Sunday, 30 October 2016

Blogging from Mersing

We are in my wife's hometown Mersing since yesterday. Today, my wife and her siblings are at the District Land Office to settle some issues relating to the inheritance of property belonging to my late father-in-law.

Being back in Mersing means the opportunity to enjoy the local delicacies that the town is famous for. Namely nasi dagang, keropok lekor and satar. It's cool and cloudy this morning.

Satar and keropok lekor for afternoon tea
A tributary of Sungai Mersing. 'Derhaka' is a really strong word.

Footnote : Mobile blogging on a smartphone or tablet would work fine if your post is pure text. When you start to add photos, it becomes too cumbersome. Editing, re-sizing and captioning the pics take a ton of effort.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Bercerai kasih talak tiada. Seribu tahun kembali juga...

Around this time last week, I received an email from fellow blogger Sharifah Hamzah of Building Bridges, inviting me to attend a launch and discussion of a book written by her late father, Hamzah Hussin. I was pleasantly surprised at Sharifah's invitation because I had dropped by her blog only occasionally. Since the event was to be held in Singapore and I had nothing planned that weekend, I thought it was a good opportunity to meet blogger-friends in real life.

And so last Saturday 22 October, I made the trip across the causeway and headed to the event venue somewhere in Geylang. It was the second book launch for two successive days in a row (see previous post about Tony JK's Find Dining).

Truth be told, I have never heard about the author Hamzah Hussin so I wasn't sure what to expect. But the event was later to reveal something new which I had neglected to pay attention to. And what might this be, you ask?

Fans of classic Malay movies from the 60's would know the film Gurindam Jiwa. It stars the handsome Nordin Ahmad and the equally beautiful Latifah Omar, playing the lead roles. In that film, the stars sang a melodious duet with the same name as the movie's title. The opening lines of the song goes as such :

"Tuai padi antara masak, Esok jangan layu-layuan.
Intai kami antara nampak, Esok jangan rindu-rinduan."

Hamzah Hussin wrote the lyrics to that song. He also wrote the script for the movie. 

The book that was launched last Saturday is a compilation of three stories : Perempuan Gusti, Samseng and Rumah Kosong.

Thank you Sharifah, for inviting me. It was a pleasure to be meeting you in person. My best wishes to your effort in re-publishing your late father's works.

Dark and sensational Malay creative writing from the 50's and 60's

Friday, 21 October 2016

Find Dining...

I cannot remember how or when I came across the food review blog owned and authored by a gentleman who calls himself Tony Johor Kaki. I am a food explorer myself, so it must've been through a simple google search. Once I discovered the blog, I included the link in my sidebar so that I can easily click for updates.

Tony JK's blog is quite impressive. He has visited and personally tasted the food at hundreds of outlets, ranging from simple hawker stalls to fine restaurants located mainly in Johor Bahru city. His entries cover both non-halal and halal eateries, properly labeled and categorised, complete with address and GPS coordinates. But what sets him apart from other food blogs is his amazing collection of mouth-watering photographs that accompany each post.

From blogging, Tony later set up a Facebook Page for halal food enthusiasts called Johor Sedap. He has now progressed to become a full-fledged author of a guidebook for foodies. With the help of a generous sponsor and a publishing house, some entries from Tony's blog have been edited and compiled into a book named Find Dining with Johor Kaki.

I have commented on Tony's blog a number of times and contributed to the Johor Sedap FB page occasionally. It's only today that I had the privilege of meeting the man himself for the first time in person. It was during a book signing and distribution session at Sutera Mall in Skudai.

The book is available for free. I had a quick flip through its contents. Of the 23 halal food outlets mentioned in the book, I have not yet been to 8. That's roughly a 65% hit rate.

Of course, not all restaurants and food joints in Johor can be featured in a tiny guidebook. In Tony's words, the food business is very dynamic. New eating places open every week while some of the existing ones don't make it and have to close shop. With this, I'm pretty sure Tony JK and his publishers would be looking ahead at future editions. Good luck Tony.

Tony JK now a celebrity :-)

Finally, one blogger able to meet another (more famous) blogger

My personal copy, signed by Tony on the inside intro page

Monday, 3 October 2016

Good, bad and indifferent news

Events that happened in this past month of September 2016 :

1. Three athletes from Malaysia won gold at Rio 2016 Paralympics, for the first time ever.
2. JDT made history by winning the Malaysia Super League, 3 times in a row. 
3. Our DPM made known to the world of his English public-speaking skills.
4. The no. 1 university in the country denies having awarded an honorary PhD to a well-known motivational speaker.
5. My sister-in-law, Hajjah Zainab Bt Mohd Amin (fondly known as Mak We to her nephews and nieces), lost her long-fought battle against cancer.

Good, bad and indifferent news. No prizes for guessing which one I care about the most.

Hajjah Zainab was the second child in a family of 13 siblings. She was my wife's 2nd eldest sister and used to reside at her hometown of Mersing until a few years ago, when illness and treatments at hospitals in Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur caused her to stay with her youngest daughter.

I have very fond memories of her. When I married my wife those many years ago, her house was where I stayed at before the nikah ceremony proper. It was there I was first introduced to my then to-be niece, a sweet little 5-year old girl. The little girl has now grown up, with a family of her own. Thank you dear Maslin Md Ramly and your kind husband Isa Hoo Abdullah, for your dedication in taking care of your mother until her final day.

Tiga generasi di pusara allahyarham Hjh Zainab Bt Mohd Amin
 kembali ke rahmatullah pada hari Isnin 26 September 2016.
Gambar diambil (tanpa kebenaran) dari FB Puan Maslin.