Thursday, March 29, 2018

salt chicken Letter L, leaf

Leaf wrap salt chicken

Grandpa once told us in China, people didn’t have an oven. He made a salt chicken. He heated a heap of coarse salt and buried the chicken in it. It smelt aromatic but Dad complained it was too salty. Third Aunty Siew Ing made a salt chicken for me forty years later. I remembered Grandpa. It was Aunty’s secret recipe to make it less salty, wrap the chicken with the leaves of the vegetables.

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Letter L, Tree lined road

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Went back to my home town, and was so pleased to see this tree lined road.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Kuching Civic Centre letter K

The Kuching Civic Centre Malay: Dewan Suarah Kuching) is a major landmark in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. The building was officially opened on 1 August 1988 following the proclamation of Kuching as a city status.

This was where I gate crashed a wedding. I invited myself to a Malay/Muslim wedding.
There is a sweet story behind this. I rang up my muslim friend, J who went to school with me. We had not seen each other for many many years. When I rang her, she said she was going to her niece wedding. I asked if I could go because I have never been to one. She invited me.
She told me the wedding was at this posh place, the Civic centre .

My friend was late, and I waited a long time. 

The hostess of the wedding waved to me to come to her wedding when she saw me waiting for a long time. I was dressed in an elegant Malaysian dress like this one I was wearing. The kebaya.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Dischidia plants -

Dischidia plants -

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Almost twenty years ago, my neighbour went away leaving this tiny plant hanging on our shared balcony. I nursed it, and split it and grew two plants . A mutual friend came to visit and saw the plants. She said she had gifted it to my neighbour who had  left.  I gave her a big plant.

The Pap Smear

These are some of the women and man I teach at my ESOL class. I teach them about getting pap smears for themselves and their friends, and for the men, for their wives and sisters. In some countries, you pay a lot of money to get it done. ESOL stands for English speakers of other languages,

In New Zealand, not all women want this done, especially the ethnic women. There is a fear of going. Women are like the plants, strong but if you don't take care of yourselves, nobody will take care of you, and your family will lose someone they depend on. It is free.

1. What is a cervical smear test and how is it done?

Cervical screening aims to detect abnormal changes to the cervix (the nec of the uterus or womb) before they can develop into cancer. Safe and effective treatment for pre-cancerous lesions detected by screening will prevent progression to cancer. When you have your smear you will be asked to lie on your side or your back with your knees bent up. The lower part of your body will be covered with a sheet. The smear taker gently opens the vagina with a plastic or metal speculum and carefully sweeps a sample of cells from the surface of the cervix with a thin broom or brush. It takes only a few minutes to take the smear. Some women may find the test a little uncomfortable. The test sample is either smeared onto a glass slide or placed in a liquid. It is then sent to a laboratory approved by the NCSP.

By reading randomly, I read online an advertisement an invitation to win a chance to be a guest blogger in a local women's magazine. So last night, I did this post, it doesn't matter if I don't win. It gave me an opportunity to spread a topic I am passionate about and to help those ESOL women I am in contact with.

You watch the television advertisement of a group of Unise, Maata, Sisa, and their girl friends giggling as they pack into a white van. I laugh out loud, why are women in the 21st century still frightened of getting their pap smear done?

Last Monday, I went to my doctor for my flu jab. She said I was due for my pap smear. Yes, I have had done it many times, but I still feel funny. You see, my privates are my privates, except for my husband. I suppose. I always tell my kids in school, your privates are your privates. I always feel that my privates have a funny smell. In the past, when I booked for a screen, and I always cleaned myself well before I went.

But to save from another trip, I said yes. The nurse said the pap smear could only be done in between my period. I smiled and told her, I finished my period couple of years back. I can do my pap smear anytime. The nurse pointed a chair by the bed. Put your underpants and pants there. I felt embarrassed, I have had four pregnancies, and I sometimes suffer from weak bladder leakage. I have been lazy in doing my pelvic floor exercise, lazy and naughty girl. So to avoid any accidents, I always lined my undies with a thin pad.

The nurse made small talk about my fantastic running shoes. She asked if it was good. She's the second stranger who asked me. The other was a lady where I get my fresh fruit and vegetables. She asked if that was the shoe they advertised to help people lost weight. How I wish. I wear it because I walk a lot in school.

Anyway, I took off my pants and undies, and folded them nicely in a pile on the chair. Then I got on the bed and covered my legs and lower body with the blanket. I waited for the nurse. She came with a form for me to read and sign. "It's for the flu vaccination."

"I need my glasses. I don't normally need them, but I need them to read," the fifty something vain pot trying to justify herself for not wearing her reading glasses.

I read and signed my life away. Next came the procedure. The nurse told me to lie on my side, pull my legs up.

"It is going to be a little cold," gently warned the nurse.

"It,s okay, I have done this loads of times before," who was I trying to reassure an experience nurse?

"There you are, it all done," said the nurse.

I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a thing. I did feel the instrument going into my privates. But what is a little discomfort when it means it could save your life. Even if it showed a negative result, you have peace of mind. So my sisters, go do your pap smear. Go and encourage your sisters to do it.

I conclude this with Helen Reddy singing in my ear, " I am woman, hear me roar!"

Pets to be allowed on Wellington public transport

I don't have a dog, and I am not passionate about dogs. I post here without my comment. what do you think?

Wellingtonians may soon find themselves sitting next to some hairier-than-usual bus passengers.

Kingdom of Tonga letter K

International Food festival.

During our International Food festival. I bought Onai, a fruity juice from the Kingdom of Tonga, and some Samoan pie from Samoa.

And I dress very smartly in my Borneo dress.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

how to make enzyme

The proportion is 1 part brown or white sugar, 3 parts fruit and/or vegetable waste, 10 parts of water.

I prefer citrus or pineapple. 


1: Mix sugar with water, add the fruit/veg, orange/lemon peels will give a nice citrus smell.

2: Fill in air tight plastic containers/bottles, leaving about 2 inches for fermentation.

3: Store in a cool, dry and well ventilated area.

4: Do not put it where there is direct sunlight.

5: After the first week, slowly open the cap to release gas, be sure not to shake the bottle.

6: Push the floating veg downward every once in a while.

7: Ferment for at least 3 months.

8: Filter and it is ready for use.  

You get a brownish fluid.

9: The solids can be put in the garden as fertiliser. Some people recycle this to restart a new batch.

10: Add about 1 tablespoon to your normal washing solution.

Sometimes you get a  jelly like layer is a scoby……see Cheng…Aunt Cheng… in this you see the jelly like layer..this is also used as a mother to make kombucha tea…


The dishes are less oily, but it could be psychological.

I asked my friends in Malaysia, one told me an interesting use, her husband sprays it in her bird cage, and gives the cage a good smell.

Some people make a lot of claims about being environmentally friendly and saving money. I don't know about saving money, because you spent quite a bit on the brown sugar. Environmentally friendly, perhaps, since you reduce the use of detergent. I am still experimenting, I have started a batch with my apples.

uses of enzyme: washing, floor, dishes, toilet, laundry, use half of detergent you normally use.
Baked on black stuff on pans, sprinkle baking soda, then pour enzyme to see baking soda bubble.
Like beer trap to catch snails, replace beer with enzyme.

Please give me your opinion.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

John Wason, Word To Life Theatre Arts Letter L for Life

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 We had a special visitor John Wason and his wife Shelly at Mt Albert Baptist Church, in Auckland New Zealand. He told the Book of Ruth in a special way with different characters.

John and Shelly live in Canada, and having lived there before, I have a special liaison with them.

Word To Life Theatre Arts is storytelling with purpose, passion, and presence.
Word To Life Theatre Arts was launched in Tauranga, New Zealand, in 2004 by John Wason.
Word To Life is a development of John’s previous work, Out Of Silence Mime Theatre, which began at Youth With A Mission’s Academy of Performing Arts in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, in 1994. Word To Life also reflects the wide experience John gained while working offstage with Theater & Company, Kitchener, Ontario and onstage with Devon Williamson & Tonic Theatre, Tauranga, New Zealand.
With a background in expressive mime, dance, and theatre, John brings the influences of these disciplines into his work. John endeavors to tell God’s story, and the stories of His people, in fresh ways.
John and his wife Shelly continue as full time staff with the international organization Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and live in Victoria, BC, Canada with their sons Timothy, Daniel, and Jeffrey.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

ann elley

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ann the author

Rose and family

Charles, King Scout letter K

My big brother, Charles was a King scout before he went to New Zealand. One of the test was to go through a communist infested jungle. He went with a junior scout. He didn't pass the first time.

Monday, March 12, 2018

ABC Letter J for Japchae, jabchae, chapchae

Japchae, jabchae, chapchae, chop chae, or chap chae is a Korean dish made from sweet potato noodles, stir fried in sesame oil with vegetables, sometimes served with beef, and flavoured with soy sauce, and sweetened with sugar.

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Japchae, jabchae, chapchae, chop chae, ABC Letter J

Japchae, jabchae, chapchae, chop chae, or chap chae is a Korean dish made from sweet potato noodles, stir fried in sesame oil with vegetables, sometimes served with beef, and flavoured with soy sauce, and sweetened with sugar.
Today at the New Zealand Mt Albert Baptist Church, I had this salad. It brought me back to when I was in NTU, in Singapore. I was involved in our fund raiser for the Deaf In Kenya.

I told Billy this story who plays the guitar in Church.

I was also involved in inviting people to come to buy our food and to contribute their food for us to sell. I befriended Yang, a Korean, and initially she came and bought our food.
The first time she and another Korean wife brought this beautiful plate of Japchae, the person pricing the dish did not recognise it was Japchae and sold it like Chinese vermicelli. When I found out, I wanted to stop the sale, but it was too late, everyone wanted to buy it.

I felt really bad because by selling it too cheaply, we didn't respect it as a specialty dish. When ever I see this dish, I remember my Korean friend Yang, and all the ladies in NTU.

Dawit Arshak

I was privileged to have Dawit Arshak in my living room last week telling me his story. Given the injustice done to him I can understand the intense anger he felt for the first half of his life. Life in Auckland is a thousand times safer, yet he makes some astute parallels with his home country Ethiopia: Neither we nor they, have complete freedom of speech. Steve Worsley

I was excited to meet Dawit, I had a student called Dawit from Ethiopia, and was wondering if he is the Dawit/my Dawit. I taught Dawit and his sister. Much to my delight, this Dawit was the mentor to my Dawit's family. If you look at the post I did on Ethiopian coffee and enjera. That's my Dawit.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

The willow tree

My Dad was bilingual. He told me a story involving a non bilingual person who named his house something like the Willow Villa. Dad said the Chinese educated people laughed until their teeth dropped.
In the Chinese beliefs,a house of willow means a brothel. I finally found out the following.…/…/0415002281
Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought (Routledge Dictionaries) Revised ed. Edition
by Wolfram Eberhard
Wolfgang Eberhard's Dictionary of Chinese Symbols:
The willow, much valued as firewood, is a symbol of spring. As spring is the season of erotic awakenings, the phrase ‘willow feelings and flower wishes’ means sexual desire; ‘looking for flowers and buying willows’ means visiting a prostitute, ‘flowers and
willows by the wayside’ are prostitutes, and ‘sleeping among flowers and reposing beneath willows’ is a term for visiting a brothel.
The waist of a beautiful woman is compared to the willow, her eyebrows to the curve of willow leaves. A young girl is a ‘tender willow and fresh flower’ while a woman who can no longer claim virginal freshness is described as ‘faded willow and
withered flower’. A woman’s pubic hair is ‘in the depths of willow shade’.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

abc I for icecream

Ann Chin's photo.

Some of you would have read that I write books. Currently, I am writing a recollection of my growing up years in Borneo.

I remember when the American ice cream came to town. Not sure if it was my friend's uncle's. I don't remember the exact location was becos: my sis Elizabeth was in Chinese school, my bro Charles was in English school. My Dad drove just me home from school. Elizabeth and Charles took the bus. They were going on and on about the American ice cream that was new to town. It's that soft serve.

That day, Dad said he couldn't pick me up, I was to wait for the 2, and catch the bus. Charles and Eliza took me to buy this American ice cream via a little hole in the wire fence by Lido theater. We were merrily slurp the ice cream, crawl through the hole. Lo and behold, who did we see? My Dad and the principal Mr Wong Kee Mee. Charles and Eliza threw away their ice cream. I sat in the front seat, happily slurping away. Dad scolding the whole way home. "Not that I don't want you to eat the American ice cream. It is you made us worried that you were kidnapped." (Dad finished his appointment and decided to pick us up.)

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Hello ,I must say you are beautiful i like your Asia look. i am Singaporean living here in Singapore, am happy to meet you here. and I wish to be your friend. My greetings to the entire family.

stephen lee tan