Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Do you have a favorite reminiscence of a certain place with a specific ambience that when you sit and recall, brings back great emotions within you? Or recollections of specific occasions that never fail to excite the soul within you? I have a few and at times out of the blue the thoughts of these places flashes back into my mind and I'd start playing back those beautiful moments of my life. And at times the feeling is so immense, I could even recall the peacefulness and the very air that I breathe back then. Mind you, the events could have taken place more than two decades ago but some of the instances were stuck at the back of my mind like fossil prints on cave-walls. And to think that my poor memory has been failing me more and more nowadays!

I once lived in Penang. In a government quarters near Green Lane. My room window faced the sports field of a school (Teknik Pulau Pinang, I think). On certain Sundays some expats would utilise the field to play baseball, the men busy with the game and the women would sit by the side and I would gaze at them from the window. It was a colorful sight to behold, it could well be a chapter from Somerset Maugham's book and I would get so engrossed watching them. I love Penang because of the trees that line its roads endlessly. They give shade and green-ness to the surroundings. To amble along these shady roads amidst the Angsana and other big sturdy trees that could well be a hundred yrs old, one will always be mesmerized by the magical feeling one will experience from it. Once, with a friend, I walked all the way, from my house to Pulau Tikus and back! That is approximately 14 km of to and fro journey! And what a great time we had, enjoying the splendid scenery and chatted like any two good friends would do, along the way, making silly jokes with whatever that struck out sights. As we walked, we could feel the soft breeze blowing around us and dried leaves which were abundant, would swirl in the air and on the ground making crackling sounds that was musical to the ears! Ahh! What a splendor!

Another instant would be celebrating raya at Tok's. It was in the late sixties or early seventies. My family and I would always travel back to Batu Pahat for each raya celebration to be with my maternal grandma. In fact almost everyone in mak's family would converge to Tok's grand wooden house at Jalan Lim Poon. The house would be so crammed. Some would occupy the rooms. But we kids prefered to sleep in the hall on the floor, in rows. And we simply loved it! The creaking sound of the floorboards each time someone walked. The musty smell of the wooden planks which the house was built with. Sleeping side by side with my cousins, snuggling in close proximity. Bouts of giggles now and then with the muffling sounds of hushed conversations in the background. All these in the peaceful darkness of Tok's wooden abode back then. Now the house is no more, having being pulled down in the name of development. Oh how I miss it!

Of the many good moments I shared with Bapak (my beloved dad), the time I cherish most would be accompanying him for terawikh prayers at the customs' village surau in Penang and our Sunday market trips at Klang wet market. I was in secondary 4 and 5. Each time Ramadhan came back then, I became Bapak's 'chaperone' and we would diligently join the congregation there, despite the distance, for the whole month. Sitting next to him while he drove each night had created a special bonding between us. Especially when it was a blessed month and we were doing something that pleased Allah swt.

When we lived in Shah Alam, bapak did his marketing at Klang wet market. Whenever I was back for the weekends, I'd accompany him without being asked to. My dad is a man of few words so usually our journey would be a quiet one albeit small chats here and there plus good fatherly advices from him. But these market trips have definitely brought me even closer to him. The way he bargained.(not that he likes bargaining. In fact bapak has a soft heart and would buy things out of pity for the poor seller!) The stalls he chose to buy things. The route he took and weaved through the whole market. I was the passive 'shopper', standing quietly beside him, only helping to carry things. It was even more meaningful as it was the last few years that I was spending with him as an unmarried daughter.

And there were several other instances in my life that I'd treasure as they evoke stirring emotions in me. Like when I first learnt how to do prayers and was so earnest to wake up for subuh that I climbed the balcony to get next door in the wee hours, simply to join the neighbor's daughter for prayers! Or the trips to Singapore (we lived in JB during my primary years) during my heydays, buying records and more records (yeah, the black discs that turns on a turntable with a needle player!). Oh you won't believe the endless list of LPs that I collected of singers and groups that I have long forgotten now!! Astaghfirullah! And not forgetting a particular Singapore trip when I did a shopping splurge using the substantial amount of money (well, it was a lot to me back then!) I found under the carpet which was stolen by our maid! (hey! it was our money anyway!)

Doesn't it feel good to reminisce the good old days?

p.s I hope mak is not reading this or she'll feel hurt for I have not mention anything about her. The thing is my reminiscence with mak would entail a whole entry on its own! Later, mak, later!

p.p.s. Raya today involved an itinery very similar like the previous. Breakfast at FIL's, solat raya at the Masjid nearby, beriyani at Makteh's, continental dine at SIL's (her choc/ coffee tart with whipped cream is comparable to any found at 5 star hotel!)

and finally back home and napped! We had to scrap our earlier plan of going back to KL to my parents as iKelah had to work at 6pm as the locum doctor ditched him last minute! *Sigh* Have to make up with mak as she is furious! Heard that bapak is busy at his surau today helping with the korban and melapah! Way to go Bapak!

11th Dzulhijjah 1426, I made my first set of kuih koci (recipe from Has's Blog) and alhmadulillah they turned out fine!


aliah said...

I thought you grew up only in Johore? =p

abdullahjones said...


Nurelhuda said...

Spent Raya at sis's house with Mak and rest of family..
Dad died when I was 16,can t talk about it , makes me cry

Wok Peeoh said...

tok sangke omputih yang datang tanoh melayu main beseball. ingat orang amerika je yang main. orang british main kriket dan budok melayu main rounders.

berangan kuat jugok awok ni mengenang kisoh silam.

anggerik merah said...

Beautiful reminiscence DITH..
My ayah also a man with less words

Ku Keng said...

Interesting. You must be staying at the Quarters opposite the Klinik Gigi or the ones lining the school fence. Hey, that is my alma mater! Missed Kampong Baru and the apam balik at the market, and the mee rebus at the corner Chinese coffee shop at the junction of Batu Lanchang and Air Itam road. Yes these kinda of memories of the younger days would always flash back uninterruptedly and in clear visions, but the recent ones blurry.

dr in the house said...

ALiah- my initial childhood days were in Malacca, JB, KL, KB, Penang..tsk tsk, how oculd you not know? Must be day dreaming all these while huh?

AJ- :))

Nurelhuda- sorry to have incite that sad emotions in you

AM- So I thought all dads probably
talk less to their daughters? But I bet Count Byron are chatty to his girls. And iKelah is also very chummy with my girls.

Keng- No we stayed in the house immedialtely behind SK Batu Lanchang, the last house inside (there were 3 or 4), in front of the school there's a vast land of chinese cemetery. Yes I know that coffee shop, :)..used to walk to that market as well! SO what year was that Keng? I lived there between 78-79

alter ego of wok peeoh said...

Wok Peeoh- tak payoh le awok nok menyamor, kawe tau siape awok..hehe..awok memang kaki ngutok kawe memanjang...biorle baseball ke, cricket ke, rounders ke...bukan ke Amerika tu pon omputih?...kawe tak sebut pon omputih tu bangsa gapedia...ish awok ni suke sngt ngutuk kawe....kawe nak menyelam mase silam awok kate kawer
berangan...dengki sangat awok ke kawe...ish ish

JoKontan said...

Thought of going back to Kontan yesterday.

But it was too late and thinking, it is too taxing to the body.

Mebbe I would blog 'bout it, also.

Meghate awok tinggey yer Dr ?

dr in the house said...

Jo- Ayoh kawe keje kastam, meghate dia kena pindoh, sekali tuh dalam setahun kawe kena pindah 3 sekolah!

easylady said...

The bonding of father and child will make the child succeed and be respected by other people.Like u Dr roza..

Recently a father was at the brim of crying when he relates to me his eldest who failed his SPM, blaming him for not giving enough attention.

I guess it is partly true..How busy parents can be,either one or even better both should show their love to them.The immature children will easily indulge in unhealthy activity.

Penang dah tak best dah sekarang ni, asyik jemmm aje..

Queen Of The House said...

Seems like a very colourful childhood, DITH. And so many places you lived at .... Must have been many schools you went to ... many friends lah tu. Syok ek? I went to one school from kindy to Std 5, and one school from Form 1 to Form 5. What happened to Std 6? No Std 6, I got to skip that.

Syok ye reminiscing about the past ........ I pun nak reminisce jugaklah, tapi tengah malas nak blog ni ;)

2wenty3hree said...

i like how i can imagine what you described. the walk, the ride, like im there doing it with my own friend, with my own ayah.

if i were to wholly blog on reminiscing the past, i would write hundreds and thousand of words and yet still not finish writing. even a five minute moment would take pages of words describing feelings and how the thoughts were (if i can recall to that detail that is).

a friend of mine however, disliked racalling back on youthful memories. he said it was a waste of time as people ought put the past where it is and not live in it through memories. ive always disagreed with him, since its not about stuck in the past, but keeping in remembrance the things that shaped us. thats how ive always looked at it. yang baik itu dijadikan teladan, yang buruk itu sempadan. tak ke gitu dith? :)

2wenty3hree said...

that would be recalling

Kak Teh said...

Dr roza - i find that sometimes little tings, like smells, sound or very2 mundane things can trigger back memories. Forexample, whenever I do the wuduk and wash my hands - I always remember our usataz showing us how to do itm how he would fiddle with his chunky ring to make sure that his fingers are washed, and when i do the dishes, I make sure that i do all the glasses first and never to mix dinner plates with glasses as they would smell of fish or etc. And smell - every time I smell certain perfume I remember my first date - how I curi that perfume from my sister's room to use it on my first date. Look what u have done now - u have triggered something I shd blog about too!

Nurelhuda said...

QOTH, saya pun tengah malas nak blog, ni penyakit berjangkit ker?

dr in the house said...

Easylady- Penang jam ke? Aisey! Tak best la camni combee!

QOTH- that's the sad part...I had many friends but all lost contact! Maybe I should write in the adverts huh?

23- it's true, if we were to blog on everything so memorable and vivid it might take pages and pages.....I dont know but I find pleasure in remembering the good past...if by remembering it can make us a better person, it should be alright isnt it? Unless of course if we dwell and daydream our time away, then it'd be haram...I dont indulge in time consuming remnisence and getting carried away...they are just momentary flash-backs that come on and off and they give me good feelings..that's all

Kak Teh- yes, smell is one of the strongest sensation that can trigger old memories in me too! And I am fully honoured to have triggered something for you to blog! :))

Nurelhuda- Blog Plague??

Has said...

First DITH, Kueh Talam is a real challenge; The bottom part tu must have the right balance of liquid and rice flour for it to turn soft, almost jelly like.

The proportion I am retaining is for 7 and half inch container, 2 cups of water with 1 cup of rice flour and 2 table spoonful of cornflower. Make sure the container is hot before pouring in, and the mixture is blend ed just before pouring. The top part is not so much of a problem.

Kueh Koci you all very cute, he he he, come lote. Kueh Melayu jangan dimasukkan dalam peti ais, rosak binasa jadinya. Tipsnya, bila masak, biarkan dalam steamer carriage yang ada lobang tu, or susun dalam bekas terbuka dan letak bawah saji. Sure tahan sehingga esok, malah lebih enak lagi.

Ni ambil sikit yang u tulis "And to think that my poor memory has been failing me more and more nowadays!", he he careful DITH, when dementia sets in, the remote memory will be very good, but the recent memory yang failed, so kalau dok cakap benda lama2 kerap sangat, then I would advice you to take the MMSE.

NBB said...

u mention penang, and that reminds me of balik pulau, pulau pinang. spent 5 years there.

Has said...

DITH, I balik lunch tadi, my mum kata sakit dada (she has chronic chest pain with not much underlying ECG changes) dia hilang separuh lepas dia makan tapai pulut neighbour bagi hari raya baru ni.

nampaknya i kena buat tapai pulut ni, ada step by step proven method tak?

Has said...

DITH, he he dah dapat resipe tapai pulut, ni tengah teruja nak try, tapi yang tak best sikit tak dak raginya lagi, so phone my DH yang dok kat MAS office in town, dia kata KB masih jam gila, MAS office pun sampai tak ada seat, so dia tak tahu macam mana nak gi pasar siti khatijah nak beli ragi,,ke bulih buat tapai guna instant yeast, he he ragi dan yeast tu benda sama kan?

Count Byron said...

Lovely reminiscence. I simply love your quiet trips with Dad.. your keen observation on his mannerisms at wet market.. your tarawih with Dad.. they are great moments I would cherish. And so too are your kocis.. very tempting

Count Byron said...

And thank you too, Dr Roza, for guessing my mannerisms... you are dot on the spot!
I love my girls..and will be very chatty with them.. not that I am a man of many words.. but I will be when I am with my girls.. and boys too..

oh hello! perhaps I was wrong.. I am, a man of many words! That says it all *smile*

Em said...

Hello Dr Roza

Finally hv time to read tis entry..Such a nice post...and such yummy food..

My current fav places are teh tarik or tehsi stalls.

anasalwa said...

I never made kuih koci before. I love it when it is still warm. Thank you for sharing it with us.

dr in the house said...

Has- Wonder what causes your mum's chest pain? Which is relieved by tapai pulut!? Sorry couldnt help you with the recipe. Tapai, I love but never tried making them coz from what I've heard thru the grapevines, making tapai has lots of taboos attached, hehe...so did you succeed making tapai with instant yeast?? Do tell.

Count- simply ask Countess to make the kocis...apparently accodring to Has, they are the easiest of kuih to make!

Em- you've introduced me to the beverage Tehsi which according to iKelah is an old concoction since his father's day..and I thot it was a mixture of Teh and Pepsi! heheh

Nurelhuda said...

You all nih yang kurus kurus rajin buat kueh..saya tak berani buat kueh, I end up eating them! So tell me Has and Roza, who eats them all up and if it is you , how come they don t show up in terms of added inches?

dr in the house said...

Nurelhuda- Firstly, how come you already know that Has is slim? Have you met her? Am curious coz she's hiding her identity. Secondly, I too have put on the inches..:((...need to shed off..

ailin...in aalborg said...

I don't remember Green Lane ever having govt quarters, or a huge field. Must have been way before my time... oops!

Em said...

Hehe Its not I dunt tink I can drink tehsi wif pepsi... tak sedap

Actualli onli started drinkin tehsi for like 2 yrs...

Its teh wif evaporated milk instead of condensed milk


Nurelhuda said...

Roza kan dia makan gano ke apa ke? So kan dier dah kurus??

pycnogenol said...

The choc/coffee tart looks enticing. Would you believe that I bought 7 different slices of cheesecakes from Secret Recipe on Raya day. So, all of us got to sample the different variety of the sinfully delicious cheesecakes.

Apa nak buat....we dont have Beriani or Roti jala... :(

Enjoyed reading your reminiscence. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to reading lots more....

kenakelayan said...

The food in the pics look really good, yum yum. I don't make kuih/sweet items very often for I 'kuasa nak melayan' the 'lecehness' of making these type of dishes. But on the rare occasions that I do, I end up giving them away as I just lose interest in eating them. I really admire those who can stomach making them AND eating them afterwards! :)

Now savoury dishes are different...

I still remember many moments spent with my dad when I was a kid. As I grew older, those kiddy outings were replaced by serious discussions, albeit usually one-sided ;). Oh how I miss those days...

Has said...

he he maka dengan bangganya mengumumkan tapai pulut hitam was a failure, sebabnya gatal dan overconf. kerana first attempt pegi cuba dengan pulut hitam.

Second attempt petang nih, pulut biasa, sure jadi, keh, keh, keh.

sapa2 yang tahu menahu tang pulut hitam nih, kita boleh buat tapai ker tak? When i have time, i'll search about the benefit of the dark red colour of the pulut. Ikut mat salleh, all those with red colour is good, as red wine, red melon, red tomatoes, etc etc, don't know whether the red in pulut hitam is lycopein or something else.

i ni slim tak slim imagine macam teri hatcher in desperate housewive tuh ler, keh, keh, keh.

Queen Of The House said...

In mt whole life tak pernah dengar orang buat or tengok pun tapai pulut hitam. Tapi kalau boleh buat, trylah, why not? Lepas tu, boleh get it patented, Has :)

Has said...

he he he QOTH, dah researched dah, tunggu ler, dah gi beli pulut hitam 1 KG lagi, yang first 1 KG dah masuk tong, ni sure DITH marah.

tak boleh ikut resepi sangat, tak jadinya, kena guna akal sikit baru jadi, most importantly I got to utilize the pulut hitam, also called the forbidden rice as my diet, bubur pulut hitam tak healthy sangat. So tapai pulut hitam with reddish purple juice and very juicy surely got a lot of health benefit. My second tapai attempt now dok tengah demam, he he esok baru kebah, eh ya ke orang kata macam tuh?

Restless said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Restless said...

Dear DITH,

Do have mercy on us; the single ones where the mere sight of such tempting "kochi" are truly viccious arrows that murder us almost instantly - straight at our bellies.

P/S - Bila lagi nak buat blogger-gathering so, I can sample your kochi? (if not too much of implying. Don't mind me!)

Love and kisses

dr in the house said...

Ailin- oops!

EM- getting hooled on tehsi too!

Nurulheda- gano or not...not a proof that she's slim kan? hehe

Pycno- did you read my coment at Sofi's site regarding your sinful alliance with cheesecake??

Kenekelayan- no wonder you are so thin! Jealous kita!

Has- why terri hatcher?? I think she has aged fast beyond her age.

Queen- I think I have tasted Tapai pulut hitam sold at Pasar Tani at Temerloh...nice too!

Has- !@#$%^&^%!!!!

Anim- entah lah bila ye? Probably if everyone turns up it'll be a mammoth gathering! My kuih kochi sure tak cukup! Love and kisses to you too!

Has said...

DITH, are you cursing me [Has- !@#$%^&^%!!!]?

He he he, now go to my blog and I am sure are so jealous of me, keh, keh, keh, bawa permaisuri sama, sure meleleh air liur dia.

Teri Hatcher tuh the image of which I refer to her appearance in Oprah's show, sebabnya I never for once watch her on Desperate Housewife. Can't watch it cos I somehow could not empathize of identify with any of the characters and I got enough in my hands already, keh, keh, keh.

Has said...

DITH, entry you nih, kalau tapai dah masak cair dah nih, keh, keh, keh. kena tukar lain dah ni.

Ku Keng said...

Kak Has: You ni berasal dari Wakaf Tapai ke? Mahir dalam bidan pembikinan tapai.

dr in the house said...

Has & Keng-

In the words of Abdullah Jones:

ayumi_of_mirkwood said...

I love reading this entry.. Although I have no part in it, I can feel the nostalgic aura flowing in my veins.. haha.. Lovely tart, by the way. Wish I could taste that (and add some more pounds to the extra pounds I have.. :P)

crimsonskye said...

You really are close to your father :) Love reading all those anecdotes about him; I could still remember one of your previous entries where he remarked about the wireless optical mouse your sister (or SIL; I forgot which one) bought at the PC fair; he said he could get a mouse for one ringgit :)) He must have a really good sense of humour.

I once lived in Tawau before coming to live in Labuan permanently; even though I was just around four at that time, I still remember the sea, the frequent picnics, our 'haunted' yellow house, the countryside trips... well, Tawau is definitely the place of reminiscence for me :)

dr in the house said...


Nostalgic aura eh? That's a strong word, :)
what extra pounds? Wish I was as slim as you!!:))


I am not sure whether I qualify as being close to him but those were things that I did with him and cherished. He does have his sense of humour but most of the time he is so quiet and so serious that my kids find it hard to get near him.:)

Is Tawau a good place to visit?

pycnogenol said...

I've been to Tawau a couple of times, and I just LOVE the place. Gan still remember the smell of tawau and the Hotel, yes the Marco Polo Hotel.

And the seafood - glorious, cheap, delicious and fresh seafood!!!

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