Thursday, February 24, 2022

Importance of Merit Making

Most of us are living in this materialistic world, doing the same mundane routine and lifestyle patterns daily. We wake up, eat, work, eat and sleep, then repeat again. Yes, we all need to work to find money to put food and bacons on the table. In other words, everyone needs money to survive. Most of us are aware that we need to plan and put money aside for old age and rainy days. Many are far sighted and think this way. How many of us are thinking even farther ahead?? How are we going to survive in the after life?? In that dimensions, our departed loved ones are there and are either enjoying the eternal peace or suffering like helpless wandering ghosts.

It has been written in most religious books that encourage every follower to do charitable deeds. When we help and think of others, we would gain immeasurable merits for ourselves. What are these merits for? It may not be easy to explain how merits work but it would definitely bring goodness to ourselves. It is believed that our lives would be blessed for the better with good merits accumulated. If this life, someone becomes wealthy and famous, it is probably due to the accumulated merits he had from the past that blessed him with smooth and wealthy life. If we have done lots of charity this life, our merits would bring us better well being and also merits are important in the after-life. In the other dimensions, the souls need own merits to survive and enjoy in the better realms. I have encountered dreams and real moments when departed souls came back to seek help. Sometimes they wished to be able to communicate with their family members that they needed more merits for their survival in that dimension. Unfortunately, many are not able to connect with the living family members in this world. So, on our own, we must always offer prayers constantly and dedicate merits to our departed ones. When one dies, he will not bring along any money or possessions but just the good merits with him. If he has little or no merits, I shudder to think what would happen to his soul.

My wife has been sharing with her close friends about the importance of doing charity which could be in various forms. The best charity is without using money. There is one taukeh friend who was truly awakened by this calling and has been organizing the charitable deeds. Together with his wife, they have been coming over to our place every month at sunrise to prepare food in boxes for various orphanages and old folks homes around Selangor. My wife would be the sole chef to cook different dishes to feed over 100 mouths. I would do the small part of peeling potatoes, onions or chop garlic only.

I would follow her to the markets to buy all the meat and vegetables a day before our scheduled Sundays.

This round, there were several bags of potatoes and carrots for me to peel and chop. It is fun and I felt good that nutritious hot meals would be delivered to the homes.

The Chef and her good friend who is a Parang Queen as she could actually chop soft tofu without squishing them at all. I was dumbfounded and asked where she learnt her Shaolin skills with parangs. This friend is not the Taukeh's wife.

This is the Taukeh friend who was awakened by this charity calling. Previously, I would say that he led a very meaningless life of earning lots of money and ended up drinking tons of beer and alcohol with his kaki-botol gang. Of all places, their gang who drink cheapo style outside the mini market at Taman Megah by the big longkang next to La Manila. I think Phong Hong must have bumped into this group of drunkard uncles when she was there to shop for oink-oink. That's how happy he was and we never bothered about his choice. Somehow, he was drawn to all the Facebook photo postings by us about giving back to the society, for the good life we have enjoyed. Social media works as it woke him up!!

We have been doing this monthly activity for sometime now. I have not been sharing much in my blog as you guys might be bored. The timing for food delivery is always perfect after well-calculated planning on the distance from my home. Most of the homes are very faraway like Semenyih or Hulu Langat, all within the state of Selangor Darul Ehsan.

This young boy insisted on helping me to carry as he could see that I was struggling after my surgery. I could not even lift a small box like this as the 6 stitches on my abdomen might rip & tear apart. Oh dear, this boy is a strong man and happily unloaded all the boxes from my car.

One for the album. Once upon a time, I was very young like him. Look how old and skinny I have grown today. Hahaha

The other boys helped to carry the canned drinks, donated by Mr Sebastian Lee. Sebastian is a kind  hearted and generous boss who operates a factory in Puchong. Bless him!

Yengga Poreng Ngeh? Unkal penya Enna?? I asked the small girl for her name. She replied me Nah! Dug her nose and showed me the mucous which was wet like long slime. Eeeeew!! Kids are just playful. How I miss my carefree days as a kid.

In other homes, the young boys were happily eating the dinner cooked by our gang. Many things run in my thoughts when I observed them. What is karma all about? Hope you enjoyed looking at the photos and ramblings. Please remember to keep making merits for yourself. You will need these merits in other dimensions where they don't use USD$ or MY Ringgits.


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

My Next Chinese New Year 2023

I think my blogging mojo is back. Here I am writing some closure about how I spent my CNY this year and have planned for next year's!! Call me insane and too free, as I am always a far sighted person who daydreams until they turn into realities. 

The Chinese New Year every year had been different after both my parents had passed away. The unity of having older parents in the family is always important for our culture. I didn't want the situation to control me. so I had to control the situation instead as life's journey is in our own hands. I had to move on with my life. That's why I decided to spend our entire 9 days Chinese New Year in London back in 2019. It was so much fun and memorable for us to travel across England, Scotland and Wales in one visit. It was just both of us, free & easy style, so I felt everything was relaxing. Then I booked our tickets to spend the Chinese New Year in Guangzhou for 2020. However the Covid's pandemic struck Wuhan and spread to Guangzhou very fast. They shut down the city and airport, so AirAsia had to cancel our flights on Chinese New Year's eve just before our departure. Later AA also cancelled all our flights to Hua Hin and Melbourne, with full refunds credited to my account. I hope that the China's borders will reopen again so that we can spend the next Chinese New Year 2023 in Guangzhou.

We had 7 sessions of Yee Sang tossing this year. The above photo was the last one, hosted by Sebastian Lee who is a generous businessman with a charitable heart and runs a factory in Puchong that supplies F&B products. 

We visited a relative in their big bungalow house which has 4 storeys and an elevator inside! The matriarch of the house is the grand daughter of the late philanthropist Heah Joo Seang, who founded the first Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Here I posed with the beautiful rose wood antique set that's studded with mother of pearls. It's the heirlooms of the the late tycoon Heah Joo Seang and I have booked it. I told them I have a ready buyer for genuine pieces and those belonging to famous families fetch even higher in the market.

This year was the first time we were gifted with 8 packets of Bak Kua (BBQ Pork Meat) by close friends and relatives.

There is one brand which I would not reveal the name. It tastes very good but the pork meat supplier who was my wife's school mate had cautioned everyone not to buy that brand. He supplies pork meat to them but found out that they mixed the minced meat with other pork meat that was processed from sickly or even pigs that had died of unknown causes. Yuks!! No one had died from eating them but the thoughts of sickly pigs could turn my stomach. I hint to you okay. That brand has the most branch outlets in the market. 

This brand is our top favourite brand. I learnt from a relative in Hong Kong that all the Hongkies love this brand too. They will not want to try others. Do you know that Hong Kong is the city that has the most Rolls Royce in the world? The folks know what is the best.

This is my simple CNY decoration at my wife's education centre. I arranged the Mei Hua with oranges and gold nuggets using my 100 year old Chinese Basket from the Qing Dynasty's era. The whole ceiling of the center has lanterns and strings of pattern frills. Next year, I have planned for better decoration ideas.

I saw these lively flowers decoration at One Utama. I will follow this style.

This floral arrangement is simple & easy yet it looks stunning like bursting with luck. I have plenty of antique pots and jars to put as the flower base.

I saw this big fishes at Starling Mall. I love that unique origami which I had not seen elsewhere. I have lots of red packet left overs. I can fold the unused red envelopes into auspicious fishes next year and give them away together with CNY cookies.


Saturday, February 19, 2022

Last Christmas 2021

How did your Christmas celebrations go? I got my Christmas wish which came true. From my hospital beds 3 months ago, I thought I would not be able to spend my Christmas like how I had enjoyed all my life. The best Christmas time I had was in San Francisco when I was a student. The Americans celebrated the festive season in a much bigger scale with huge Christmas trees everywhere complete with real blooming Poinsettia plants and hundreds of Santa Clauses ringing the bells on the streets during Winter. My dream's bucket list is to celebrate Christmas with my wife in Vienna. My mum told me that Vienna is the best place to visit in whole Europe.

I was still frail and very weak in December when I visited the Starling Mall. Can you see the happy tears in my eyes?

My sister invited us to have a Christmas Dinner with her and her Viking hubby.

We went to Rocksalt Restaurant which was a unique place with fine dining for orang atas.

All the walls were built with real Rock Salt minerals and lighted up to radiate the energy! It certainly attracts hordes of wealthy customers to eat there. One of them is my sister lah.

Look at the Christmas Menu, priced at RM198.00 per pax.

This is what we ate. As usual, I didn't jot down the dishes, so I will come back again to update it when I have checked the above menu. 


Sunday, February 13, 2022

Charity Bazaar @ Taman Midah Cheras (9 January 2022)

Last month my wife was invited to participate in a Charity Bazaar at the Taman Midah's morning market. Together with her classmates and my 2 God Sons, we headed to Cheras before sunrise for the fund raising event.

My God Son markets his own brand of soya milk and soya pudding in the Klang Valley's region. He agreed to set up a stall at the bazaar and do some charity too. I carried his placard sign and loudspeaker microphone to yell out for the morning aunties!!

Does this uncle look like a Soya Mascot? I will ask the God Son to hire me then.

The young customers started buying our freshest soya milk at 7.00am. What a great choice to have this for a healthy breakfast - Soybar's Soya Milk and Pudding.

My wife and her classmates sold Bak Kwa Buns! They also received the earliest customers to buy many buns home for their own family's breakfast. That gave me an idea how lovely the families in Cheras are. The parents would go food hunting while the kids are still snoring in beds. I must ask Kris whether she was there (?)

This Ah Moi is my wife who has expert hands in cooking and serving customers. She started helping her parents at the coffee shop when she was barely 4 years old!

The Bak Kwa Buns tasted good and yummy!

This is another schoolmate of my wife who happens to be a relative. Aaron Choo is a tough Ironman participant who ran across Langkawi, Danang, Germany and Australia for the Ironman Race. A tough sportsman he is and he could easily help to fry 100 eggs for the Bak Kwa Buns.

Our gang of helpers got up really early on a Sunday to set up the 2 stalls at the charity bazaar.

There were many other stalls too. They sold food, CNY goodies, books, toys, household stuffs, plants and many others. Our 2 stalls were one of the earliest to sell off everything.

 My 2 God Sons and I.  They are best friends today. I felt very honoured to be adopted by them as a God Father instead of their best friend. 

This is my God Son's soya milk and pudding business today. 

If you see it being sold at coffee shops or stores, try them. They are very fresh with no preservatives at all and made from Non-GMO Canada soybean. (Hey, this is not a paid post)

Produce & Bottled by:
JTYY Enterprise
A-G-1, Plaza Prima Setapak,
Jalan Prima Setapak 5.
53300, Taman Setapak, Kuala Lumpur.

You can place your order HERE!


Wednesday, February 9, 2022

My Favourite Meeting Place In Penang

Whenever I was back to my hometown, I had to gather my friends to meet up at certain places for everyone's convenience. When I was a wild bachelor, I was clubbing at the different discotheques along the beach hotels at Batu Ferringhi. Later years, I got married and mellowed down to meet my friends at hawker centres instead.

I always stayed at Northam Suites Hotel for many nights and would walk across to the Northam Beach Food Court nightly. I would eat the different hawker foods every night with my best buddies and their families. Now that Northam Suites have closed down unfortunately, so my plans had changed too. I would meet them at Starbucks nearby the other hotel in the city.

I have the fondest memories of this Northam Beach Food Court because it was once the palatial bungalow of the late philanthropist Ng Sui Kam. The huge sprawling grounds reach the shores off Gurney Drive where you could enjoy the full panoramic view and breeze of the sea. There used to be a huge swimming pool beside the big bungalow with green roofs. When I was very young, my parents brought me there to swim together with my same childhood friends who sit onboard SHK in Hong Kong today. The late philanthropist was better known as the founding people of the MCA party long ago. He was an old family friend who would generously invite friends over to swim. The property has changed hands long ago and a developer will be building a luxury condo in near future.

We better eat and enjoy the relaxing ambience with the sea breeze while we still can. Once the condo is built, I will be eating the 'wind' instead.

The hawker stalls there come and go. Right now, I was told that the best stall is the Lor Bak which uses generous 5 spices to marinate them to perfection. It was so yummy to eat that with dipping sauces. We also ordered other fritters to eat. 

The Pie-Tee was also very delicious when served crispy. Go try it.

This is my top favourite Hokkien Char Noodles. Suprisingly, only Penang Lang would love this and it is not easy to find a good plate of Hokkien Char in Penang. This stall gets only 5/10 ratings from me.

The fabulous view is here. I used to sit here from dinner time till 1.00am!


Recuperating From Colon Surgery

Just a quick update about myself. I had lunch with my niece today and she pointed out that I am still too thin. My wife and her felt that I look frail and haggard. I have been eating and snacking a lot but my weight hardly increased. This worries me a bit. 

I have been going to gym often to exercise both legs and arms to get my blood circulation going. My weight increased a little due to the muscles toning up again. My sagging turkey necklines are slowly disappearing too. No need to inject botox lah. 

I went to the gym's branch outlet inside Plaza Dutamas near Mont Kiara and was surprised to see the view of the palace. It made me think a lot about the Royalties and their hectic lifestyle. 

I am getting restless with my colon's recovery and frustrated with the anaesthetic effects. I heard that I might need at least 6 months or more for the re-connected colons to fully heal. By then I should be able to resume my boxing classes and probably carry some dumb bells too. As for the 8 hour long anaesthetic during surgery, it might take 6 months to 1 year for the effects to wear off. Sometimes my wife pointed out that I was still blurr like sotong. So sad lah.
My bowels are still not back to normal yet. Whenever I finished a full meal, the food would digest and stay inside the colon after passing trough the intestines. I would need the next meal or plenty of fruity juices or apple cider vinegar to help push the feces to flow out. I think both the re-connected colons are like North Korea and South Korea. They are not yet friends and the bowels need a push to shake hands.


Sunday, February 6, 2022

Chinese New Year (Second Day)

The date was 2.2.22 which looks auspicious for being the 2nd day of Chinese New Year! I truly enjoyed my 5 nights stay at the hotel in the heart of Penang's Georgetown. I read in the media news that all the hotels were experiencing shortage of staff after laying them off during the MCO lockdown. Now that interstate travels are allowed, the hotels could not hire them back on time. Our checking in time took over one hour of long wait as there was only one staff at the reception counter. Then there was no daily housekeeping service to tidy our room for the 5 nights. It didn't bother us much as we could understand these unforeseen issues. I was too happy to be back to my hometown to visit my nanny, my schoolmates, many relatives and even my silent reader CK Yeoh.

3 days before the Lunar New Year, I rounded up some 30 schoolmates to meet up at Nona Bali Restaurant to have a CNY gathering. The response was good because my hospital stay had frightened everyone to their bones. They wanted to see me in real person and alive. They all pinched my flesh and touched my stomach softly as if I was pregnant. I had always been a sort of respected figure to them since I was a class monitor for many years probably due to my height and fearless fiery mouthed character who would protect the classmates without fear or favour. That was me. I am different today.

I was bossing around the restaurant which was closed for our private function that night. Everyone enjoyed themselves so much and they were so noisy like kaypo aunties haggling inside the morning markets. They want me to organize again soon and I am afraid over 100 might show up when there is no CNY festive. Many friends could not join us this round because it was just 3 days away to Chinese New Year.

We had 2 set menus to choose. This Set A was Ayam Bertutu which was prepared by the young Balinese chef. It was delicious. The specially created 2 set menus came with Balinese fresh juices and dessert. The special price was just RM50.00 which was worth it.

The Set B was Ikan Bakar with flavourful and rich spices to make it so mouthwatering. When you are in Penang, you should hop over to visit Nona Bali Restaurant at Pulau Tikus area. They serve all authentic Balinese dishes and desserts.

On the 2nd day of Chinese New Year, I gathered several relatives and cousins to meet up at my aunt's place at the Quayside Condominium which has got a fabulous and panoramic view of the whole ocean. I wish I could have a retirement home like this where I could sit on the rocking chair by the balcony and watch the sunrise until sunset. Again, it was a happy and noisy gathering of our clan with so much juicy gossips. We had to leave after 2 hours as the next group of guests were arriving soon. I told one cousin and her family to adjourn to Starbucks for coffee and thereafter for dinner with more gossips. As you might remember that my late grandfather had 3 wives, 21 children and 58 grandchildren, so the gossip news are always hot and spicy every year with latest headlines.

We treated my cousin's family to have dinner at Ivy's Nyonya Cuisine. I must say it was the best Nyonya Food I had eaten in my life. Thanks to the trusted excellent reviews at Google which caught my wife's attention. It was down memory lane for me when I arrived at the place before the 6pm reservation time. I walked up and down the street to show my cousin where I had lived in that neighbourhood in the city. I was around 3 years old when I moved there from Green Lane. I enjoyed my carefree days there as my earliest neighborhood playmates were the grandchildren of the philanthropist Datuk Neoh Choo Ee. At that same time, I was also playing with the grandchildren of another tycoon and they are now sitting onboard SHK Group in Hong Kong today. When I was such a small kid, I had no idea who their grandfathers were as it was not important at all. I truly had a very happy childhood with no worries. Good friendships are priceless for my case.

We ordered so much food! It was so tasty and yummy but we could not finish them all. 

I will come back here again to update the name of the dishes as I need to refer to the bill. Sorry I have confessed that I am no food blogger.


The Day My World Ended

At sunrise of 3rd August, my wife came to fetch me in her brand new car. She sped all the way through the morning traffic to Shah Alam. It w...