Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Swearing In Cantonese 101

With sincere apologies to those who don't understand Cantonese (& not to those who are easily offended), couldn't resist posting up this video of a Hong Kong Uni professor who apparently had conducted a study on the use & misuse of the fine art of swearing in the Cantonese dialect. Hmmm, what other kind of study will they think of next???

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Mini Story Part 2

It's not exactly ready yet as there's still some work to be done & some detailing as well but we're getting there....

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bali Babi Blowout 2008

Sunset at Tanah Lot Temple


Typical Balinese Gate

Have finally found a little window of time from what's been a real hectic 3 weeks since we came back from another excellent trip to Bali. First trip was back in early October 2005, about a week after the 2nd Bali bomb went off at Kuta Square. Naturally the place was pretty much dead then as whatever remaining "kwai lou" had high tailed out of this tiny terrorist haven then. There was not much change in the scene when we were back 6 months or so later with another 6 friends in tow. It was a real bad time for the locals as quite a high percentage of them rely on the tourist income. It was so bad that Doris was actually recognised by one of the shopkeepers on Legian, even though the trips were like 6 months apart!!

Happily for the Balinese people, things are about as normal now as it could get. Though March is not yet the peak season for tourist arrivals, you could tell that things were better in the way the shopkeepers on Legian refuse to let you haggle away too much. Prices have generally gone up a little bit since our last trip in May 2006 but still, with cheap fares from Air "ManUre" Asia, its pretty much an affordable overseas holiday that I think most Malaysians will enjoy. Not just for the thrill of being able to declare yourself a millionaire (sadly though in Rupiah, & not Euro or pound sterling) but also everything from food, accommodation and shopping is relatively cheap and affordable. It helps also of course in that Bali can boast a very interesting art, cultural & religious showcase not to mention also the beautiful landscapes - from clean white sandy beaches to tropical rainforests & terraced rice fields, there is something here for everyone. Hence we've enjoyed each & every trip we've made to Bali, enhanced with the company of good friends.

Our group of 10 arrived in Bali in good spirits not only because its a vacation but also in knowing the brilliant election results the day before. Save for Sean and his wife Vivien, it was the same group which made the trip back in 2006. As we've previously been to all of the usual sights and sounds Bali had to offer, the tours we arranged this time round was really for the benefit of the "Bali Virgins" - Sean and Vivien. As they say, "...been there, done that & bought the souvenir t-shirt too". As expected, they too were just as taken by Bali in all aspects as we were the very first time we were here.

For the rest of us in the group, Wong, Siew Bee, Celine, Peter, Mei Peng, Jon, Doris & myself, the main highlight of our trip was really to get down to the serious matter of savouring (once again!!) the excellent Balinese fare called 'babi guling'. Bali, as opposed to the rest of Indonesia, is a predominantly Hindu society and an upshot of that, to our delight, is the free availability of porcine related meals in almost every restaurant or warung. When we arrived & after checking in, we were ready for dinner and off we headed to a German restaurant we know on Legian for a generous serving of pork knuckle, meatloaf (pork of course), Schwein (that's "babi" in German) sausages & barbecued pork spare ribs washed down with Bintang beer. Of course we did the healthy thing in putting in 2 orders of chicken salad for some greens but you know what? I believe the chicken in the salad was probably grilled with pork lard...

Bintang time!!

Pork knuckle

BBQ Pork Ribs & Schwein Weiners

The real highlight in our little Piggy Trail though came on the third day of the trip when we moved from Kuta to stay in Ubud for 2 nights, where Bu Oka's Babi Guling warung is located. This traditional Balinese fare is made up of a mixture of garlic, cili padi, ginger, lemongrass, peppercorn & some other herbs & spices which is then stuffed into the cavity of a suitably sized suckling pig. The cavity is then sealed and roasted over an open fire pit for between 4-5 hours with coconut water being rubbed onto the skin to give it a nice sheen. The marinated pork meat is served with a slice of the crispy skin, deep fried intestine & liver sausage. The combination of fragrant spices & crispy skin is just heavenly.




Understandably, both Sean & Vivien initially couldn't understand our general excitement about going to a little warung for some roast pig. But I assure you, this ain't no ordinary roast pig from an ordinary warung & indeed they concurred with our opinion after trying it out. Bu Oka's Babi Guling is said to be amongst the best in Bali but out little survey amongst the locals seem to confirm that her version is the best of the lot. The evidence can be seen from the crowds, both locals and tourist who throng her place daily. I suppose her popularity and fame may also have been boosted by a spot on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations programme where he declared openly that of all the babi he's had (& this bugger has had a lot from his travels round the world) Bu Oka's porcine dish is the best. If you are thinking of trying it when in Bali, do remember that her place is only open from about 11am to 2pm or so. Apparently they sell a maximum of 5 pigs a day and is usually sold out by late lunch time. Obviously, we had a 2nd round of it on the afternoon before we left Ubud for Kuta again.

The remainder of the trip? Just a blur of shopping, shopping & more shopping....

P.S. If you're an animal lover & take offence at my posting, I make no apologies so please do click the big red X button on the top right of your screen and PISS OFF....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

People's Power!!

A brand new era for Malaysia has dawned with the capture of the Penang, Kedah, Selangor & Perak state governments by Barisan Rakyat and Pas' retaining Kelantan with a bigger majority. Overall, Pak Lah's Barang Naik party is well & truly fooked with the overall losses in many places & some surprises as well including Uncle Samy (Happy Birthday & Selamat Bersara!!), Kayveas in Taiping, Shahrizat in Lembah Pantai (bloody well done Nurul!), Koh Tsu Koon in Batu Kawan Penang & Lee Hwa Beng at Kelana Jaya (Correct! Correct! Correct! Its Gwo Burne!!).

With Barisan Rakyat in power, especially in the economically vibrant state of Selangor, be prepared for more revelations (with facts & figures) of the far reaching extent of corruption, cronyism & nepotism in these states in the coming months. However more importantly, the Barisan Rakyat who have for years made many promises on what they'd if they were in power. So now is the time for them to live up to those promises & work for the people and not end up with power in their heads. At the end of the day it is up to us, the people, to be ever vigilant to any signs of abuse of power by the government of the day. remember, we, the citizens & tax payers are their bosses and not the other way around.

I'm keeping this post short as I'm rushing off to pack! We're off to Bali for a week!! Third trip in 5 years & still looking forward to it. Yes, we do so love Bali!! Will post some pix, food reviews etc. when we're back. Babi Guling here we come!!!

Syabas Barisan Rakyat!! MAKKAL SAKTI!!