I was waiting at the lobby of the M Hotel. After a while I saw a lady walking by Lo and behold! she was the amicable Mrs. Loh. From the other end Loh Fook Cheng was approaching. Fook Cheng looked a little slim.

We walked to his car parked some distance away. Then Fook Cheng drove me to the area called Marina Bay. "This place was actually reclaimed from the sea," Fook Cheng told me. There were a lot of tall buildings there. He led me to a restaurant in the posh Ritz-Carlton Hotel. There we waited for a table as the place was then full house. Soon we went in and sat down.
 153 - Loh Fook Cheng
Mrs. Loh ordered dim sum and Chinese tea. We ate the food and engaged in a most amicable conversation. I felt most at ease to talk to this couple. From their talk I learnt that they have two daughters. One had left her job in the Civil Aviation commission to look after her children. The other is a consultant doctor at the hospital. The latter's husband is also a doctor in private practice. I appreciate their present well-off situation.

We ate and talked slowly. Fook Cheng said he is having some minor health problems. However, he felt no pain. He will consult the doctor for an opinion.

We walked down a sloping driveway to the main road. From there I saw the first of two casinos of Singapore. The roof is shaped like a boat. That is the Marina Bay Sands casino run by a Las Vegas company.

I asked if there is another casino. Yes they said it is situated on Sentosa Island and owned by Genting group of companies.

Fook Cheng drove me back to my hotel at about three. We parted company.

Thank you Fook Cheng and your missus for your most friendly and generous hospitalities.


Aloysius, my new buddy drove us through a Malay village that spotted quite a number of traditional Malay village houses on stilts. I like those houses very much. Soon we came to an orchard.

We stopped the car to walk further into the orchard. The orchard was clear. The land was flat. There were no tall grass or shrubs. There were durian trees as far as the eyes could see. But I felt that the trees were not very healthy. Their barks are cracked. The soil appeared hard but grown with a sort of small plants not grass nor weeds. Some of the branches of the trees had dried up and dead. The whole thing had been over-fertilised, I guessed. There were not many fruit on the trees. Some neighbours had helped to pick up a few durians earlier and kept the spiky fruits in the shed where we three stopped and rested. Soon we proceeded to looked for fallen durians. But there were none. We only managed to pluck a few mangosteens.
 153 - CSS - Durian
At the shed, Aloysius asked Yen to open up one of the bigger fruits for us to fill our tummy. Yes, the fruit was good like they say it is yellow flesh and dry too. I ate at least 4 or 5 seeds and I was filled. Coming to splitting open the fruit, Yen actually struggled. He did not follow the furrows of the fruit so opening it was rather difficult.

We sat in the shed for a long time. I thought we would leave soon. But no, Aloysius stayed and called his friends. When we finally moved out, it was already 11.30 am. Then at the spot where the car was parked, we went to pluck some langsat from the trees. Langsats are small fruits the size of sea turtle eggs and their branches grow straight upwards into the sky. It is not easy to climb those langsat trees.
 153 - CSS - Pulasan
At that spot there were also two pulasan trees. Some of the fruits were half ripe. We plucked some and ate them then and there. Yen even asked me to not only eat the flesh but also the seeds as well. I wondered why but did not ask him.

At about 12.00 noon we left the orchard. Aloysius drove us out and back to Seremban town. He drove us directly to the Royal Sungai Ujung Club to wait for his friend to come.

During the drive out Mahalingam called me and we made arrangement to see him for lunch. At the club we arranged to meet him outside Ambank in Rasa Jaya. Now, Aloysius handed over his 4-wheel drive to Yen as the former had to wait in the club for his friend.

Yen and I drove over to Rasa Jaya to meet Mahalingam. Yes, we met him standing outside the bank. Then he took us into a new Indian restaurant for lunch. As I entered the eatery the fragrances of India warped in the air. It was the typical Indian scent.

We dished out our food as the place is a self-service eatery. I washed my hands and I was going to eat with my fingers like all Indians do. I would follow the maxim stating when in Rome do as the Romans do. Well, when eating with Indians I always do as the Indians do eating with our fingers. Even Yen was doing justice to the food with fingering licking gusto. I picked and cracked the Indian speciality - papadam.

No papadam is not the main dish. It is a side dish that is used to add more variety to the chewing. For cracking papapdam is an intermittent activity to add to the whole process of eating, munching and chewing.

Yes the food tasted good. The three of us had a full tummy when we finished. Mahalingam and Yen were discussing about herbs for the former has contracted an ailment that herbs might help to mitigate its severity. Finally, Mahalingam agreed to some suggestions and recommendations from Yen the herbalist.

After food, Yen drove me round some shops to have a look see. Then he drove me back to his house in Kuala Sawah to pick up my belongings.

Back to his house, while he was opening the gate he saw a herd of cows grazing into his house compound. He went in and got out some firecrackers. He rushed towards the cows. He fired a few firecrackers. The explosions frightened the bovines away.

Later Yen show me the cuttings of the mulberry tree that he had planted at the back of the house. They have grown and showing leaves. Some were even fruiting. This is what he said he would do - planting a lot of mulberry trees to make an eco-farm.
 153 - Mulberry Leaves
Yes, touching on the mulberry tree, Yen had earlier told me of it multiple uses. Boiling the leaves and drinking the water would help to reduce blood pressure.

But caution: if a person is suffering from low blood pressure he or she should not drink it. He cited an example of one of his relatives who suffered the negative effect of drinking mulberry concoction. The victim inadvertently drank some mulberry brew and soon he fell into a convulsion. Luckily there was a nurse around. She gave him drink saline. Otherwise his blood pressure would have plummeted to a dangerous level. That reminded me of two important things. Blood sugar dipping to dangerous level: give patient sugar solution. Blood pressure descending to risky stage: give patient saline (salt solution).

Then the mulberry fruit can be eaten which is a very good source of vitamins. In fact, Yen used to chop the berries and mixed with eggs to make mulberries omelettes. The roots could be boiled to make a concoction to be used same as boiling the leaves. The twigs could be ground and made as a base for growing mushrooms. Lastly, the mulberry leaves is the staple diet of the silkworm. It is from the silk produced by these worms that the so valuable silk cloth is made.

See if you can figure out what these seven words all have in common!
1. Banana
2. Dresser
3. Grammar
4. Potato
5. Revive
6. Uneven
7. Assess

Are you already given up? Give it one more try...... Look at each word carefully. You'll kick yourself when you discover the answer......

No, it is not that they all have at least 2 double letters......
(Yes, other than the first letter, they spell the same left to right and right to left


Nausea, vomiting, joint pain and even cancer - ginger root, which is available to us all year round in every supermarket or market, can work wonders when it comes to our health. This medicinal plant has not only taste, but added value. In this article you will discover what types of problems it is suitable for, how to consume it and how to store it at home.

Ginger has been known for over two thousand years as a medicinal herb effective in treating digestive problems, nausea, hangover and gases. Modern studies have found that it is effective in the treatment of vomiting, protects the gastric mucosa and improves inflammatory conditions. Ginger improves the absorption of food nutrients and increases the availability of active ingredients in body tissues. The taste and aroma of fresh ginger are intensified the more mature the plant is, and it is considered non-toxic and safe for everyday use.

Here are 6 reasons to consume ginger to improve your health:
1. Soothes the digestive system.
Ginger improves the digestive system, stimulates, helps in the absorption of nutrients, absorbs gases and toxins and helps the skin to release toxins. This is one of the†Top 10 Herbs To Improve Digestion.

2. Reduces nausea and vomiting.
Recent studies show that ginger is very effective in preventing nausea, especially seasickness. Ginger has a great effect that has been proven to be very effective in preventing vomiting during pregnancy. Compared with conventional drugs that may harm the foetus, ginger is completely safe to use without side effects and you need a relatively small amount of it.

3. Anti-inflammatory.
If you suffer from arthritis pain in the knees, consuming ginger on a daily basis can definitely help. Ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory substances called gingerols. These have been tested in various research of rheumatic diseases such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The participants in the research reported a gradual reduction of pain, improving agility and movement and reduction in swelling when using ginger regularly. Find here more†anti-inflammatory foods.

4. Protects against colon cancer.
These gingerols, the main active ingredient in ginger, that are also responsible for the special taste, may prevent the growth of colon cancer cells, according to a 2003 study. This study showed that ginger is effective in preventing and treating colon cancer.

5. Kills ovarian cancer cells.
Studies at the University of Michigan showed that gingerols also cause death to ovarian cancer cells. The ginger ingredients have been proven to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Ginger has the ability to reduced inflammatory in cell components attributed to the development of ovarian cancer, as well as components responsible for cell proliferation and distribution. Conventional chemotherapy treatments do the same action, but may cause the cancer cells to develop immunity against drugs.

6. Stimulates the immune system. Ginger not only warms us on a cold day, but it can also help in causing healthy sweating which is good to reduce fever in colds and flu. This sweating can stimulate the immune system and help the body cope better with the disease. German researchers recently found that the sweat triggers substances in the immune system that help fighting against various infections. Find here more†ways to boost your immune system.

How much ginger should be consumed?
Ginger is so concentrated with active ingredients, that you donít need to use much of it to enjoy its health benefits. As for nausea for example, tea with 1-2 inches of fresh ginger in hot water may be all you need to calm the stomach. For rheumatic arthritis pain you need even smaller amount of ginger in food or tea each day. People who consumed larger amounts of ginger reported rapid and better relief.

How to buy and store ginger?
When you buy ginger, notice that it is stiff to the touch and has smooth skin. Young fresh ginger doesn't require peeling of the skin and can be grated as it is. However ginger that was left on the shelf for a long time will have a hard skin that needs to be peeled and it will also be more fibrous.


Birthday Cake - Green

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Written and edited by Chan Suy Sang

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