Thursday, April 23, 2015
My mobile rings and the caller ID shows Sakura Siew.
“Hi! What’s up, Miss Siew?”
“Good news for men too broke or too ugly to have a girlfriend.” Her honey-toned voice exudes a melodic quality. “He can find an online hostess from China! She will sing, chat with and dance for him. For a fee, of course. That’s all, nothing more. ”
My body posture perks up. “Can they speak English?”
“I’m not sure but there’re 10,000 hostesses to choose from! They are mostly in their early twenties. This service is not adult sex chat -- sex is forbidden territory.”
“Name of site?”
“Bobo dot com. The website is in Chinese. But there're many other lesser-known companies."
“Got photos to choose from?"
“Thanks, I’ll announce this on my blog. Bye!”
"Please warn your readers that talking with a hostess can be addictive." Click!
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
[Pixs copyright Ewe Paik Leong]
What's new on the grilled fish scene? Ikan bakar sambal petai (stinky beans). Adding petai works wonders to the taste of the ikan bakar. I recommend two restaurants below:
Tucked on a hillock, Golek-Golek occupies a traditional Malay house exuding a rustic ambiance. Apart from ikan bakar sambal petai, it also offers lala kamhiong, buttered prawn, fried brinjals, fried four-angled beans, chicken soup, etc. I ordered stingray sambal petai, lala kamhiong and fried brinjals. The stingray sambal petai was the best as the petai added another exciting layer of flavour and texture to the dish. Rating: 5/5.
Lot 2074, Km. 10, MRR2
68100 Batu Caves
Opens from 7 pm onward.
[Beware: The road up the hillock is steep]
(2) Restu Ikan Bakar Petai (Pixs 6540 & 6558)
Hailing from Kuantan, this just-opened restaurant also serves fried rice, noodles, burgers, oxtail soup and tomyam soup. The variety of fish is dazzling: stingray, patin, siakap, tilapia, jebong, jenahak, jemunduk, catfish, mackerel, kerapu, etc. I savoured patin sambal petai and fried sambal squids. Both dishes had a strong tamarind flavour complemented with the after-taste of calamansi. Rating: 5/5
Lot 4227, Jalan Bandar Dalam
Off Jalan Besar Sentul
Opens from 7 pm onward.
Friday, April 17, 2015
[Pixs of models for illustration purpose only]
“Sifu Sabrina, my father’s terminally ill,” Sakura Siew (right pix below) says. “Can you give tips how to bury him properly?”
“Before you start, Sifu Sabrina,” I ask, “may I know how the dead can affect the fortunes of the family?”
“When the dead are buried, they return to earth, become yin chi or yin energy," Sifu Sabrina says, placing her hands on the curved arms of her wooden chair. "The earth's magnetic field affects this yin energy which in turn affects the family of the deceased as they share a common genetic code."
I nod and cross my legs at the knees. "Please carry on."
“Has the burial plot been bought, Miss Siew?”
Sakura shakes her head. “No.”
“Good. Any wishes from your terminally-ill father?”
“He has three wives. “First wife and two minor wives. He has expressed the desire that his three wives be buried beside him when they conk -- I mean pass away.” A pause. “I’m his second wife’s daughter.”
“That means the grave site reserved for the first wife should be to the left of your father’s grave; the minor wives should occupy plots on the right side.
“Can I buy a used burial site? I heard that it is cheaper.”
“If you want to use a second-hand burial site, so to speak, then bring some new soil over to the site.”
"Which direction should the grave face?"
“Usually, a grave should face the south. For the most ideal orientation, calculations need to be made based on the deceased’s date of birth and death. Make sure that soil condition does not encourage termites to breed otherwise they may eat up the coffin. It should also not be water-logged.” She taps a few keys on her computer keyboard and a slideshow begins. “Topography of the cemetery is important. Preferably, there should be mountains at the back, left and right of the site." She moves the screen sideways slightly. "See? However, the mountains at the left and right should be lower than that at the rear.” She points with her finger to a picture of a tomb. “The shape of tomb needs careful consideration. The horse-shoe shape is best. The top should be earth that is convex not concave. Plant grass on top. A low wall should be built around the grave but leave a gap in front as an entrance.” The slideshow ends and Sabrina switches off her computer. “That’s all I have to say for a free consultation. If you need a detailed analysis, a feng shui master will need to go to the cemetery with his compass to survey the site."
I start to chuckle; my shoulders start to shake.
Sifu Sabrina looks at me. “What’s so funny?”
“Have you heard of the famous Hong Kong-based feng shui master Zheng Guoqiang?”
“What about him,” Sakura asks.
“On March 30, 2014, he was invited by the family of a deceased to survey a cemetery plot in Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province. After having chosen a burial site which he announced was auspicious, it started to rain heavily. Within seconds, a landslide occurred and buried seven people alive, including Zheng Guoqiang (pix below). Zheng was among the six who died!” I stifle my laugh. “What went wrong?”
“That’s not funny,” Sifu Sabrina snaps. “Very likely, that day was inauspicious.”
"True incident?" Sakura asks.
"Of course! You can read it on the Internet."
QSQ Popiah of Restoran Kam Heong in Jalan Othman, P.J., has opened a branch in Taman Sri Gombak. The kiosk is located in Restoran Chong Hwa (not to be confused with Chong Hwa Curry Laksa). Available are crispy popiah, seaweed popiah, spicy seaweed popiah, wasabi seaweed popiah and citrus seaweed popiah. I ate the citrus seaweed popiah which turned out to be crunchy and sourish. Business hours: 8 am to 2 pm. Rating: 4/5.
Restoran Chong Hwa
Jalan SG 3/15
Taman Sri Gombak
(Opposite Skate Park)
Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:40pm EST
(Reuters) - Poland's transport minister, a close ally of Prime Minister Donald Tusk, resigned on Friday after prosecutors said he may have broken the law by failing to declare his ownership of a $6,600 wristwatch.
Tusk told reporters he had accepted Slawomir Nowak's resignation, though he said he would welcome him back to his old job if the investigation cleared him of any wrong-doing.
Nowak, 38, had been tipped by some as a future prime minister. Earlier this year, Polish media reported on how he had a fondness for wearing expensive watches, including Swiss brands such as Hublot and Ulysse Nardin.
At the time, Nowak denied any wrongdoing and said that the watches had been loaned to him or were gifts from his family.
The allegations could dent the reputation for probity that Tusk's government has established. The government's popularity has been falling in recent months, according to opinion polls.
On Friday, the prosecutor's office said it had written to parliament saying there was "justified suspicion" that Nowak had broken the law by failing to disclose ownership of the watch.
"In the course of the investigation it has been determined that Slawomir Nowak has owned a watch purchased for the amount of 20,500 zlotys ($6,600)," the district prosecutor's office said in a statement.
Nowak is a member of parliament and so has immunity from prosecution. Prosecutors can only take him to court if parliament votes to strip him of his immunity.
Nowak is required by law to disclose all belongings which have a value above 10,000 zlotys. Nowak made no public comment on Friday and the transport ministry declined to comment.
(US$1 = 3.1074 Polish zlotys)
[Pixs below courtesy of Sri Sanjeevan Ramakrisnan Facebook]
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
(Pix of models for illustration purpose only)
"Everybody," says Jessica (pix above), "I'm going to sing a Hokkien song."
"Great!" I say, and Hussein lets out a whistle.
Rising to her feet from the settee, she goes to the mike at the far end of the karaoke room. Wati aims the remote at the karaoke machine. A moment later, music and Chinese lyrics with English translation start to appear on the monitor standing against one wall.
"Title of my song is 'Wife', " Jessica says. She start to sings in Hokkien:
When we grow old
When we grow old
And have no kids around
I'll accompany you to sit on the bench
And you'll be bragging about how smart you were in your younger days
Who would never care for a good life
Never complain about bad luck
I'll hold it tight
'Cause I'm your wife
We married young
And since the day
You've been the one I look up to
The one who lead me through life
Have come to understand about life
About the ruthless game men play
And I realize
No one can ever be more important than you
Being your housewife
Looking after the family
I'd spent a lifetime
To finally understand
Hidden in our conversations and quarrels is true happiness
When the time comes
Please go first, dear
'Cause I don't wanna see you shed tears for me
For it’ll be too much pain for me to bear
Everybody applauses except Chow Kah. I turn to look at him. My eyes widen in shock. He's crying and drying his tears with a handkerchief. He blows his nose. "I'm sorry, everybody -- I want to go home to my wife."
Wati (right pix above) nods and says, "Gentlemen, your wives comes first, even though you may come to Hot Legs Niteclub to sing and drink." Her voice becomes choked with emotion. "Let's call it a night, everybody. This song is too emotional for me, too."
Sunday, April 12, 2015
[Pixs of female models for illustration purpose only]
I press the brake pedal lightly, round the bend of Jalan Hang Tuah and proceed to Jalan Pudu. In the rear-view mirror, I see Wati powdering her face with a compact.
Jessica (pixs below), ensconced in the front passenger seat, points to a fenced-up area. “Former Pudu Prison, the most haunted place in KL. That’s where Botak Chin was hanged. It was in 1981.”
“Who’s Botak Chin (pix above)?” I ask.
Leaning forward, Wati places her elbows on the top of the two front seats. “Probably Malaysia’s most infamous criminal. Real name is Wong Swee Chin. What Al Capone is to America, Botak Chin is to Malaysia. He was the uncrowned prince of KL’s gangsters during 1960’s and 1970’s.”
“Botak Chin was a naughty school-boy compared to Pota Jin,” Jessica says, pursing her cherry-red lips. “Pota Jin is a powerful, big-time thug.” She stretches her hand to lower the volume of the radio.
Jessican turns to look at me. “Who’s who?”
“Who’s Pota Jin? The late P.W. Bhota, PM of South Africa?”
Wati cuts in, “Everyone in Hot Legs Niteclub refers to him as Pota Jin.”
Jessica smiles. “He's the President of an African country.”
Wati says, “Botak Chin robbed several hundred thousands from banks and goldsmith stores." Her breath has the smell of Spearmint chewing gun.
Jessica slides her head over her shoulder. “That’s chicken feed, Wati," she says. "Pota Jin plundered his country of millions.”
Wati (right pix) says, “I read somewhere on the Internet that Botak Chin gave money to poor squatters in Jinjang and Kepong. He was regarded as a modern-day Robin Hood.” In the rear-view mirror, I see her laughing, her shoulders shaking uncontrollably. “Huahaahaahaa...But Pota Jin robbed the poor to give to the rich! He also gave his stolen millions to his family to buy properties in Casablanca through J. Lo.”
I raise my eyebrows. “J. Lo? Jennifer Lopez?”
Jessica and Wati release another burst of laughter.
I toot my horn as a motorcyclist encroaches into my lane. “Come on, why this double talk?”
“Botak Chin killed one of his hench-man," Jessica says, "but Pota Jin allegedly killed a South African model.”
I scratch my head. “South African model? Reeva Steenkamp? The lover of Oscar Pistorius?”
Jessica and Wati grin. "No comment," Wati says.
We reach Jessica's house in Cheras and Jessica and Wati get off.
"Thanks for the ride," Jessica says, slamming the car door shut.