Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kopitiam of Cukai, Terengganu

The famous Coffee shop
updated 14 June 2007

The Antique wall clock in the coffee shop

When we arrived in Cukai, I received an sms from my brother in law, Kong Heng, informing me not to miss the "Kopitiam" (coffee shop) of Cukai.and again we start to search for this shop .

All of us inside the Kopitiam in Cukai,Terrenganu

What our taste bud tell us : Ho Chiak

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fish cracker of Cukai,Terengganu

Fish Cracker (Keropok Lekur)

Sorry for the delay. Recently very tired due to two new Projects, Moonlight Bay and Island Resort. Trying to understand better the earthwork drawings and also all the feasibility of hill slope construction. Start carrying further research on type of walls to be used in these project and to avoid repeatitive problems, I have to read a book called Landslides in Practice ( Investigation, Analysis and Remedial/Preventative Options in Soil. Well,if there are any thing topics that I do not understand than I have to ask our appointed Geotechnical Expert/Consultant.

Back to Cherating.

After picking up my son, we left Cherating Club Med and took a right turn and drove to Kemaman. Along the way as we approached the town called Cukai, we saw alot of store selling the Fish Cracker. Everybody in the van started to get excited and we decided to stop the following day and see what was so famous of this food called "Keropok Lekur" ( Malaysian language for Fish Cracker.

The process of making the Fish Cracker ( Keropok Lekur)

All this while, fish crackers are one my favourite tidbit. I would have a packet without fail when driving my family to any destination during the our trip. How are they made has been a question all this while. Looking at how they were made clear my doubt .Somebody whispered to me, Uncle, please do not "Lau Nuar" (drop your saliva!!. I quickly turned and to avoid embarrassment started talking to my wife on the other types of cracker, the Dry Fish cracker. There were many type of cracker. the common fish cracker and next the prawn cracker and finally the cuttle cracker in the individual bags. Everybody started to buy some to take home.

Once we were all in the van, we started to eat the cracker and all the comments on how good it taste started to prevail, " Chin Na Ho Chiak", " Beh Pai Chiak" and finally I told them not to finish it for I have only taken a very little. My son asked me not to worry for on our way back we could buy more.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Kuantan Trip (updated 2/07/07

Jimmy with her parent

All of us

Club Med Cherating. Kuantan. Malaysia (1st May 2007)
Where is Club Med? Why there? Well, my son who is studying in Taylor is having his training

there? Most of the time, we will hear these words from him, Dad, wa che hoay cha (English: I am on the train )to go back to the camp. when I reached there the line will be off. Club Med is so big ? I told my wife Club Med has a railway track for taking their guess to some where, maybe to the beach. Ah neh tua? ( SO BIG?) If only we could get a free 2 nights stay there before he leave the training, we could mention more in my blog. Definately, Dad and Mum, it is a SUPERB RESORT as commented by my son over the phone.
Two weeks ago we decided to take a trip to Club Med for my wife has a short holiday and I too have a stretch of holiday to take my trip to Singapore. So on Friday, my Senior Project Manager: Mr Tan ,M & E Manager: Jayson Teoh , Project Architect: Mr Ch'ng and I told a trip to KL for checking and witnessing the Building Automation System (BMS) at KLCC. The following day we went to a shopping complex in Bangsar to study the new District Cooling System (DCS) and after completing the visit, we checked out from the Prince hotel and I took a bus down to Singapore. Arrived Singapore at 10.30pm and took the MRT to my nephew's house at Tiong Bharu.


The following day took a MRT to Simei and delivered something to a closed friend and also to David's house who unfortunately was not in but in Phillipine. Well passed some cake to his wife and left. Called Ah Keat and met at Bedok MRT interchange . Check with him on his job application and have breakfast with him .He looked tired. Left him and took a trip to Sim Lim plaza to search my Handphone. Siemens M75. Found it and but bought it on the next day. After completed the search , I took an MRT to Commonwealth MRT station and walked over to my niece house . Chic Chat with her for an hour and return to Orchard MRT station to meet my sister who was teaching in Singapore. My nephew, Eng Hun and family also met us there and all of us took our dinner in Orchard road. I took some snap of the destinaton where I used to sit when I was working back then in 1979.

Here we come, "CLUB MED"

Club Med Entrance in Kuantan
On Monday, I went over to Maybank and clear my transaction and after logging in , I left for Johore Bharu 's bus terminal for my trip back to KL to meet my wife who has travel to KL during the last 2 days. Once I met her, she told me that instead of 3 of us going to Kuantan to visit my son, 4 extra relative were also going for the trip. Well, I have to change from a small car , MYVI to Unser ( borrowed from my brother in law) to accomodate all of them .

Kuantan Trip

From Selayang, KL, to Kuantan town took us 4 hours and from Kuantan to Club Med, it took and extra 45 minutes. When we finally arrived, my son ,Xing Yi, was still in his room and yet to leave. Well searching for my son was quite difficult and he did not mention where to look for him . Even when reaching the staff camp, nobody knows him but we found out that his nicked name is "Papaya". Why? could he be eating alot of papaya in Taylor that ended up with this Nicked name? I wondered. Once entering the van, everybody started to ask him why Papaya. As far as I know my son, he is always search for unique name. I can remember during the Chinese New Trip to Koh Lipe ( Earlier blog), we met a Thai Super model called Pancake. and he was very luckyto have a picture taken with her.

Very Lucky!

In Malaysia, Papaya is one of the unique and the least expensive fruit. Other than that we always eat it when we have constipation. For medical value. the seed inside is very good for people having "pile" problem and the leaf is normally use to tanalise the meat ( if I can recalled what my son told me ). will post a picture later.

Kemaman, Trengganu

cont later.............................................where are the good food? son

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sabai Sabai (Thai meaning relax and be comfortable)


Where are all the fun young men?

Cheers ..............German,Japanese and Malaysian perfect Harmony

Singing in public place!...........Well behave?...............Chiak Beiliao

(He must be drunk)............................................(Future Blog)

Happy Hours. Memories are not to be forgot. The Japanese made us all at home.
Asian Bintulu Fertiliser Plant

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Khun Thai's Friends

With my Project Manager and Project Director

Khun Thai Friends
(My Thai friends)

Every countries that I went, I met good and sincere friends. Singapore's friends that recommended me to go for oversea job ( one could earn extra income when working in oversea jobs) Mr Chai Kum Fook, a Heartly thank to you and your family for taking me in as your close family friend and especially for the recommendation to work in Iran and so fo....
Mr Siemian ( Agar Siemian: Farsi language) , your help when I was there in Iran. I will also mention in this blog of mine for the rest of friends that have in one way or another helping me in everything I have done. Before I go further, we will talk about my Khun Thai ( Thai Ko Lan) friend

The staffs (part) involved with the Project.

Left to Right ( Mr. Teh, Khun Sakun,Khun Pon,Khun Buay, Khun Mahidol, Khun Mam,Khun
Lixin,Khun Vitaya and Khun Chen.)

Khun Prasat. A Thai and Chinese mixed blood. Very hardworking supervisor and always
being jealous by most Thai staff for he always carry my company Mobile handphone
when at site. Very convenient for him to order concrete whenever he needed it
on top of the building.
Khun Mahidol. Our company driver. He knows most of the area in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand for he has been working in a transporter company
Khun Mam. Our housekeeper . Still working with the present company. as a clerk during my last visit to Bangkok on 2005
Khun Porn. Our storekeeper. She is at present in US. A storekeeper who taught me how to use the bike transport when in Bangkok. Can you imagine how all of sat on the bike.( the rider,she and me?Hee hee!!)
Mr. Wen Lixin. China Architect and is the presently attached to an Australian Architect Firm
having it base in China
Mr Chen Yao Hui. An engineer from China and is presently attached to Consultant Company in Bangkok
Khun Buay. A secretary and is presently attached with UN in Bangkok.
Khun Vitaya. A foreman in the construction site.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Life In Thailand

Chatcuchak Market
Where Do I Stay when in Bangkok
(Ratchadapesik Road)

When I arrived at the Penang Times Square site today, my college engineer Mr. Saw and Augustine told me of the good new that was our boss has reshuffled their itinerary on the June trip to Bangkok. There will be a trip to Chatcuchak Market (open only on weekend). Well, it will be good trip for those on it. A place for shopping from Clothing to Animals, everthing is there, and one should not miss it. Not to forget, my very favourite place during every Sunday where I could find good secondhand English books and a week old magazine like Newsweek and Time. Ah ha!, my wife favourite place to shop for very cheap and good quality children panties (for her eldest sister 7 daughter, hee! hee!)Chatcuchat is now so easily reach by taking a Skytrain to Mo Chit station. My youngest son always mentioned this favourite word, Mummy ko beh teh ko(English word meaning, mum went again to buy underwears)

Where do I stayed when I was working in Bangkok. During my first day, I was sent to a place along Phra Ram 9 and for that I have to wake up very early in order to reach my office on time for the traffic started to jam after 7.30am ,the rush hour for every people going to work. On the first day after my work, I went straight to Sukhumvit road and search for a English book shop called Asia Book for I need to get myself orientated( I was here during my earlier days ( 1980) on my trip to Iran. I found this book shop and from there I took a Tut Tuk, a carriage on 3 wheels (Thai people called it " Sum Low")to Rex Hotel. This hotel was patronised by most Jurong Engineering staffs during their transit to Arabic countries. I was staying here when I went to the Iranian Embassy, situated along Wireless Road, to get my Iranian visa for the first time.
By the time I found my orientation, I started to realise that it was almost 9.00pm. I flagged a Tut Tuk and told the driver to take me to a place called Mona Lisa, a place very famous for Thai Massage. I have no choice but to mention it to him this place because my apartment was a few blocks behind this building and I forget to get name of this apartment from my roommate. During the journey, the driver tried communicating with me in English. Well the conversation between me and the driver was liked a chicken and duck case. The driver telling me that it was expensive and there were cheaper places to go than there. My answer to him was I was going back to my apartment beside there to sleep. but he got a shock that I was going to sleep at the massage parlour. My broken Thai and his broken English. We reached there and when he was about to turned into Mona Lisa, I asked him to turned into the Soi (Thai word meaning lane) beside it and he turned his head in surprise and realised that I was only using Mona Lisa as a landmark to direct him to my apartment. He and I started to laugh loudly. Both of us are "Siau Lang" (craze people)

The following day, after assessing the project, I realised that I have to shift out from this apartment and to be near my work place and the best was to stay in the same apartment as my cousin. My boss mentioned that I should not worry staying at the present apartment for he has arranged for me to have a car . I sat down and explained to him that that this project of his needed full attention and I would have to stay near by and be accessible to it. He agreed and finally got me a room in an apartment called Deluxe Apartment at Soi Ratchadapesik 3 just behind The Embassy of China.

To some people, it was a bad choice shifting out to Deluxe Apartment for it does not have the facilities like the one I was staying during my first few days in the Bangkok. Well my judgement was right for as time passed I have to work even until 3.00 to 4.00am with the rest of the China Engineers and Architect. I stayed in this apartment until the end of the project. Apart from this, I normally window shop arround The Fortune Tower. Here you can find the former Yaohan Supermarket, present called Lotus. During one of my trip back there, the hawkers along the SOI were so happy to meet me again.
My project, the present Telecom Tower, was situated at Rachadapesik Road just opposite the Chinese Embassy and was very near to Grande Mercure Fortune Hotel.

My Thai language

To start off, all the Thai words that I learned were mostly vulgar as they were taught by the construction workers. I do not know of these until my adopted Thai /Chinese(Hainam) sister, Buay, told me. She started to correct all the words that I have learned and censoring them without further questioning. As usual I started to mix with her family and some of University friends at APAC unversity.Her Grandpa,Granny, mum and the rest of the family helped me alot for they cannot speak in English and directly I have to grap the meaning of the words immediately. Only my wife could understand a bit whenever they speak to her in Hainam dialect. Until today, whenever I am in Thailand or meet any Thai people in Malaysia, I would practise my Thai with them. One of my Ivory staff is Mr. Thalwin, a Malaysian who stays near to the Thai border. At time when I knew that people was scolding me in Thai language, I have to pretend that I do not under whatever were mentioned, smile and turn a deaf ear walk away to avoid confrontation.
I cannot write in Thai for I realised that it is very tough. Normally, Buay would help my whole family to buy whatever things in Thailand.The best place to buy things was definitely in Supermarket where the prizes were fixed. The cheapest are along the road, "Thannon" or "Soi" where the Thai people leave

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Getting Married

My Wedding Photo
East AsiaTour and at the traditional wedding ceremony
in Ayer Tawar.

International proposal

Each time I left for Iran, in 1980, I would always remember the song, I Am Leaving On The Jet Plane, for I have always tell my wife to wait for me. The main reason was that I have to ensure that I have a secured and stable career before getting marry.
When alone I would always think of how to propose to her. Roses in the hand ,Give her a candle light dinner and whatever method I could get hold off. How How How!!!
It came as a surprised one day when I was about to leave Iran for my R & R , I called her on an international line to inform her of my arrival time in Singapore. Before I could speak further she informed me that my Grandmother who was in China has passed away and my parent wanted me to follow the traditional method that was "Either I Get marry within 3 months ( starting from Grandmother death date)or after 3 years".Chinese Tradition,Tradition . The main reason was my Grandmother always take care of me when I was a small boy when she was here in Penang. She would always feed me when she was seated on the "Bak Lay" (a raised platform) eating her meals. Well, I am the youngest and the pampered one, Ha! Ha!
Immediately after my wife has spoken ,I proposed to her asking whether she want to marry me and she answer YES.
That was my International Proposal. I asked her to inform my parent back in Penang and at the same time I asked her to book her earliest flight to Bangkok. She arrived 3 hours after I have landed . We went to Pattaya for our short honeymoon and had our first memorable pizza at Pizza Hut in Pattaya. When arrived back to Singapore, we went to the photo studio to have my wedding photo taken and just for information I have to stand on a Bang Koo, ( Bench in Hokkien)to look a bit taller in the picture. Well she is taller than me by 1 inch!! Hee Heee........... After the photo shot, we went over to my Elder Brother house and enjoyed our dinner cooked by my sister in law. Not to forget the present given by both of them. The following day we went back to Penang and upon arrival my parent gave us some money and asked me to go to town and buy rings for ourselves. We did not celebrate in Penang for my parent wanted all of us to respect my Granny. Two days later, my dad told us that on the day I flew out of Penang, he will publish in the Chinese Newspaper that we were married. After we left Penang for Singapore, some of the local folks called my dad asking why we did not celebrate and the reason he gave them was that I was very busy and the most important reason was our respect for My Grandmother who has passed away in China.
I would say that I saved a lot over my wedding and by the next R & R trip back,I went over to my wife home town and have a closed family wedding ceremony and a few tables for the dinner.
We went for our honeymoon,21days East Asia tour,Japan,Korea,Hong Kong and Taiwan after I retreated permanently from Singapore When we were in Hong Kong, we visited my sister in law's sister ( oop forget her name )while staying at Holiday Inn.

In this post, I would like to mention that one of my closest friend, Miss Ng Ah Moi (RIP), whom I got to know during my college day has passed away .She was one of my witnesses during my marriage, registration in the year January 1981 in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
(edited on 13 May 2007)