Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back in Sibu

After my Macao trip last week, I had to go back to my home town in Sibu, Sarawak, for a couple of days to handle some family business and settle some chores.

It was good to be back after more than four years. I do miss the food there. So, obviously I had to eat all my favourites - Sarawak Laksa, Kampua noodles, fried noodles, Ting Pian Woo broth, biscuits, kompia, etc.

My nephew, Darren, after school taking a plate of kampua noodle.

My third youngest sister together with my mom, took me for kampua noodles.

My plate of kampua noodles.

I am a poor food blogger! Always eat the food, then only remember to take photos for the blog. Gotta do better next time... LOL.

Something from the Past

A photo of my grand parents from my father's side.

Seeing a photo of my grand parents in the house made me recall some vague memories of peppercorns, rubbers, durians, rambutans and basketball. I did not know why those memories came to me, but I could almost smell the raw rubber and dried peppercorns.

My family moved to Miri when I was 4 years old. So, what I could remember about my grand parents came from the time I went back to Sibu during my school holidays.

My grand father was one of the early settlers of Sibu that farmed the lands around the Rejang river back in the 1920s. Back in those days, the only mode of transport was via long motorised passenger boats that moved from jetty to jetty ferrying goods and people along the Rejang river to Sibu town.

To me, my grandfather was a very disciplined no nonsense man, who believed that playing chess was almost equivalent to gambling... LOL. I really do not know much about the man.

Part of the impression I got was based on observing my parents, uncles and aunties. Their behaviors around my grand father made me thought that they feared the man. When my grand father walked into the room, everyone would hushed up.

I do not know anything about my grand mother. She was bed-ridden due to a fall she sustained at the orchard's jetty. I only remembered that one time I helped my aunt to take her to the bathroom at the orchard house. I must have been 8 years old or less during that time.

After my grand mother's incident, my grand father bought a shop property in Sibu town. And the orchard was given to one of my uncle to run. I did not go back to that orchard until I was 16 years old. By then both my grand parents had passed away.

One of the clearest memories of my grand father was that he always cooked for the family. In those days, every household had one of those giant wok (3 feet in diameter) encased in bricks. He would always cook porridge with sweet potatoes for breakfast. And for lunch or dinner, choy sum with ikan bilis and my all time favourite, steam salted fish marinated with sugar.

When I was in Vancouver, Canada, together with my cousin, Paul, we tried to cook the salted fish marinated with sugar... LOL. It was something that both of us remembered about our grand father.

I wished I was old enough to ask grand father what it was like back in the days when he first settled in Sibu. I tried asking my father about it once, a long time ago and did not get much of an answer.... I remember vaguely it had something to do with only having "sweet potatoes" to eat.

All I know is that, if not for what my grand father had labored for, we would not be us.

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