THE MESSAGE NO.138 MAY 2013
SPONSORED BY BAHARI BIN SHAFIE
VISITING BALI (Part II)
by Chan Suy Sang
Today we had late breakfast but I got up early. We left the hotel called Bali Rani Hotel at 9.30 am for various visits. The tour coach took us to see batik cloth making factory. Right in front of the place was set up workers doing the various stages of batik making just drawing patterns, weaving, sewing etc. Of course we also visited the display gallery where many readymade batik apparels we displayed all priced in US dollars. A short-sleeve shirt cost USD 37. I did not buy any.
Then we visited a tinsmith factory. Workers there were still primitive in their trade using hand make methods like beating, hammering, welding, etc. Their work bench were so old and broken.
Next we went to the Batur volcano basin lunch. There we had lunch. It was a typical Balinese lunch though and a bit filling. Yonder was the dormant volcano called Batur. Looking down the basin I saw black earth. Plants were growing lush.
Later in the afternoon we went to visit the temple with a holy spring.
People bathing in the water from outflow sprouts from the holy spring
Dinner was a barbecued affair at a sea food restaurant. Just outside the eatery is the beach. Breeze from the sea was blowing very strongly in. We could not dine outside which we were supposed to. However, after dinner we were out there catching the breeze. The wind was strong, but it was warm. The sea out there was also choppy. Then we returned to the hotel.
COFFEE WITH A TWIST OR COFFEE FROM CIVIT CATS' SHIT
Today we were taken to coffee manufacturing factory and outlet. The coffee there was called DOMBA COFFEE.
Here is a very interesting article on coffee and I thought of sharing with you. Here it goes...
World's priciest coffee comes with a twist
If you want a taste of the most expensive coffee in the world, you'll have to fly to Indonesia. At $400 to $1,000 per pound, kopi luwak is said to be the most surprising and unique morning wakeup you'll ever taste.
And here's another surprise: The reason why it tastes so unique is because it's harvested from the droppings of a luwak, a type of mongoose that emits skunk-like odors.
The processing of this bean begins when the luwak nibbles the ripe red fruit - called the coffee cherry - off the coffee tree. On its journey through the luwak's stomach and intestines, gastric juices eat away the cherry's skin, pulp, and mucilage, leaving only the pit, also known as the coffee bean. When that bean, to put it politely, emerges from the unattractive end of the luwak, the kopi luwak coffee bean is encased in scat. It goes to be cleaned and packaged.
Although it's the most expensive coffee in the world, it's not necessarily the best tasting. People describe the flavor as syrupy and the heaviest bodied coffee they've ever tasted. Combining this coffee's unique taste with its rarity is what pushes the price to astronomical levels.
IT AIN'T SO EASY TO GET THOSE FREEBIES
3/18/2013. Today we are so free. So William and I and our misuses shot off in my jalopy to claim some freebies. A company was celebrating its sixtieth anniversary. They announced in the printed media that they are giving out some freebies. It was not just some sample or tidbits but each claimant could cart away two cartons of biscuits worth nearly RM200. So we thought we could load the car with 8 cartons. That would be a lot of goodies.
We drove into Ara Damansara to look for the place. Wow! I have not been to that part of the city before. Yet after some enquiries, I managed to enter the area where the rendezvous was secreted. Yes it was really hidden. We followed the address given in the newspapers but we failed to locate the exact road. We came upon the road with the number advertised.
We drove round the area for two hours. We asked people. Many did not know. Some pretended to know and directed us to go in certain directions. Our attempts of driving round and round were futile. We seemed to drive further and further away from our itinerary.
We came back to the same area again and drove round and round again. We even met some other lost souls who were looking for the same place also. Finally we located the road, but it was a few blocks of apartments. How could that be, the road was right but the buildings are dwellings not business premises.
In the end a guy guided us to drive on a rugged stretch of very broken road full of potholes and puddles. After passing that stretch of road we came to a main road. Eureka! We saw the place we were looking for. Three hours of searching had passed. Our tempers ran high like we were on fire!
Immediately we joined the queue to claim the freebies. We saw some claimants were already leaving carting away two cartons of biscuits each. Some even have to drive their cars nearer to load the freebies in to carry their booty away.
Then tension struck us like lightning! The management announced that all they wanted to give away had been given away! The queue of more than a hundred people reacted most unpleasantly. Many of us said we had been searching the whole morning looking for the place. How could we be treated like that - shooing us away because everything had been given away! Some haggled and wrangled with the management. William Joo delivered a fiery rhetoric for a fairer treatment of the rest. In the end we were given two packets each - not two cartons which should have amounted to 24 packets. At least we all got some consolation with the smaller gifts. But we felt that some sort of pre-empted expectations should have been thought of by the organizers of the give-away. What do you say?
AN EXCURSION TO THE LAND OF THE GOOD WIDOW
The day I have been waiting for an excursion had come. At 7.00 am I climbed onto a huge SUV belonging to somebody. We shot off taking the Sri Petaling to Ampang stretch of the KL outer ring road. At the BHP gas station, we waited for the other vehicles loaded with more participants to congregate.
We pushed off later and arrived at Pine Tree stopover at Janda Baik. Then we climbed up the sloping road to our lodging place. It is a bungalow built deep in the wild with the structure mostly of timber.
We had our lunch of vegetarian dishes. After a short midday siesta, we observed a lady from China did a demonstration on doing a water treatment facial. We were, ladies and gentlemen too, all trained to do facial on ourselves. With mirrors in front of us, we applied cleanser cream, toner and also massage cream. The last was to extract the toxins from our skin. The massage cream was slapped on our face. We slapped and slapped the stuff to force the toxins on our skin to come out. When our face became oily, we now apply the last of the stuffs and the facial was done.
Evening came. Lectures on health care and products by professor Pang from China followed by a talk by Miss Lai also from that Asian developing economic power house. Interspersed with the lectures were some very interesting and entertaining games for relaxation and curing tensions too.
By 10.00 pm we retired to our shared sleeping quarters. In the jungle we need no air-conditioning and that facility is not provided. We left our windows opened. Jungle breeze blew in. Strange in this wild forest, there are no mosquitoes. Perhaps Janda Baik is the area where they have done something to destroy the breeding of the blood sucker and diseases vector.
My buddy, an Uncle Voong and I got up at four. We mixed Milo and drank near the open glass door. There was no noise from the jungle: no owls hooting not even any wild beast squeaking. All was quiet.
Morning came; we had exercises including taichi and swimming. Up here in the hills, though the air was cool but the water was warm in the pool. Breakfast followed. Then we visited an organic farm. Well, what is the special thing here? They used chicken droppings for fertilizer. They grow quite a lot of vegetables which they supply to some supermarkets in Kuala Lumpur. The place is fenced up and electrified to keep away wild boars. Some of us remarked that our forefathers were the real organic farmers for those days they actually used animal manures including those we produce ourselves!
Back to our lodging place, we had more lectures. Then at four, we descended from the hills to go back to Kuala Lumpur.
A TEXT MESSAGE FROM A HOSPITALISED MESIAN
"Hope u will visit me at KLGH, 3rd fl. Ward 14, Rm 10."
This was the text message I received in my cell phone one day towards the end of March. When I texted back he said he would be undergoing a minor operation. What? Going under the surgeon's knives he called it a minor matter!
So I roped in William Joo and the next day we headed to the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital to see what was wrong with John.
At the hospital bed from left to right: (front) John Chinniah, Chan Suy Sang, my missus Helen Yang, (back row) William Joo Shek Phin and a close relative of John.
When we saw John Chinniah, he said he was having goiter something like swelling on the throat. The swelling with John was not visible because it was internal. Such condition would later press against his gullet and his wind pipe. If not removed in time, it might choke and starve him making him unable to breathe and eat! So he was advised to have it removed.
Well, there was nothing to worry and he was in high spirit. We had a very amiable talk with him. William even led us to pray for John.
A few days later I visited John at his Sentul home. He was back and recuperating from the operation.
WHERE AND WHY DO THESE FIVE MESIANS MEET AND FOR WHAT OCCASION?
We were at the Dragon Court Restaurant in Bentong attending a wedding banquet. Chan Siew Mun was the host. Siew Mun threw a party to commemorate his son Chan Chee Shing's marriage to Miss Chia Kwan Thai.
The five of us were classmates during the 1950's and sixties. Meeting like this is a rarity, don't you agree? So we took some pixies.
THE "TO CARRY A CHILD" HERB - HOW IT LOOKS LIKE
Recently, someone asked me about the Dukung Anak herb. I referred to my herbalist friend Yen. He confirmed. This is the Malaysian herb called Dukung Anak or what's in English "to carry a child"? Here are some details:
Scientific name: Phyllanthus niruri Linn (P fraternus Webster)
Local Names: Pokok Dukung Anak, Amin buah, Keman jolok
Characteristics: Grows on open, abandoned land and by the roadside or anywhere around the garden and even in pots with other plants.
Sound astonishing but if you look at this plant, you can actually see row of bead-like berries on the stems underneath the leaves - that's how it has been accredited with such name. There are also the red bead-like berries dukung anak which is smaller size than the usual one.
Dukung Anak is widely used in traditional medicine: water boiled with the plant is taken to treat diarrhea reported to lower hypertension and purify the blood effective in healing wounds and scurf.
When boiled with goat's milk and given to children or babies it is said to cure jaundice. It has been reported that hepatitis was cured when goatfs milk boiled with the plant was consumed for a period of 1-2 months.
According to scientific study, the plant contains a bitter compound, phyllanthin and hydrophyllanthin. Other compounds are tannin, saponine, phyltetralin, nirtetralin, niranthin and calcium oxalate.
Precaution: as Dukung Anak contains calcium oxalate, it is hazardous if taken by patients suffering from stones in the bladder.