One morning I went to buy takeaways. At the stall by the corner, I ordered rice rolls called chee cheong fun by locals. I too ordered a plate to fill my tummy. Outside I sat under a tree and ate the food.It was so cool and breezy. It was alfresco dining, see !

As I was going to finish eating there was a blob sound, quite loud. Something fell on the table just a foot from my plate of food. It was a blob of shit. It was bird droppings. I looked up and I saw. I saw a big crow. It was moving among the branches of the tree, just above me. I thought in my mind the blob of stuff just missed my plate. How lucky! The shit could have hit my head. How very lucky!! The dropping could have splashed on my shirt, and it was a new shirt. How so very lucky!!!

I moved over to another table and waited for my next course to arrive. How could I continue eating just with my bowl a foot away from a blob of bird faeces? The Indonesian waitress delivered my bowl of green pea broth. This small bowl of green pea broth cost me RM1.60. I was really fleeced. I supposed there must be some hidden secretly self-imposed gst.

Another thing that I found nowadays is for a takeaway, the vendors charge an extra 50 sen. They said it was for the Styrofoam box or the plastic bag or the waxed paper plus the banana leaf. OMG! Do any of those things cost that much, 50 sen? We cannot deny that there is a lot of hanky-panky goings-on to profiteer, to fleece or to inflate since the introduction of the GST.
Whatever, during the month of May I could have contributed at least around RM50+- to the government coffers! So would have everybody, some could be even more than that sum, right!


Papaya is a special fruit loved by many. Lucky people can pick it from their gardens, but the majority will probably need to venture to a supermarket to get one. Papayas are naturally very healthy, but the goodness is somewhat diminished when we buy from an unsustainable source. It’s even worse if we go for the genetically modified fruits, which have had their genetic-code changed in order to resist viruses and increase production numbers. Genetically modified papayas have been approved for consumption both in the USA and Canada, while Europe is still resisting. If you want to avoid a snack full of potentially harmful substances, pay attention to the fruit’s label. Most genetically modified papayas come from Hawaii, where they have been grown since 1999. When you get hold of a good-old-non-GMO papaya, these are the benefits you can look forward to:

1. Papaya is a good source of vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B complex, and is rich in magnesium, copper and potassium. Vitamin A and vitamin C are both powerful antioxidants, so the ‘fruit of the angels’, as Christopher Columbus called it, destroys free radicals in the body - the villains behind many chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

2. Papaya lowers your cholesterol levels. It inhibits the harmful LDL cholesterol and prevents it from sticking onto the walls of blood vessels and causing problems in the circulation that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

3. Papaya is rich in fibre and promotes digestive health. o keep your bowels happy and moving, your diet should be rich in dietary fibre. Papaya has loads, and one serving can satisfy a quarter of your daily recommended intake. Also, if you just underwent antibiotic treatment, make sure to eat some papaya, or drink papaya juice. The fruit does a good job at re-balancing your intestinal flora after an aggressive course of antibiotics. Papaya has the digestive enzyme papain which helps to ease the burden of the complicated process of digestion.

4. Papaya contains unique enzymes that can lower inflammation. Chymopapin and papain are papaya’s protein-digesting enzymes that can help lower the body’s inflammatory reaction. Since rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease that presents as an inflammation of the joints, eating papaya can assist with symptom control. Also, eating vitamin C rich papaya can reduce your chances of developing arthritis in the first place.

5. Papaya boosts your immune system. Vitamin A and vitamin C, which both generously occur in papaya flesh, strengthen your immune system and help fight infections.

6. Papaya has anti-cancer activity. The antioxidants in papaya are praised for effectively fighting cancer. Papaya reduces a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, especially if combined with drinking green tea. It might also prevent cancer in your blood and bone marrow, by stopping the cells from oxidizing. The wonderful papaya enzyme, papain, can help relief side effects of chemotherapy. It is being studied for its beneficial effects on swallowing and mouth sores.  This fruit has been shown to be a good protective measurement against colon cancer. With a little help from papaya, colon cells don’t suffer DNA damage that could lead to new, potentially dangerous, growths.

7. Papaya can protect your eyesight. Beta carotene and vitamin A help to protect sight and can improve vision. A study published in Archives of Ophthalmology has pointed out that eating fruit can do a lot to prevent age-related macular degeneration. Three helpings of fruit a day are recommended, and papaya is a very suitable candidate due to its nutritional content.

8. Papaya helps to prevent blood clots. Blood clots can narrow or block blood vessels, or sometimes they can dislodge and travel to the heart or brain and cause a heart attack or stroke. Papaya contains fibrin, which prevents blood coagulation and enables the blood to flow freely. So make sure to put a slice of papaya in your morning cereal or in your breakfast shake. Of course, to prevent blood clotting, you will need to remove other risk factors from your life too, starting with smoking. You can also eat turmeric every day to prevent blood clots.

9. Eating papaya reduces your stress levels. A papaya snack not only fills your stomach, but it can also make you feel more relaxed. Vitamin C regulates the flow of stress hormones and can bring you back to your balanced zen-state. Well, it might take a bit more than just a slice of papaya for that, but it’s a good start.

10. It is good for your skin. Have you noticed that papaya often features in cosmetic products such as creams, face masks and hair softeners? It is renowned for its beauty benefits. Papaya’s vitamin E and beta carotene prevent cell damage through their antioxidant activity. Vitamin E also supports collagen production, which is the substance that keeps your skin firm and elastic, in other words young-looking. Beta carotene further smoothies away the wrinkles and makes you look fresh.

The benefits of papaya seeds and how to use them

When you cut a papaya, the insides look very inviting, and the seeds can easily be scooped out. They are high in fat and protein, and contain plenty of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Think twice before you discard them, as they can be used in many ways. According to Maryland Medical Centre and Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical medicine, papaya seeds are great for getting rid of intestinal parasites. A recent study showed that people who were taking honey together with papaya seeds, cleared their stool of parasites in 23 out of 30 cases. Papaya seeds are also credited with anti-cancerous properties. The seeds have a distinct, slightly peppery flavour. They can be eaten as they are, or you can sprinkle them over salads and other dishes, just as you would use pumpkin seeds. Those who are not afraid of the spicy flavor, can try them in a smoothie.

Enjoy your next papaya experiment

 Book and Quill
Edited by Chan Suy Sang

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