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Saturday 22 December 2007

Winter Has Arrived!

Today is the arrival of winter, dongzhi, (冬至) according to the Chinese calender. It is a festival that some of the Chinese regard as a more important than the Chinese New Year.

There is a type of food that must be taken on this day so that one will grow. If not taken, one will never age. The children will willingly swallow but maybe the ladies will be hesitant to consume.

This is the type of food that we call tangyuan (汤圆). They are glutinous rice balls cooked in syrup. Some tanyuan have filling of ground peanuts, black sesame or red bean paste. As for my family, we always have the plain tangyuan. When I was still a kid, my grandpa used to tell me that I should take the same number of glutinous rice balls as my age, with an extra one to symbolise the additional one year of age. However, I didn't see him taking 60+ tangyuan then.

This is the second bowl of 'tangyuan' I had today.

My family likes to cook 'tangyuan' in two colours, white and peach-red.

When I grow older, I like 'tangyuan' more.

These home-cooked 'tangyuan' were very chewy.

There are more white ones than the peach-red ones usually, but when I was a kid, I used to get all the peach-red ones.

No matter whether it is white or peach-red, they are still 'tangyuan'.

Friday 21 December 2007

The Joyous Day in Kampung Empesak

Date: 20th December, 2007
Place: Kampung Empesak
Project: Rural Outreach
Activity: Christmas party, health screening and donation of necessities

The New Century Lions Club of Kuching Emerald, together with the Sarawak British Alumni Association and the Parish Church Group, we managed to throw a party for the children of Kampung Empesak and the neighbouring villages. We also carried out a health screening session for the villagers and donated some household necessities to the 10 families of Kampung Empesak.

It was another early day for us. We first assembled at a coffee shop at Green Height before we headed to Serian, our second assembly point. Everybody went up to Serian and assembled at a another coffee shop. Some of them had their second breakfast, yes, I really mean second breakfast, as the first round was had at the coffee shop at Green Height.

Our meeting point in Serian.

The New Century Lions Club of Kuching Emerald members, a volunteer and a Kuching cowboy.

The Sanmina and ex-Sanmina group.

After we had all the things sorted out, the convoy left Serian for Kampung Empesak at about 9 a.m.

Some of the food brought up by the volunteers.

The volunteers from the Sarawak British Alumni Association.

The Christmas party was held inside the Chapel of the Holy Family.

The 'Bii-ters' with a cowboy wannabe.

The children were more attracted to my camera than the Bii-ters' singing.

Yo! Yo! Whassup?

Santa Claus is not coming to town, he was at Kampung Empesak.

Haiya! How come Santa Claus did not give me sweets?

What's happening?

The four finalists of the mine-passing game.

The final round!

I'll follow up with the other activities carried out during that day, so please stay tuned.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors on behalf of the New Century Lions Club of Kuching Emerald for your kind and generous donation. Without all your contributions, it is close to impossible to bring joy to Kampung Empesak.

Wednesday 19 December 2007

Wordless Wednesday – The Sunset at Pulau Sipadan

Monday 17 December 2007

The Top 10 Billboard

I have been suffering from food poisoning for the weekend, and I'm still recovering from it. It is really no fun! Imagine the number of times that I had to wake up to rush to the toilet! I wasn't sleeping for the whole night just for that until I could see the doctor the next day.

Well, the doctor's advice is not to take any oily food for the next few days, and in fact I have no appetite to take in much food anyway.

In the circumstances of being sick, normally we resolve to taking in food that is easy to swallow, especially food cooked in soup. This is one place I would recommend to anyone looking for food for a sick person, or someone who's just looking for food with very little oil.

This is what I mean by Top 10.

And this is the Billboard.

This is my order, a bowl of vermicelli in soup.

I got three big fish balls.

Two slices of the fish bladder.

And three slices of fish paste.

The soup is very clear and refreshing with the taste of freshness of the fish. The one slice of tomato makes the soup to taste a bit sour and appetising. It is a really good meal if you want something light and less burden to your stomach.

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