightly older than my oldest sister. My father declined and packed the girl away. My father's rationale was in this day and age, him being a Christian should not have a Mui Zai aka slave. How could he have the conscience of having a Mui Zai who slaves away while his own daughters went to school. Ah Tai aka Great Grand Mother argued we we just pay for her in the beginning which she had already done, and don't have to pay her anymore. Mother said we just had to feed her. Ah Tai probably argued that we were doing a humanitarian favour. 

We knew about this returned Mui Zai when we had to do house work. We complained and wished we still had the Mui Zai.

My parents had 6 girls, MOI ZAI SEE (bloody useless girls) as my Bodai (maternal grandma) would call us. She said, if we were in China, I would be sold off as a slave. I was the third girl. So would all subsequent girls.

When Father paid for my University education first to Canada and then to New Zealand, Bodai said my fate was very good. Instead of being a slave, I got to fly half way round the world.  Bodai said there was something wrong with Dad's head. He studied too much in England. He educated all his MOI ZAI SEE. She also said my Dad had a Father-in-law look.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dream Big with Weet-Bix All Blacks Collector Cards

Kiwi Kids Dare To Dream Big with Weet-Bix All Blacks Collector Cards

By Fleur Revell
11 May 2017

Life is what you make it – and All Black rugby legends know all about making the most of what they’ve got, which is why they’re inspiring Kiwi kids to take their dreams to the next level, with stories to read around the breakfast table as part of the new Weet-Bix Dare To Dream Collector Card series.

All Black Israel Dagg says when he was a youngster there wasn’t a lot of spare cash for the latest sporting gear so he and his siblings improvised.

“One of the best things we used for a rugby ball was my brother’s girlfriend’s fluffy rabbit slipper. That slipper became the centre of hundreds of exciting and fierce backyard test matches - even when we did eventually find our rugby ball!” he says.

“The pink rabbit slipper is proof that as kids you don’t need all the latest gear to succeed and achieve your dreams - you just need a big imagination,” says Dagg. “We didn’t have all the fancy equipment but that didn’t stop us, it taught us to make the most of what we had. The slipper was soft on the foot, went pretty far and didn’t smash any windows - which also kept Mum happy!” says Dagg.

Dagg says as a child, becoming an All Black seemed like a faraway dream. “I thought, ‘How could a kid with a pink slipper for a ball make it into the greatest rugby team in the world?’. That’s why the Weet-Bix Dare to Dream campaign is amazing, because it allows kids the chance to dream. When I look back, I know that it’s really all about making the best of whatever you have and having as much fun as you can. That’s how I got here,” says Dagg.

Weet-Bix has been the breakfast of choice for Kiwi kids and their families for generations. And now selected packs come with premium quality cards featuring  stories from individual All Blacks about the defining moments in their early years, and how they didn’t need the best of everything to reach their potential – just a dream and a little imagination!

For All Black Ryan Crotty, being gifted a pair of Andrew Mehrtens’ rugby socks and kicking tee while being ball boy for the Canterbury rugby team proved to be a defining moment. “I was so chuffed to be picked as a ball boy and get to see my heroes up close every week – then to be given Andrew Mehrtens’ socks, I thought I was the luckiest kid alive.”

“I wore those socks to every training and would spend hours practising my goal kicking with my prized socks on, pretending I was Andrew Mehrtens. I practised so much in those socks that they eventually had no feet left in them!” says Crotty.

Crotty says it was his dream to be an All Black from the time he was seven years old. “And the thing was, I really believed I could be. My strong self-belief came from Mum and Dad, who were the best role models a kid could ask for.”

“There’ll inevitably be people along the way who’ll laugh at you and tell you you’re too small, or not good enough, or you can’t do it - but if you believe in yourself and work hard at those dreams, anything is possible,” he says.

“It is so important to have dreams and goals and inspirations - and these are also essential things for us to pass on to younger generations, which is why Weet-Bix Dare to Dream is such a great initiative.”

The premium quality cards will be available in specially marked packs of 750g and 1.2kg of Weet-Bix from May 

Download Media Files

Download media relating to this story using the links below:

For more information contact:
Mark Devlin
+64 21 509 060
Fleur Revell
+64 21 509 600

Written on behalf of Sanitarium by Impact PR

DOC allowing seals to be killed

DOC allowing seals to be killed if they get in the way of work on Kaikoura's earthquake wrecked main highway


Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Flowers and small adornments on about 170 babies' graves have been damaged by maintenance contractors at a South Auckland cemetery.

A grave is a place of remembrance, It is more intense when the grave belong to babies. I know, I buried a baby

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Costus woodsonii,

a kind of wild ginger. Common Name: Red Button Ginger, Scarlet Spiral Flag, Red Cane, Panamanian Candle Ginger, Indian Head Ginger, Dwarf French Kiss, Dwarf Cone Ginger

Costus woodsonii, is very much favoured as a decorative landscape and garden plant or container specimen. Costus, can reach 1.5-2 m in height and spread about 1 m wide.

The flowering spike is made up of waxy red bracts, tightly overlapping like fish scales, to form an erect, cigar-shaped or torpedo-like flower head, 6-10 cm tall.
Costus woodsonii (Red Button Ginger, Scarlet Spiral Flag, Dwarf French Kiss, Dwarf Cone Ginger)The true reddish-orange flowers with inconspicuous orange-yellow labellum are edible and will peek out one at a time from between the red bracts, lasting for only a day per flower. 

San Choi Bao aka lettuce wrap aka low carb burger.

A low carb refreshing entree.

Best to use: Baby Cos lettuce/ if not, iceberg lettuce

Fillings:  Brown onion and garlic
               Stir fry mince pork or chicken
               shitaki mushroom
               can water chestnut
               strips of different colour capsicum
               flavour with salt and oyster sauce
               bean sprout.
Optional: avocado
                tomato stripes

Image may contain: plant, flower, food and indoor

Long Gourd

Long gourd grown in Malaysia.
  • Botanical Name : Luffa Cylindrica
  • Family Name : Cucurbitaceae
Luffa is a genus of tropical and subtropical vines in the cucumber family. In everyday non-technical usage, the luffa, also spelled loofah, usually means the fruit of the two species L. aegyptiaca and L. acutangula.

Image may contain: plant

Image may contain: plant