Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Friday, July 29, 2005
(In honour of Kucing Gatal's first visit to my blog, this post shall be rated SX18.)

My lecturer was right. The Javanese have more words about rice than the Malaysian Malays. Thanks to all who contributed.
I just remembered that there is more to rice than making you full. And there are many kinds of nasik as stated in the previous posts comments. There are famous and infamous nasi. You have heard of nasi kangkang, I am sure. That is the rice (not sure whether it is in a pot or in a plate) that has gone between , or under the legs of a woman who wanted her man to be under her command. Food for thought indeed eh guys?
On the flip side, there is nasi kepal. Nasi kepal, rice balled by the fist, with a few choice verses will make a man fiesty in bed. Nasi kepal can make a man be like Exide batteries: Starts Stronger, Lasts Longer. It works. I can have a few people in the East Coast testify to this. People who eat rice with fork and spoons cannot be taught this secret though.
To last really long, nothing beats the antah - the padi grain inadvertently left in cooked rice. I used "inadvertently" because all Malaysian ladies in the villages will try their best to hunt for the antah in the rice and remove them before cooking the rice.. This, in Terengganu is called pilih beras (literally: selecting rice). They usually pour the rice in a tray made of woven bamboo called badang in Terengganu. For some reason or the other, however meticulous the process is, an antah or two will find its way into the rice pot and subsequently into your plate. If you are a man, and you are suffering from a hair-trigger problem, do not be angry if you find an antah in your plate. Be thankful instead. It can help you with your PE problem. Keep the antah in your pocket. The next time you want to make love to your wife, slip the antah under your tongue. The Guru said you won't come until the antah swells. Although I didn't try this myself, I casually mentioned this to our department driver while having lunch at a table not very far from our boss. The boss is a veritable Scrooge and he preferred to lunch alone even though the three of us were travelling together. Our driver at that time just married a young wife and he was grateful for the tip. I was not sure whether the boss heard us, but we could see that he suddenly became interested in his rice.
For men on Atkins Diet and not allowed any form of carbohydrates, they cannot possibly hunt for antah. For you, I can tell what Pok Ya of the Wok Sir group told me. Pok Ya spoke of a Tok Ayoh in a village at the end of the Kota Bharu bridge. This Tok Ayoh could massage your burung so that you won't miss a beat even after climaxing. Philanderers be careful though. Tok Ayah could tell who you have been sleeping with. If he is satisfied that it is your wife that you are going to please, he will customise your burung accordingly. Last I heard, Tok Ayah passed away but not without passing his techniques to his son. So go look for him in the kampung at the end of the Kota Bharu bridge on the way to Pasir Pekan. It's easy to find. Just look for the village where all the women in look happy and extremely contented.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Long long ago, in a place not that far away, my Anthropology lecturer told me that the Javanese have more words about rice than the Malays in Malaysia. I believed him. But, try as I might, I could not remember the Javanese words pertaining to rice. My lecturer might have not cited any examples. I couldn't remember. So I am imploring any of you who knows Javanese to enlighten us. Just give us the words connected to rice/padi and if there are no Bahasa Malaysia equivalent, my lecturer is right.
I got to the Indonesian Wikipedia but it was not much help. I did find out that the Javanese called sekam, the discarded padi husk, merang. Could this be the origin of the village's name? I also found that nasi (boiled rice) has a synonym in Indonesia. Nasi is also called ketan. Is it the same thing or is there a difference between them? That is something you can sink your teeth into.
Rice is very much revered in Austronesia and more so in Java. In Malaysia, at least in Terengganu, children are not allowed to waste rice. Leave a grain on your plate and you are told that the rice will weep mournfully the whole night. Neither do you take the easy way out by dropping the rice on the floor because stepping on abandoned rice will bring terrible nightmares. My nek's (grandmother) version was I would be pursued by fierce fat elephants. To welcome newlyweds, Malays throw handfuls of beras kunyit (rice mixed in saffron) at the couple for good luck. This practise is dying, probably due to rice getting too expensive to throw around. Westerners throw rice at newlyweds too. This is something that is mystifying to me. I would expect them to throw their own staple like potatoes, corns or boiled cabbage.
Toasted padi or bertih are used mainly by bomohs purportedly to feed the spirits. Apparently, spirits do not take Rice Krispies. This will bring us to the Malay equivalent of cornflakes which is of course ping (not the PPS kind.) Ping is Terengganuspeak for emping. It is made from young padi grains, fried and then pounded into flatness. The pounding is done using big wooden lesong and usually done in groups in an air of festivitivies. The ping is usually eaten with sugar and grated coconut. If it is eaten with a sweet gravy, it is called serawa. Ping was the main sustestance for padi farmers in Terengganu who camped in certain beaches in the state after harvest for what was called Main Pantai. Maggi Mee wasn't invented then. Some, of course, would bring their freshly harvested rice, duly husked which is called beras baru (new rice.) Beras baru makes delicious and aromatic out-of-this -world nasi lemak.
What other rice words can I think of? Oh yes, beras jemoh is the ordinary, non-sticky rice while beras pulut is the sticky gluteneous rice which can be really glutinous. Good nasi dagang Terengganu is made from the right mixture of beras jemoh and beras pulut. Rice from padi grown on high ground is padi huma. High placed and diplomatic Rice is of course, Condolezza. Stop booing , will you?

(Picture from Jasmine's website which neither sponsors nor endorses this post.)


Monday, July 25, 2005
During the recent UMNO General Assembly, my cousin paid me a visit. He wanted a jacket (or a coat as he called it.) He got one that fitted him perfectly. It was a jacket that I bought in a department store in Miri. I had to buy one because a jacket was de rigueur for ICU's head of sections meetings and I missed packing mine.
During lunch my cousin told me that a new multi-lane highway will be built in Merang in place of the present coastal road. They would probably widen the present road. My cousin told me that part of my mother's land, where her house is, will be acquired for the highway. I have heard of this before. When my mother was alive, they told her that part of her land would be acquired for a railway project. The railway never came. Yesterday, Sunday Star's Focus had an article about the National Physical Plan (to be launched today in Penang) where there will be a high-speed train network passing through Terengganu. I am not sure whether it will pass through Merang.
Merang (not to be confused with Marang) is a small village without a post office yet. I am sure there are villages like Merang all over our country. There was no industry in Merang to spur growth. There is always a small fishing community and there used to be a bauxite mine in Bidong Darat. A few administrations ago, Merang was designated part of the tourism belt. A stretch of beachfront property between The Petronas Training Center and Sutra Beach Resort was given to a company to be developed as tourism projects. The company put up a signboard and nothing came up ever since.
When Redang Island became popular, Merang became the jumping off point for the island-goers. The government then, against the opinion of the villagers, built a long concrete jetty at the most beautiful spot in Merang in the village's only bay down by the old rest house. In spite of hiring consultants from Holland, the jetty caused sand to build up. They tried to salvage the jetty by building walls in the water but the South China Sea just would not cooperate. More sand was deposited. What was once my favourite swimming beach is now sand with a shallow lagoon. The jetty did more harm to the bay than years and years of monsoon. No island-going boats used the jetty. Berjaya used the Chendering Port and the jetty in Kuala Terengganu's Kedai Payang.Millions of ringgit went to waste.
The present "terminal" (see pic) for tourists going to Perhentian, Lang Tengah and other islands is situated on private land. We used to call the place Seberang Pok Wa. If the government is serious about developing Merang, they should build a proper terminal where tourists can wait for their boat in comfort. There should be a petrol pump there for the boats to refuel. Of course there should also be shops for refreshment and souvenirs.
The present administration, I heard, thought of this. There are some members in the Setiu District Council who wanted the terminal to be somewhere else further north. They reasoned that the new terminal can be used for boats going to Pulau Perhentian as well. If they prevail, Merang once again will be a sleepy hollow village like it was 15 years ago.


Friday, July 22, 2005
A couple of friends of mine had the golden opportunity of making some money. It won't come easy though. They have to work hard and they will have to register a company. They will have to think of the company's name, search for its availability and then register it. Of course, if they are in a great hurry, they can buy a shelf company. You can buy one online for RM3,300 and it will be ready in an hour or you get it free.
Thus, the hardest part is thinking up an appropriate name for the company. There are companies that I know who took a lot of effort to name themselves. A name that means a lot. A names that succinctly describes what they do. Names like Microsoft and Omni Media. Microsoft, as everyone knows deals primarily in software for micro computers. Microsoft is very successful. Omni Media tells everyone that they deal in many kinds of media. They are not that successful yet in spite of the versatile name. InsyaAllah, they will.
There are names of companies that stand out. Once upon a time in America, a Roger Reid married a certain Marsha Wright. They set up a company called Reid & Wright. They sell antique books and probably pens and pencils too. Other names equally memorable are:
Beauty & The Beach
A Pane In The Glass
Body & Sole
Buy & Large
Of course Malaysians can think of nice unique names for their companies too. Chanai & Such comes to mind and so is Souled Out. I am hoping that you will add a few more. Those are names with imagination and relevant to the establishment. You couldn't possibly find names like that in the list of shelf companies for sale. Can you? Let us see the list:
Akar Berkat, Akar Bintang...hmm. that would be fine if you are selling tongkat ali or ginseng. It is also nice to note that some of them think of God when naming their companies:
Armada Syukur
Cantuman Rahmat
Strategi Berkat
Syarikat Crystal Berkat
Miracle Platform
Some companies probably used feng shui when they named them. Suanie could verify:
Axis Dragon
Blossom Lotus Solution
Bright Dragon
Lotus Bridge
Lotus Champion
Majestic Circle
Some are very confident and optimistic about their company and they came up with:
Shining Victory
Mega Juara Terbilang
Future Jewel
Bumi Miracle
Eternal Luck
Eternal Victory
Good luck to them. To my friends, think of a good name. Research it well. FORD exported their compact car NOVA to Mexico. They found out too late that NO VA can also mean "no move". Another company, closer to home (HQ in Bangsar, as I remembered it) made money distributing upmarket perfumes for a while. Then they disappeared. The company? TAHI. I kid you not.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Yesterday I had lunch at Aseana KLCC. The menu there has changed since I was there last although I still could get keropok lekor. Awang, who travelled from Kota Bharu for this lunch meeting phoned to say that he would be late. He couldn't take his shower because there was no water at the place that he was staying in. HT, who arrived on time told me that one could shower in the pay toilet at KLCC. Since I already showered and shaved, I filed that information quietly in my head.
By the time Awang arrived, I already finished my iced lemon tea and ordered a nescafe tarik. By the time the lunch meeting was over, I had this sudden urge to go to the "small river." Since I was on the Ground Floor, I looked for the nearest washroom there. I found one after a short hop skip and jump. A big sign greeted me. I was informed that I have to pay to use this toilet and to have the exact change ready. If I do not agree to pay 2 ringgit to spend a penny, I am at liberty to look for "free" toilets located at other levels. I had the choice of forking out 2 ringgit or walk on and soil my pants. I am not using adult pampers yet. The last time I was in a pay toilet, I had to pay 20 sen. But then, this is no Bandaraya toilet.
So I walked in, paid the lady at the desk 2 ringgit. She gave me a ticket and a sachet of wet paper towel nicely packed in blue foil. The ticket was my AP - my approved permit to use the place. The place was well-patronised and very clean. Reminds me of washrooms in hotels. I didn't see the shower stalls though.
Relieved, I began to ask myself questions. Did I begrudge the 2 ringgit? In my younger days, I used to tip the attendant at hotel washrooms the same amount. Amcorp Mall charged me 2 ringgit for parking. I figured that 2 ringgit is fair for saving me from untold horrors of public toilets. What is your thought on the fee for a pee?


Monday, July 18, 2005
My son has his heart in the right place. He thinks of me now and then. Yesterday my son took me to a new place that sells nasi dagang. It is in a new block of shophouses about 5 minutes from Wangsa Melawati along the MRR2. The Nasi Dagang House is sandwiched between a cake shop and an Interior Decoration place. I can't offer you any more direction to the place because I am not familiar with the area. All I know is, if I go further up I will get to UIA and the exit to Karak. If it is any help, there is an apartment behind the shopping blocks and it looks just as new. The apartment and the shophouses are painted in the same yellow.

The tag for The Nasi Dagang House is "Secret Recipe from The East Coast". The place is trying to cater for both Terengganu and Kelantan food lover. There is nasi dagang and there is nasi kerabu. Even the nasi dagang comes with a choice of Terengganu curry (ikan tongkol) or chicken (usually served with Kelantan nasi dagang.) There is also nasi minyak on the menu as well as Laksa Kelantan, Terengganu sata and pais. They also offer sotong goreng, ikan goreng, udang goreng and baby crab goreng which neither state can claim. Terengganu people will be glad to find out that the place serves kerepok lekor goreng from Kuala Kemaman. For desserts, they offer cream caramel, jelly kelapa and a few bubur. You can also have ubi kayu rebus if you want.

The nasi dagang is served on a plate lined with banana leaf. The curry comes in a separate bowl.
The rice is about the same amount that you get from the nasi dagang sold in kelosong (banana leaf cone) in coffee shops in Terengganu. You usually have to eat two of these to be full. The nasi dagang in this new place is the Terengganu style rice. It has enough pulut (glutinous rice) inside to make it sticky enough and nice to eat. The rice passes the test. This place is a bit stingy with the curry. The two pieces of ikan tongkol were barely covered by the gravy. By KL standard, the gravy is ok. You have to try it yourself though. Be careful of the chili padi in the gravy. A number of this mini dynamites are in the curry in case you want the nasi dagang extra hot.

The nasi kerabu (only white is available) has the usual tumis, sambal nyo and ulam on it. The ulam consists of mainly sliced longbeans. The original nasi kerabu has more in the ulam. It is served with fish crackers (kerepok) and a quarter salted egg. The mandatory budu comes in a small sauce plate. The nasi kerabu comes also with either daging bakar or ayam bakar. Whether you pick the beef or the chicken, you will be disappointed at the small pieces. At least the rice is more than the nasi dagang.

We didnt get to try the sata or the pais. They were not available when we got there at around 2 pm. This place opens from 12 noon to 2 am. Forget about having nasi dagang for breakfast.

Prices are reasonable. RM3.90 for the nasi dagang, RM4.50 for nasi kerabu. The fried seafood is RM8.00 each while ubi kayu rebus is RM2.90.


Friday, July 15, 2005
As I was driving up the steep Bukt Kerinchi road yesterday, I saw a black WAJA with an OIC commemorative plate in front of me. Nothing unusual about that. Only this Waja had the metal marque on the back modified. Instead of WAJA, it had JAWA. Fine and clever, I thought. The owner of the car took the trouble to make a statement. I immediately thought of my father's music kaki, Mohd Nor Jidong. A long long time ago this man got hold of the Morris Minor chromed lettering, hacksawed the "Morris" and half of "I" and got M.NOR in gleaming chrome to paste on his motor cycle.
As a fan of Scrabble and the pda game "Text Twister", I began to think of words that you can make out of rearranged automobile marques. You just need some imagination and if you really want to use it for your car, you need a hacksaw and some metal glue too. While waiting for people to come into our irc room, I thought up these:

O FOR A MALE (desperate owner)
AF AMORE (a die -hard fan of Akademi Fantasia)
MORE FOAL (a stud farm owner)
MORE LOAF ( a baker)
NICE ROTI (another baker)
CINTER ( a jiwang-jiwang owner)
LOVE TECH (can be a geek or a geek lover)
VOLT HERO (a battery dealer or someone working for TNB)
VOTE CHEER (beer supplier for delegates)
COR THE VET ( a Cockney animal doctor)
STUDAN (a student who has yet learned to spell)
I WARAS (no road rage for this owner)
A WARIS (inherited car)
IS RAWA ( member of the clan)
WA SIAR ( a broadcaster)
M RECEDES (bemoaning his depleting cash or receding hairline)
NAPER DA (admonishing bad drivers)
AN APE (admonishing a really bad driver)
NAU LATER (an undecided person)
TAU LER (response on comments that he is undecided)
ER NUT LA (pasted on the left for people overtaking on the wrong side)
JAP ROE (fan of the Japanese pregnant fish)
Y TATOO (not a tattoo person)
TA TOYO (saying goodbye to an MB when everything is OK)
WAK SEGAN (this is a classic)

I am sure you can do better. C'mon, get cracking and have a nice weekend.

All trademarks are copyrighted by their respective owners.
Image of Waja from http://www.jyanet.com/cap/2000/1117ob0.shtml


Thursday, July 14, 2005
While surfing the TV channels one day, I chanced upon a "song power" video urging us to love our rivers. And the end of it, I was surprised to see that it was done on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage. Was my ancient eyes playing tricks on me?
There is nothing wrong with the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage telling us to love our rivers. After all, our rivers are our heritage too as much as the ancient mansions (haunted or not.) Rivers are inspirations for many artists and songwriters. They must remain beautiful.
The Drainage and Irrigation Department started the "Love Our River" campaign back in 1993. It was timely. Too many of our rivers are sick and a number of them are dead. If you have ever seen Sungai Klang or Sungai Segget, you will know what I mean. I am sure these rivers and al the other rivers in the country are being resuscitated. If the Singapore River can be cleaned up, our rivers can be cleaned up too.
We tend to take our rivers for granted. We use the river just like other people use roads. In fact in some parts of the country, like Pasir Raja in Ulu Dungun, the only way to get there was by river. There are still places in Malaysia accessible only by river. We also use rivers as big garbage dumps and as our toilets. This is where we got the word ke sungai besar and ke sungai kecil. Now that we know that the water from our tap comes from the rivers, we should be more careful where we do our business. It might not be so disastrous in the old days when the population is not big and the rivers could take our waste. Now, with the effluent from factories, oil palm mills and other uncontrolled discharge finding their way into our rivers, it can but only lead to disasters. It will be a disaster for ecologyand a disaster for anglers like me. So please help to stop polluting our rivers. When you see the video on TV, regardless which Ministry produced it, pay attention, please?


Monday, July 11, 2005
Once again there was death and destruction, carnage and confusion. Once again, more than one "Muslim" group claimed responsiblity, if "responsible" is the proper word. Why any group wanted credit for any terrible deed inflicted on innocent people, I am too dumb and numb to know. One group's claim is under scrutiny. Whatever the findings, once again, Islam got a bad name.
I am not writing to apologise for or rationalise the dastardly deeds for I, like other Muslims that I talk to are saddened and angry at the loss of human lives. The victims in London included Muslims. Even if there were no Muslims involved, I would not be less sad or less angry because this is not what Islam is all about.
It is true that the Holy Quran asked Muslims to fight in the cause of Allah:
"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors" -Surah Al_Baqarah (190).
If killing innocent people is not transgressing limits, I do not know what is.
"Fight those that fight you" means fighting those that would not let you practise your religion in peace. Islam classifies the non-Muslims as "kafir harbi" and "kafir musta'amin". Incidentally, kafir is not a deragotary word. "Kafir musta'amin" are the non-Muslims like those in Malaysia. They are not at war with the Muslims and they do not , in any way, prevent you from doing your duties as a Muslim. There were plenty of "kafir musta'amin" in Medinah and other Muslim cities in the Prophet's time and I am sure there are plenty now. "Live and let live" was practised then, as it is now. There is a surah in the Holy Quran that I thought sums up this philosophy. The surah always gives young students problems because it seems to go round and round even though the meaning is straight-forward:
1. Say: O ye that reject the Faith!
2. I worship not that which ye worship
3. Nor will you worship that which I worship
4. And I will not worship that which you have wont to worship,
5. Nor will ye worship that which I worship.

"Kafir harbi" are non-Muslims who constantly prevent you from discharging your duties as Muslims. I have not come across any yet.

As for the talk of jihad, most non-Muslims are not clear on what it means. Some Muslims are guilty of this too.The meaning of jihad is not confined to fighting to defend your religion when it is under threat. Jihad or jihadah as explained to me means "doing your best" - not wreaking havoc on the public but to improve oneself, materially and spiritually. This means fighting all the nafsu (lust, laziness, greediness etc.) The Prophet, in one of his hadith warned us not to be poor as to be kufur because when you are desperate, you forget what your religion teaches you and you can be paid to do things like killing innocent people and other dreadful sinful things.


Friday, July 08, 2005
I got tired of waiting for Yahoo to reopen user-created chatrooms and decided to create a room on IRC.
Come and join other bloggers in our new home. If you are using Firefox, click on Tools and check if you have Chatzilla installed. If it is not installed, go download the extension. Go to this page. If you haven't got Firefox in the first place, go download the latest version (1.0.4) here.
When you find Chatzilla under your "Tools", you just type irc://moznet/Bloggers/ on your Firefox
and your Chatzilla will load and bring you to the room. If you need more information on Chatzilla, go here
If you already have Chatzilla but needs the User Guide, go here.
If you are reluctant or cannot install Firefox, you can join the room using any IRC chat client such as mIRC, PIRCH or IRCLE (for Mac users.) The network is moznet but you type
irc.mozilla.org: 6667
as the server on your mIRC, PIRCH or IRCLE. The room is #Bloggers and it is already registered. You have to register your nick though. Choose a nick and get your password ready. Once you are on moznet you register your nick by typing
/nickserv register password email
with password being the password that you have chosen and the email being a valid email of your choice. Both, of course, will not be displayed. Registering a nick prevents other people from using it. You will lose the nick if you dont log in on moznet for 21 consecutive days. The room, on the other hand, will disappear if nobody uses it for 14 consecutive days.
See you in our new room.


Thursday, July 07, 2005
I was toying with a few subjects to write on but decided against all of them. Drat, I would have to do Elida's meme and tell the world what books I read.
While recollecting all the books that I read, I checked Today In History in case there is something worth rambling about. Chrysler Plymouth was introduced to the American public this day many many years ago. Ho hum. Another event was Reagan appointed some Supreme Court judge. Also ho hum.
Maybe another event that happened on July 7th years ago might interest you. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who gave us the Sherlock Holmes stories died on July 7th 1930. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote that Dr. Watson, Sherlock's sidekick was born on July 7th too. Sherlock Holmes' extraordinary deductive prowess was modelled after Dr. Joseph Bell who was Doyle's teacher. Nothing was said about who was the inspiration behind the character of Dr.Watson and why Sherlock Holmes needed a sidekick. Mickey Spillane did not have any, neither did Phillip Marlowe, the sleuth created by Raymond Chandler. Even the latest Terengganu-born Private Dick, Mat Sprong, went about his business alone. Only Lone Ranger has his Tonto and Batman had his Robin. Any mention of Robin in the latest Batman movie?
While waiting for some literary researchers to come up with plausible theories I can only contribute a few (implausible theories) of my own:
1. Holmes is sickly (just look at his pictures) and he needs a doctor close by.
2. Holmes is gay.
3. Holmes won't be able to show off his intelligence without Dr.Watson around. He can't very well say "Elementary Mrs. Malaprop (his housekeeper)" or "Elementary Dr. Moriarty" could he?

Without Dr. Watson, there would not be this story:
Holmes and Dr.Watson were out camping one evening.
In the middle of the night, Holmes woke Dr. Watson up.
"Watson! Look at the sky!"
"Aaaahhh Sherlock! Looking at the night sky and the stars, we feel humbled. We feel that we are just a speck of dust in this vast universe..."
"Watson you blithering idiot! The fact escaped you again!"
"What fact?"
"Somebody stole our tent!"


Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Parents in Terengganu and probably elsewhere too always tell their children that there are 3 types of friends:
1. Those that you should leave at your gate
2. Those that you leave at the steps
3. Those that you invite into the house.

If you go beyond the literal sense, the third type are friends that you allow into your life and its trials and tribulations, its ups and down and whatever in between. These are the friends that you tell your troubles to. They are your confidante and your advisors. They know your weaknesses and they accepted them. They are slow to judge, if at all. Most of all, when you are in their company, you feel good, you feel safe and comfortable. Most of all you feel happy.
I do have friends like these. Not many but enough. For that, alhamdullillah, I am grateful.

The English says "A friend in need is a friend indeed." To me, a good friend will not need anything from me except my company and my friendship. If my good friend needs anything, I would know and I would try to give him without waiting for him to ask. Friends who befriend me only when they need something are not really friends. I have many of this type. I am sure you do too.

Whatever your station in life is, good friends are equal. Otherwise, you will not be friends. You will be no more than just a leader and a follower. Bad friends can lead you into tight spots. If you have the chance, read Imam Ghazali's "Bimbingan Mukminin" and think about what he said about friends. Lucky is the person who knows what kind of friends he has. A friend once gave me a plaque to put on my desk. On it was written:

Do not walk in front of me, I might not follow
Do not walk behind me, I might not lead
Just walk beside me
And be my friend.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

If you landed here under the impression that you are going to find out something about nanotechnology (also sometimes called molecular manufacturing) and learn about how atoms can be arranged, you will be sorely disappointed. Being a low-tech person, I know nuts about nanotechnology. Sorry.

Instead, I will touch on nano, the word in Trengganuspeak. Nano is used to sum up a range of behaviour - from a short temporary lapse of judgment up to a fit of wildeyed madness. A far as I know, nano is confined to the East Coast. Kelantanese speakers call it nanar without any change in meaning. If I were asked to choose a picture to illustrate nano, I would choose the pic of the pussy above.

Regardless of the level or strength of your sanity, you will be nano at one time or another. If you misplaced something and you go almost crazy hunting for it you say
Nano cari, dok temmung
(I searched for it like crazy and couldn't find it.)
Actually, nothing needs to be lost. You can go nano searching for a copy of R.Azmi's CD or an authoritative and definitive book on Media Planning.
If you made a boo boo like my daughter-in-law did ( see the June 21st post here) you might be called nano too albeit in an indulging and tender loving way.
Whatever it is, nano is never permanent. Sanity returns, maybe not in a nanosecond, but eventually.

As always, further examples and illustrations will be provided in due course by my prodigious but never prodigal guest blogger, Derumo. Regular readers of the comments in this blog will know that Derumo (May His Tribe Increase) picks up where I left off and fills in the ever-present gaps that I left in my wake (or stupor, to be more precise .) If my posts are Terengganu boats, Derumo would be the one to close up the cracks with the tar-like galla, the filler, to make the boat watertight. So wait for his comments.

In case you really want to know what nanotechnology is without going nano in the process, here is a good page.


Monday, July 04, 2005
On Friday, I came across an article in The Star telling me that some tsunami victims turned up their nose on sardines. You can read it online here.
On Saturday, after a long day dealing with Persatuan Veteran's RTM EGM and AGM, I tried to catch the live broadcast of Live8. I managed to catch the short video of the African mother boiling rocks to lull her children to sleep and an African man boiling leather taken from an old chair to make soup for the family. Both of them did not have can of sardines lying around the house (or tent.)
I guess when you are not as hungry as the family of Africans in the video clip, you can afford to be choosy. I have nothing against sardines. I love them. Sardines featured very prominently in my culinary experiences. In my younger days, when I go for picnics with my friends or when on Boy Scout hikes I always carry a can of sardines in my haversack (this is before the fancy knapsacks or backpacks) together with a loaf of ruti bata. Ruti bata is the old unsliced loaf of bread with the crusty head (or whatever the technical name is).
When I was in Australia, sardines and vegemite were the bulk of my diet. I bought so many cans of sardines so often that the grocer asked me if I kept a lot cats.
At home, I have sardines, either fried or straight from the can with garnishings of onions and chilli. My favourite pastry is still sardine rolls. Sometimes, I try new brands of sardines - those not smothered in the usual tomato sauce. Usually, these are real sardines and not mackerels in cans that are generically called sardines in Malaysia. They are usually in olive oil and come in flat oblong cans that you open with the key provided. They are usually more expensive.
Sardines are delicious with chappati too. Try them in the shop in Kelana Jaya near FAM or the famous shop in Medan Gopeng, Ipoh. And don't forget that most good laksa Penang use sardines in their gravy.
I can understand that having the same thing day after day can make you bosan (bored.) Variety is the spice of life and all that. That same Friday I was served nasi lemak for breakfast. It was pretty boring. Instead of dumping the nasi lemak, I got hold of Adabi's Perencah Nasi Goreng and one egg. I turned the nasi lemak into nasi lemak goreng. Recycled food.
I wished I could add some sardines into the nasi goreng. I had none. All the sardines are langusihing in some stores in Acheh.


Friday, July 01, 2005
My face is still red from my ignorance as stated in my yesterday's post.
Being from Terengganu, with Terengganuspeak as my mother tongue, all other languages are foreign to me. This includes Bahasa Malaysia. But I learn and I am still learning.

A language can sometimes be surprising (or shocking) to "outsiders". Hence akutakretiomputeh finds it strange when our Indonesian friends use pantat to mean bottoms. In Terengganuspeak, patat (or pantat in the standard pronounciation) does not even mean any part of the human anatomy, masculine, feminine or neuter. It does mean the bottom part though. So we talk about patat kain (the hem) or patat kuali (the underside of the wok) or patat lege (the bottom of the barrel, where this writer was scraped from.)

When we were living in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, our next door neighbour was a young man from Perak. When his mother came to visit him, my father warned my mother not to use the word patat when conversing with the neighbour's mother.He didnt want my mother to commit any faux pas. That's when I learned that patat could be a vulgar word to non-Trengganu speakers.

Years later, my late friend Dato' Aziz Wok ( from Chemor, Perak) visited Kota Bharu and wanted to have a drink at one of the warongs. The young girl minding the stall politely asked my friend what was his pleasure:
Dato' Aziz : Apa ada?
Girl : Mace mace ado...
Dato' Aziz: Cuba beritau.
Girl : (Rattling of names of drinks, very fast) Kopi, teh, teh alio, coke, pepsi, patat kuning, patat ija...
Dato' Aziz nearly had a heart attack. He didnt know that the girl was talking about green Fanta and Yellow Fanta.

Lest you think I am fixated on one word, let us move on to other words that might create some confusion. Atok mentioned membutuhi which means "to need" in Indonesia. Over there, you do not use pusing to ask the taxi driver to go around the block. You might give him (or yourself) a headache. Pusing is not to turn around as in Malaysia but it means 'headache". Your Indonesian host will get a headache too if you insist on going back to the hotel to watch gusti. He would probably wonder why on earth you would want to watch a Javanese nobleman unless he knows you meant WWF or TNA. If your host invites you to partake the famous sup bontot, flinch not. It is not made of the ass of anything. It is oxtail soup.

All modern languages are dynamic. Meanings change over time. "Gay" now is not the same as it was before. So is "high", "cool", "laid" or a plethora of other words. When I was doing my teaching practise in a secondary school in PJ, I was trying to teach BM grammar. "Sifat" drew a lot of snickers and giggles from the mainly Chinese pupils. I am glad the word has been changed to adjektif now.