Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Monday, January 28, 2008
I wrote about taboos many years ago. 3 years ago to be exact. You still can read it here. Many friends and readers shared their thoughts on the subject. Just click the comments link. Even if Halsoscan gave a 0 reading, there are many comments there.

One taboo that I forgot to mention was eating from a cooking utensil - the periok (cooking pot) or the kuali (wok). I first broke this taboo many many years ago when Corus Hotel was still a spanking new Ming Court. I ordered char kway tiaw at the coffee house and it came in a mini wok (kuali). I guessed I was not cursed with pestilence and famine only because the wok was not used to cook anything. I, on the other hand was not used to see food served in woks, whatever their size.

Yesterday, many years after having inured cultural assassinations by marketing experts, I sat at Eden Cafe, Amcorp Mall and ordered char kway tiaw which I know is good. I have ordered it countless times before. This time it came in a small tin wok. I can almost hear my Terengganu classmates chanting : Ku Ali makang dalang kuali. I have to surrender to the fact that marketing gimmicks override my sensitivities. How many people nowadays observe the taboos? I do not know. What I know is that laws are like taboos too and many people pay scant regards to them. Inured. Many Malaysians (present company excepted, of course) regard laws with the same disdain they reserve for old taboos. Convenience (their own) overrides their respect for rules and regulations. Going against red lights, double or triple parking, obstructing traffic, throwing rubbish indiscriminately and other misdemeanors and felonies. On the other end, there are daylight robberies, corruptions etc. ad nauseum. People get inured or in Malay kematu because hardly anyone gets caught and punished for their transgression.

As I was chewing (with difficulties since I do not have enough teeth) my kway tiaw, I thought of the punishment for sitting on a pillow. You get a boil on your butt. Wouldn't it nice for lawbreakers to get many boils on their butt and maybe a few bumps on the head too even if they managed to elude the short arm of the law?

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Monday, January 21, 2008
Sometimes some of you might accuse some Terengganu leaders of abandoning their good sense but that is another story altogether and it is debateable. What cannot be denied is Terengganuspeak caters to all the Five Senses - hearing, sight, taste, touch and smell. Since this could be good for at least 5 posts, I shall be frugal this time and deal only with the first.

If the English exploded with bangs, Terengganu speakers have dang for the sound of a collision, gunfire etc. For multiple or prolonged gunfire, there is dung dang dung dang. You have to hear those sounds in your head. The English fell with a thud while the Terengganu speaker jatuh bedebok. Bedebok is the sound produced when a large part of your body meets the ground. If you rummage the crockery cupboard in Terengganu, you will hear keltung keletang. More frustrations will make you turn the whole kitchen upside down and you will make noises that Terengganu speakers identify as gerudung geradang.

Then there is pereh pereh. Usually this is used to describe someone wearing slippers walking because I have not heard the use of pereh pereh other than "Dia mari paka selipa jepung pereh pereh." If you have, please let me know.

People in the advertising industry do not sell cornflakes or potato chips. They sell the snap and the crackle. They do not sell steaks, they sell the sizzle. I suppose if there were similar ads in Terengganuspeak, they would use keruk keruk instead of the crackle:

Makanglah Kerepek Minjja Mok Nik
Rapuh keruk keruk
Sedak sapa menjilat siku.

That makes me hungry. You have a good lunch too okay?



Monday, January 14, 2008
As part of the news on Sharlinie Mohd Nashar, the STAR ran an opinion piece by D.RAJ titled " Change Can Only Happen when residents shed 'village mentality'". The writer wrote about the lawlessness in Kampung Medan and how they treat the place as a kampung or an estate. In the same breath, the writer wrote that " In kampungs and estates, people watched out for other folk's children."

There are things that should be carried from the village to the city and I do not mean just the budu and the ubi kayu. Looking out for each other is one. Keeping track of each other is another. City folks might find it strange for a villager in Terengganu to ask
"Nak gi kuane tu?" (Where are you going?) or
"Mari duane tu?" (Where are you coming from?)
The "asker" is not being kay-poh or a busybody. It is just good village manners. Chances are later somebody will be inquiring about the person previously interrogated and the information will save a lot of time and maybe a few heartaches. In the city, you have to subscribe to a telco's service to know where someone is provided that he/she has a handphone.

I am sure you know of more good things from the kampung that we should bring to the cities. I am all ears.

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Monday, January 07, 2008
After watching a succession of live English FA Cup matches on TV I went way past my bedtime. Now I am very groggy and could not think of anything worthwhile to post. But then, there is nothing worth reading in this blog anyway. I am sorry for that. I am sure many of you are sorry too.

Instead of something that is newsworthy (like the recent "I Am Sorry" by a minister) I shall share with you something that my friend Razak tickled Awang Goneng and Kak Teh with recently. I took the literary licence to tell it in my own words:

Infused with the spirit of "Malaysia Boleh", the nation jumped into every opportunity that was presented. Thus when one of the Steppe nations (sorry, I cannot spell the name - it cramped my fingers) organized a horseback archery competition, Malaysia sent a competitor.

The event was simple. Each competitor had to shoot an arrow from a fast moving horse at the designated target. The target was an apple placed on top of the head of a chosen native. I think William Tell heard about this from Marco Polo.

The first competitor was from Germany. He rode, he drew his bowstring, he shot. The apple was split into two. The crowd roared in approval. The chosen native heaved a sigh of relief. The German punched the air, shouting "I am William Tell!"

The second competitor was from USA. He rode, he drew his bowstring, he shot. The apple was split into two. The crowd roared in approval. The chosen native again heaved a sigh of relief. The American punched the air, shouting "I am Rambo!"

The next competitor was from England. He rode, he drew his bowstring, he shot. The apple was split into two. The crowd roared in approval. The chosen native, extremely pleased, wiped his forehead. The Englishman punched the air, shouting "I am Robin Hood!"

Then came Malaysia's representative. He rode, he drew his bowstring, he shot. The apple was untouched. The crowd gasped in horror. The chosen native clutched his crotch. The Malaysian rode away, shouting "I am sorry! I am sorry!"

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Thursday, January 03, 2008
The last Friday of 2007 was spent in the delightful company of AG, Kak Teh, Hj. Halim, Azman Musa (brother of Dr. Bakri), Wak Sabihin and Razak. While escorting AG and Kak Teh to the recently moved surau at Megamall for the asar prayers, Razak complained that we missed zohor. I felt guilty for a moment until I remembered that both of us already performed the Jumaat prayers together. We old people all had brain farts from time to time. I had one the next day when I forgot that it was the day for my grandson Akiff's aqiqah. A phone call from his mother averted a severe no-show.
Akiff went through his rites of passage easily. In fact he did it with his eyes closed. I suspect that Akiff will be a pilot one day. He has this thing about altitude. He is okay when I stand up while carrying him but he will make noise as soon as I sit down.
For the benefit of aunties and cousins far far away, here is a slide show of the day.

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