Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Family Affair

Just came back from a short trip to Sitiawan where I spent the last 4 days with family, young and old. We went back to celebrate Grandma's birthday which consisted of a 10 course lunch in Bei King restaurant. This restaurant is very famous for it's Foochow dishes and I used to love eating there. The keyword here is 'used'. Our birthday lunch sux. Thus the lack of food pictures. No point taking pics as the food doesn't look all that appetizing and it's definitely not as tasty as last time. We were obviously disappointed. What's worst is the view I had which spoilt my appetite further...

In case anyone is wondering what's wrong with the so called view, well..the obviously fat lady is wearing a very tight tube top with a matching daughter as accessories. Too much fat and definitely too much exposure 0_o

Lunch was a small family affair as we only managed to fill 3 tables. Quite a number of family members couldn't make it home this year. After spending a couple of days with Grandma, 14 (6 adults and 8 kids) of us headed to Pangkor Island for a short getaway. The ferry from Lumut only took 30 minutes to deliver us at Pangkor Island which is a fishing village. The smell of salted fish, dried anchovies and squid hits you in the face once you step off the ferry. Welcome to Pangkor Island =D

Everyone was hanging out at the beach near our hotel in the afternoon. I can't remember what's the beach's name...what can I say...the sand is not soft and white...it's littered with rubbish. Thus I didn't get onto the sand but sat down waiting for them while enjoying the sea breeze.

I was also tasked with taking care of the beach ball because...

a monkey might just take a fancy to it!

Found a couple frolicking in the dirty water...ahhh...young love... it defies all hygiene sensibilities

Cute kids making sand castles. Ain't no budding architects here =P I still can't get over the fact that the little gal is only wearing panties and no shirt. Haven't they heard of paedophiles?

This scene caught my attention. Coz once upon a time...I was one of them. It brought back many memories.

Suddenly, the sky got darker and darker. And in the middle of the sea, a light was shining through. I felt overwhelmed. Everything else faded away while the light held my gaze. Was it a sign from above?

Beautiful isn't it? Definitely a sign from heaven...a sign that we should find shelter. It literally rained on our parade -_-

All good things must come to an end. The kids left Pangkor with a heavy heart. They wanted to stay longer but all the adults looked like zombies. It ain't easy looking after 8 kids who have the tendency to run about and disappear at the blink of an eye. They also ate like horses. It seemed like they were always eating one thing or the other!

When we got back to the mainland from Pangkor, the kids decided they wanted McD's for lunch much to the chagrin of the adults. That's how we ended up at the only (it's sad, I know) McD's in Sitiawan =D Opened not too long ago and it's my first visit to this McD's. Okay..I admit, I'm a McD's junkie myself =P

Young Cousins (clockwise): Alvin(6 yrs old), Melvin(10), Abigail(11) and Mimi(8)

The Boys : Fendy(12), Edwin(12), Jeffrey(9) and Eddie(9)

Okay...I think I could've gotten a few of their ages wrong as there's so many of them! Man, I feel old. I'm the only one my age group on this Pangkor trip as Melaine deserted us to stay in KL -_-

Before heading back to Subang, Mum and Aunt Serene had to visit this place for lunch. It's somewhere in Sitiawan near the coffin street (coz many shops selling coffins there lar). The sisters claimed that they have been eating noodles from this vendor since their younger schooling days...which is ages ago mind you. Well...obviously we, meaning me and Uncle Wang(Aunt Serene's hubby) have to tagged along.

Welcome to noodle shop with no name(coz I didn't spot one!) near coffin street.

This is where the magic happens.

Sitiawan is still very much a 'kampung' so the price of food is still super cheap compared to KL. No where in KL can you get a bowl of noodles for RM2.40 ok...maybe you can...but definitely not with this portion.

I think only locals would be able to find this place as it's located off the main road.

Doggy near our table taking a rest.

Recycling is a pretty big thing here. Hence the creative use of an old cooking oil container to keep chopsticks clean =D

Even a Coke bottle is not spared. Coke soy sauce anyone?

Mum and Aunt Serene was craving for this. Ice kacang on a hot and sunny day.

'Loh mee' which is noodles in some slimy soup. Not really my taste.

Uncle Wang ordered the same noodles as well.

Thank goodness I ordered the 'kampua' which is just tossed dry noodles in soy sauce. Ain't too bad but the slices of black tinged meat took some getting use to.

Mum was busy eating her noodles and her poor ice kacang started to melt. Looking kinda gross 0_o

We had just gotten into the car to start our journey home when all of a sudden, the sisters wanted to buy some 'pau'. All of us jumped down again and they headed into the shop to get some while I stood under the shade to wait for them. I was then mesmerized by a beautiful cock =P

What a gorgeous cock!

He was strutting around showing off and all of sudden...

he told me to butt off!

The Sitiawan today is very different from the Sitiawan I spent my holidays in 20 years ago. Back then, bicycles are the main form of transport and my Grandpa sold vegetables a stone's throw away from our house (this is a brick house we moved to in the city from the wooden house in the estate). We have a few chickens and ducks while my cousins who has a green thumb grew beautiful flowers in the garden. In those days, I love helping to wash the vegetables which is to be sold the next day and even pack 'wanton' skins into small plastic bags for sale. For helping out at the stall, I'll get 50 cents from Grandma to spend at the sundry shop just a few steps from where we sell our vege.

Those days in laid back Sitiawan is still fresh in my mind. I'm glad I could still speak the local Foochow dialect of Hockchiang which I learnt during my stay with Grandpa and Grandma. Many of my cousins couldn't. Makes me wonder if one days the local dialect and culture would fade away with time.

These days, Sitiawan is known for it's cheap and tasty seafood. That is true and of course our family have our own favourite restaurant to visit on every trip back. Even Eric is hooked on some of the dishes =D There's nothing much to do in Sitiawan besides eating and lazing around which contributed to my expanding waist line. Only regretted we didn't manage to have the famed chendol on this trip. Going back to Sitiawan is like going back in time...life is slow where an hour feels like a day. There's no need to rush. No need to stress. Just relax and watch time glide slowly by. Maybe that's why the deliciously sweet mangoes growing in Grandma's house seem to never ripen!

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