Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Sunday, October 31, 2010
Yesterday I read about a member of the Terengganu government telling people that Siti Balqis, the young girl from Besut needs to see a shrink. Interesting. Siti Balqis went missing from her house several times and was found, on different occasions, on treetops and other places too strange for a young girl to be. A few days ago Siti Balqis went missing again and there were reports that she was in Gunung Jerai, Kedah. Other reports said that she was in Negeri Sembilan.

Spirits, whether bunians or whatever should not be dismissed lightly. I had the same attitude years ago until I experienced them a few years later when I was teaching in Kuala Brang. There are things that rational minds just could not explain.

The idea to introduce Halloween into Malaysia is also inexplicable. Of course it is a ploy by the retailers to get more money just like on other "western" occasions like Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Valentines Day and such. Just to get more money to buy the new Merc SLK or a new mistress, you can transplant an alien culture. Don't you get enough money wringing Hungry Ghosts Festival?

I am sure that Halloween will not catch on in Terengganu. Terengganu people are wise enough not to waste their labu peringgi (pumpkin) by carving them into a lantern and let their kids dress up as hantu kekeng, hantu bungkus or whatever ghouls they chose and go knocking on people's doors crying out "Trick or Treat!". They will get a pailful of water doused on them instead of candies.

Anyway, to my friends in the US, Happy Halloween!

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Sunday, October 24, 2010
Listen to this first. Use your BACK button to come back here.

(Photo by Dr. Kamaruzaman)

Above, in the foregound is a plate of roti prata/paratha. Further back is a bowl of mutton kimma that goes very well with roti prata.

In the song that you have just listened to, Zaharah Agus alluded that roti canai and roti prata are both made from flour and gave the impression that there is no difference between roti canai and roti prata. Apparently, there is.

I have never tasted roti prata before. There was no shop in Kuala Terengganu that sold roti prata, at least none that I can remember. There were (and still are) plenty of joints offering roti canai all over Terengganu. There were places that sold roti tempayan (naan)and there were places where you can get murtabak.

When I visited Singapore I found places that offer roti prata. Not just the garden variety but cheese prata, tomato prata , onion prata and sardine prata. Back home, I have tried roti canai sardine and roti telur. It is not until last Sunday that I got to taste roti prata at Pakistani eating shop along Jalan Ipoh (next to a RHB Bank branch and across the road from a Shell Station). The restoran is called MEHRAN. The signboard is Pakistan green.

The prata there is different from roti canai. On roti canai you can discern the "coils" of the dough but on this flatbread, it is flat. It is bigger too. You do not get dhall here but chickpeas (kacang kuda) in gravy, free. You have to pay for the mutton kimma though which is worth every sen. The prata is less oily than roti canai and I was told that they use a different flour too.

Prata, like naan, I have been told, came via the Muslim conquerors of India, the Mughals. It is higly likely that roti chanai originated in Madras (now Chennai). Somebody has to confirm that roti canai can be found in Chennai because my friends told me that they could not find air sirup Bandung or Mee Bandung in that city.



Sunday, October 10, 2010
Adnang Osmang picked me up to join other "Anak Terengganu" celebrating Raya at the new PESAT HQ in Kota Damansara.

Adnan promptly got called to sing his songs accompanied by the unique band "Bale Bale". The band, in kain batik and terompah (clogs) kept the guests entertained with their superb showmanship. They even belted out Santana's "Black Magic Woman", albeit in a Malay vein. Sadly, "Bale Bale " is not from Terengganu.

There was laksa kuah putih Terengganu on the menu. There were other Terengganu fares like kerepok lekor and pulut lepa.

Of course there was nasi dagang. Otherwise there would be a revolt.

PESAT's President, Tuan Hj. Ramlan Ibrahim had every right to be happy. The new 4 million ringgit building was officially opened by SPB Yang Di Pertuan Agong on 4th October and the President announced that the ground floor will be rented out for RM15,000 a month. He even pointed out the would-be tenant in the crowd.

The first and second floor are still available for rent at RM3,000 each.
The raya celebration was a success. I enjoyed myself and would like to thank PESAT for a job well done.
(More photos here:)

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Now that the dust and cobwebs of this abandoned blog are cleared, let us begin where we left off.
First, congratulations to PESAT for getting a 4 million ringgit headquarters. I am not a member yet (waiting patiently for a sponsor) but I am happy for all my Terengganu friends who are members of the association.

If Pok Long Mok Aji Kiah were alive today, I would suggest that Hj. Ramlang (Presideng PESAT) invite this violinist to gesek his violin at the opening ceremony. Pok Long might not be as good as Idris Sardi but to the Geng Kayu hanging out in the shadows of Pok Long's house in front of Mesjid Putih, he gesek a mean violin without grating any of our teeth.

By now, non-Terengganu speakers would have guessed the meaning of gesek. Gesek is deliberate and premeditated. Sessek is accidental. Choose the appropriate word when you have a mishap parking your vehicle in crowded places like Pasar Kedai Payang or Batu Nang. In the event that you chose the wrong word and got hit by the wrong end of a walking stick or an umbrella and you find your nose or your face bruised, you might want to lesek the sore part with an appropriate ointment or oil like Minyok Pok Ali Yunang.

Now, you can use gesek, sessek and lesek in your own sentences. Go on.

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