Monday, December 27

koko' in Penang

In this world, there are many types of friends.
There are those who cannot keep promises.
There are those who leave you halfway.
Then, there are those who are with you forever.
During my trip to Penang... I experienced all 3.

Nesa, Chee Chee, Shawn & I
Here are some of my best friends in the world.
We make an effort to meet at least once a year. This year, we agreed to meet in Penang in Dec.
Guna, an important part of our group, did not even show up.
Chee Chee & Shawn had to leave on the first night.
Sad sad~~ But thankfully Nesa stayed & showed me around his hometown.
It's just the two of us... as usual.

When you're in Penang, there's really only one thing to do... EAT.
I did plenty of that & also visited the grand Kek Lok Si Temple

Check out the intricate details! Magnificent!
I found Guna & gave him the evil eye.
Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas + 1 koko'

And now I shall introduce the hawkers & shops I had a good experience with.

Asam Laksa
Asam Laksa @ Ayer Itam Market
After my visit to the temple, we stopped by the nearby market for Penang's world famous Asam Laksa (or Penang Laksa).

Orgasmic Pleasure in a Bowl
The first time I had Asam Laksa, I didn't like it because the sauce was too thick.
This one had its favours just nice & at RM3 a bowl, I was left wanting more!

Pasembur @ Gurney Drive Hawker Centre
I'm a big fan of rojak & the Pasembur is really good in Penang.

Warm Flavoursome Sauce Over a Generous Serving of Salad & Crispy Snacks
The items are fresh & the stall is run by its owner.
You'll hear him banging his cleaver on a chopping board while singing along to the songs from his loud speakers.
RM4.50 (depending on which items you choose)

Tofu Fa
Tofu Fa @ Kampung Benggali
I absolutely love Tofu Fa. Love it to bits!
I love how good it feels in your mouth.
Warm, Soft, Smooth & Sweet.  hmmm~~

White Coloured Comfort (RM0.80)
You can get quality Tofu Fa almost anywhere in Malaysia but I just had to have it in Penang.

Char Kueh Tiaw
Dude, It's Only RM3!!! OMG!!!
The world famous Penang Char Kueh Tiaw.
There are plenty of good ones on the island & the mainland but the awesome ones are slowly disappearing because the grandpas & grandmas decided to retire while their children decided to become doctors or lawyers.

Char Kueh Tiaw @ Lucky Restaurant (Opposite Ananda Bahwan Restaurant)
Here's a good one on the mainland where a grandpa & grandma is still going strong.

Nasi Kandar
Fried Gizzards + Goat Curry + Briyani Rice + Spicy Coconut Chutney (RM10.50)
It started here. The world famous Mamak restaurants started right here in little old Penang & has spread all over the world. Even back to India! WTH!

Where You Tell Them What You Want
Nesa guarantees that any Nasi Kandar you step into in Penang is surely good. I've been to 5 in Penang & they have not disappointed.

Line Clear Nasi Kandar @ Penang Road Alley
Here's a unique Nasi Kandar shop where there is a line 24hrs a day!
It was once a small Nasi Kandar stall in an alley which has expanded throughout the years to occupy the whole alley.
No wonder, coz it serves an awesome Nasi Kandar meal with generous servings!

Meat Jerky
Recognise the Logo from KL?
This popular meat jerky maker from Petaling St has a branch in Butterworth, Penang.
I bought lots of pork jerky for my mom to serve during CNY.
Around RM30 per 300g depending on meat & flavour.

Chinese Biscuits
Living Proof that Good Customer Service Sells
My mother is a big fan of Penang's Chinese biscuits.
There are many stalls all over Penang island & mainland selling these biscuits (produced in Penang's factories).
I bought a whole mother lode of biscuits from this store because they allowed me to taste any biscuit I wanted to before buying.

Here's what I bought:
Dao Sa Pia (Red Bean Filled Biscuits) - RM4.50/box
Beh Teh Soh (Sweet Paste Filled Biscuits) - RM6.50/pack
Pepper Crackers - RM5.50/pack

Pickled Fruits
Lightly Seasoned Pickled Fruits
I've never really liked Pickled Fruits because they are almost always overwhelming in sweetness or sourness.
I found the ones from this shop to be milder & perhaps more suitable for the health conscious.
I got pickled nutmeg + mangoes + dried nutmeg for my mom.

Indian Desserts
Unique & Adorable Kaju Apple Dessert @ Sri Ananda Bahwan

There are about 3 Sri Ananda Bahwan Restaurants in Penang

I really like Indian desserts because they are bursting with flavour. You can find nuts, spices, sugar & ghee jam packed into cute little slices.
Sadly, too many of them are just too sweet & I avoid those like the plague.

I found the Kaju Apples at Sri Ananda Bahwan to be very palatable & mildly sweet. It is very pleasing to the eye too!
If I had a girlfriend, I'd buy her a box for Valentines day.
Chinese girls will love it coz it's so CUTE!!!
Leave me a comment if my tip got you some brownie points with your girl.

Good & Cheap - Perhaps the Best
I wanted the best Indian Dessert shop in Penang & Nesa did some asking around.
We ended up at this shop: Vickram Sweets & Snacks, Market St.
I bought a whole load of desserts & murukku for my Chinese family who otherwise would never have tried any. I got Jaangiri, Halva, Mysore Pak & many others I am unable to name.

Penang is really an awesome place.
I wouldn't mind moving over there for the culture, infrastructure, low-cost of living & awesome food.
It may just be the best place to retire in.

I would like to thank Nesa & Sara for making my stay a memorable one!
Send my regards to your parents too!

Saturday, December 18

SMK Katibas Menerima Anugerah Khas Ketua Menteri Sarawak 2010 - Sekolah Menengah Cemerlang Pendalaman

There I was thinking that I'd have a good quiet break from my duties as Penyelia Kawasan SPM at home in Kuching when my boss called me up suddenly & told me to dress up for a function at Hilton Kuching.
I thought that he was going to hook me up with a rich young lady but instead I was in a hall full of rich married ladies who wouldn't bat an eyelid at me.

I was called up to take pictures for my principal during the "Majlis Penyampaian Anugerah Khas Ketua Menteri Sarawak 2010".
What could I do? Saya yang menurut perintah...
Although, I did get to blackmail my boss into buying me 2 pints of Guinness after the ceremony... Oh yeah~~~ There's no beer like free beer.

My school was awarded the "Anugerah Khas Ketua Menteri Sarawak 2010 - Sekolah Menengah Cemerlang Pendalaman" for successive years of excellence in education.
We were judged according to our academic, student affairs & co-curricular performance for the past 3 years & we stood head & shoulders above the other rural schools to receive this award.

Congratulations to my boss for this award is a great symbol/milestone/memento/vindication of his many years of dedication & outstanding service leading the school.
Let's not forget his slaves aka teachers whom he pushed hard to work hard to push the students to push forward & achieve more.
He should buy all of you a pint or two.

I tip my hat & raise my pint to all of you.
Hopefully, one day I will be involved in achieving something like this & a little bit more.

Not bad for an ulu school, eh?

Saturday, December 11

How's Your Holiday?

My holiday is almost non-existent but what surprises me is my complaints are non-existent too.
I am actually enjoying life stuck here in the jungle babysitting 17YO monkeys who get on my nerves every now & then & incur the wrath of my Lvl15 Roar & Lvl20 Paralyse Pinch.

I'm still here in school instead of lounging at the Playboy mansion because my PK1 & PK HEM want to be liberated from their Penyelia Kawasan SPM duties. They wanted to selfishly enjoy the long holiday so they found 2 dumb-dumbs to replace them (they were only here for 1 week! Baskets!).
Unfortunately, I am one of the dumb-dumbs who wanted simply to invigilate the SPM exams at another ulu school I've never been to but instead, got pulled into this insignificant open the vault, give test papers to Ketua Pengawas, shake leg until end of exam, wait for KP to bring the answers, keep answers in safe & send answers to HQ once a week.

I wanted to be posted to the super ulu SMK Bellaga as a humble invigilator so I'd get to experience life there for 1 month ++. Wouldn't it be great to breathe in the super fresh air from the lungs of the Earth & hunt for my own food in the rich landscape?
Maybe I'll pull some strings to make that happen next year since I've been able to rub shoulders with several senior officials through this Penyelia Kawasan post.

Believe it or not. I was able to convert the shake leg time between giving the papers to the KP & receiving the answers into productive work time!
I spent that time patching up the piles of files of the English Language Panel (boy, what a mess!), writing reports for our multitudes of activities (what a stupid pointless thing to do! who is going to read this sheet?), finishing up & touching up the school magazine (this is actually something I like to do), learning some Bahasa Iban word/phrases (to chat up hot chicks) & coming up with a 80pg module of essay/summary/grammar/exam-based exercises for the Form 3 students next year so that each class will do the same exercises & at least go through the basic training necessary to prepare them for the PMR exams (wow~ I feel like such a good teacher with a large halo above my head).

During these holidays, I'm also preparing myself emotionally & intellectually for a gargantuan task ahead of me next year & beyond.
I will be Chief Warden as of 1 Jan 2011.
I will be tasked with carrying the torch of winning the Anugerah Seri Asrama Terbilang competition by 2012.
The previous CW did a great job & I have big shoes to fill.
It'll be interesting to see what I will bring next year & I believe I will be pleasantly surprised as always because my Lord Jesus will pull me through & help me excel beyond expectations.

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