The Badass Kong Kong

I love this pic post from my friend Sheril A. Bustamanl ‘s Instagram,
now dated as a memory from 31st July 2014. She’s with her maternal
grandfather; the Badass Kong Kong. Lol! The funny hashtags may suggest
an extreme generation gap but yet there is so much affinity between
the two.

Sheril’s father, Tengku Mohd Ali Bustaman (Pok Ku), and I were fellow
bloggers during its hey days. We became friends at the Commodore Amiga
User Club many years ago.

Kong Kong is grandpa in Chinese dialects.

Happy Raya to the happy family!

Cute Sukee Nang

During our journey, I asked my model Pin Pin about her exotic looks, I found out that her father is of Hainanese descent, I told her the history which her father never told her. Local Hainanese people are known for their culinary skills, especially fusion food.

Hainanese are from Hainan Island China where many of the islanders were fishermen. Maybe because they are on a separated land, their language is different form the mainlanders. Sukee means own people or kaki nang in Hainanese lingo.

In their long fishing trips across Polynesia, some seafarers married indigenous people and have children. This may explain their exotic physical features such as darker complexion, deeper set eyes and taller noses

Chicken chop, chicken rice and kaya-butter toasts are some of the more well known Malaysian-Hainanese cuisine. Many also used to work on the KTM trains’ catering coaches. How did that come about?

A Hainanese historian suggested a theory. They were latecomers to Malaya. They came after the second wave of mass migration in the 19th century by the Hokkiens, Cantonese, Teochews, Hakkas and other migrants.

My former boss, an influential Hainanese and intellectual told me much. By the time his ancestors arrived, all business and job openings were controlled by powerful clans.

Without a membership card, it was not easy getting a job. They ended up working for colonialists as cooks and caretakers. Many worked at the bungalows on hill resorts such as Fraser’s, Cameron’s and Kenny Hills.

They experimented and enhanced recipes by adding Chinese touches. They made some fantastic scones and marmalade on the hill resorts. It is also claimed that they modified a kebab leftover from a garden party one night and added peanut sauce.

The creators named it “Sar Tay” meaning ‘three pieces’ in Hainanese, and voilà!; satay was born. Could be an urban legend. Many think kaya (egg jam) is Hainanese when it is actually Peranakan from Melaka. They came with the 1st wave of Chinese settlers during early 15th century.

#tototo #melaka #hainan #history #chinese #food #hainanese

Lim Teh In The Sultanate

Lim Teh In The Sultanate.

Since we are looking at Brunei, let’s visit a Chinese kopitiam in Pekan Seria, Brunei. The shop was even more authentic than the many found in Malaysian towns. .

It featured old school coffee shop chairs and real marble table-tops from the 1950s or 1960s. There was also the quintessential bored cashier or proprietor sitting behind the counter. There were no big candy jars on the counter however,

At the time I was at Universal Cafe, the country had a reversed and practical system of halal certification. Since non-halal food outlets are few, non-halal shops are required to display a sticker or sign declaring Muslims are not allowed.

The are many Indian and Mamak eateries in the nanny state too, if you know where to look. Seria the coastal district and Chinese town was fascinating. It had a frozen in 50s or 60s look. Many of our kopitiams were once pristine like this. If authentic, the original shop ought to have the disgusting spittoon containers since the early patrons were refined tin mine workers. If you are unrefined, you just spit on the floor. Haha.

The majority of the Chinese speak Hokkien (Fujian dialect) here and were happy to converse in the mother tongue if you engage them. .

I still think Pekan Tutung, also on the coast, is the real Chinese town where Chinese schools and Chinese temples are found.

Chinese Bruneians are said to form 15 % of the Sultanate’s population and have considerable presence and clout in commerce and the economy. A characteristic of the worldwide and far flung Chinese diaspora.

There are many oil refinery ‘flare stacks’ visible from Seria and you can photograph the dramatic flames shooting up. A nice reminder that Brunei is an oil rich state.

Only one good hotel in Seria and it is the modern Roomz Hotel.
See http://www.mycen.my/lim-teh-in-the-sultanate/

#documentaryphotography #streetphotography #travelogue #chinese #tutung #chinesekopitiam #kopitiam #coffeeshop #chinese #brunei #seria

Love Her Freckles

On this day in 2015, I met Indonesian Chinese school teacher Lix Xia when she was wandering by herself in Chinatown KL.The then stranger and tourist told me she is from exotic Cirebon and it was my first time hearing of the ancient port city in West Java. At first, I thought she meant Seremban. Haha.

I asked to take pictures of her on the street and she asked why. I told her I like her (mild) freckles. Honesty helps:-) We spoke in a mixture of English, Hokkien (Fujian) and Mandarin.

If you ever go to Cirebon, book a hotel room through me at http://www.mycen.my/agoda/

Search for Cirebon on that page and Agoda will list at least 38 hotels there.

#cirebon #java #indonesia #indonesian #chinese #freckles #tourist #chinatownkl

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Guardian Of The Cemetery

A Hindu shrine guarding a Chinese cemetery in the outskirts of Slim River. What was even more interesting was that the burial grounds had both Taoist and Christian tombstones mixed together. Quite unusual.

I suspect there is also a Hindu or Indian burial ground nearby. I can see what looks like a funeral pyre.

Waited for a lighting strike but it didn’t happen at where I pointed the camera. I was the only living soul around and the atmosphere was getting a little creepy. Could hear howling dogs but I can’t see where they are.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f13, 1/320 sec.