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May 5, 2009

Pengkalan Hulu, Golf Course

Ok, i dont play golf but 30 years ago, it was a grand meadow overlooking an army camp. It was an open land where you could take long walks and school cross country runs used to go over it. Beautiful. But now it has been cordoned off into a golf course. Nine holes apparently is a big deal. Anyway here are some early morn pics. But i guess it may attract low profiled golfers who want a time out from busy cities.

May 2, 2009

Old Folks of Kroh

He is 80. A retired police (forest) officer. He was a sergeant major in PPH. He came to this town a few decades ago and settled here. Never married. Lives alone. He eats only strict vegetarian diet, mainly juices. He meditates. He prays. He says he is a Brahmin. In his younger days, he taught bhajans and prayers to neighbourhood children including my aunts. After his retirement, he did little odd jobs e.g. grass-cutting even at midnight. He used to cover himself in thick clothing, with a head-torch and go about his business. He used to cycle 20 miles daily to Baling , uphill and downhill, to buy fresh milk and supply to locals. Now he is too frail to cycle so he drags this little ice-box with him 6.30am to the local bus station and catches the first bus to a town half an hour away.

From the main road, he walks 3 miles in to a Pejabat Pertanian to buy the milk. Then he walks another 3 miles back to the main road and waits at the bus stop to catch the bus back home. If he misses the bus, he has to wait another 2 hours. Back home, he loads the ice box on his old bicycle and pushes the bicycle around town to distribute to his loyal, old time customers. Hot sun or rain doesn't stop him. By the time he is finished, it is around 10pm. Nearly fifteen hours of work, all for a mere $15 profit a day. Why he does it we don't know but he does it with passion and mindful presence. And he is contented with his simple life and he is an inspiration.

Please meet good ole Uncle Karunagaran!

Kroh Bites

Another Kroh's best.

This is the best Kuih Siput or Biskut Siput (Shellfish) ever, not the bland-but-for-the-MSG, overpriced version you find in petrol kiosks along Malaysian highways. .

I (and very soon everyone at home too) was having this reguarly for 3 months before i tracked down the elusive person who was supplying this.

A nice Malay lady with her young children meticulously and painstakingly roll teeny weeny bits of spiced dough over a siput mould into hot oil in their humble wooden house in Kg. Selarong. For livelihood, she makes kuehs and cycles all over town to distribute them to small shops and restaurants.

This product, especially, sells like hot cakes. It is perfectly spiced, not oily at all, a great comfort snack and everyone (secretly and selfishly) wants it to stay that way.. hence the poor lady might not see commercialisation too soon.

Only warning is, be careful, once you start munching on these spicy little buggers, there is no stopping. Highly highly addictive

Now this is Biskut Tiram. Tiram means oyster. I discovered this gem of a snack in the same Malay grocery shop in my small neighbourhood i normally go to pick up one or two urgent stuff. Apparently a policeman's wife enjoys making these titbits for sale. But for RM1 for a 150gm packet, i wonder what's her profit margin coz the snack is made of stringy pastry like dough rolled and fried which itself is a tedious job and then coated with milk powder (now at least RM8.60 per 300gm) mixed with icing sugar, that is. Maybe she just loves sharing. copyrights reserved.

Interesting Residents

For city dwellers used to skyscrapers and endless traffic of vehicles on the road, Pengkalan Hulu is sure a sight! Cows , goats, chickens even iguanas or two, occasionaly foxes, snakes and myriad of birds chirping busily away amist people carrying out their living.. it sure is a respite to have nature nearby instead.

Like this brave young bull who decided to walk up 6 inches away from my windscreen and looked directly into my camera lenses. Very curious creature.

Mr Loba Loba seemed an apt nickname for him, i dont know why.

Guess what he is eyeing? A ripe aromatic temptation of a fresh fallen durian and the only thing that was keeping him away was the car i had parked in between!