THE MESSAGE NO. 58 SEPTEMBER 2006
THE FOO YOOK YOON SERIES
THE JOHN CHINNIAH 2ND EDITION
THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAVEL EXPERIENCE PART II
By: Michelle Chan YW via email from New Hampshire, USA.
Time flies by fast. Without realizing it I am over here for 4 months now. Wow.........
I was here in the Spring and now Summer is almost coming to an end. Hot days over here is
really limited and short. Now the night is getting colder day by day. Tommy had been trying
his best to take me to several nice places to enjoy the warm Summer before it ends.
During Summer time many people will go on vacation and many families like holding parties
at their house. Last month we went to a lake party which was held by Mr. Ed McNamara, the
boss of Wachusett Mountain where Tommy ski patrolled. He has a vacation villa by the lake
for Summer use only. They call it as a 'Pot Luck party' like we do. I made the Japanese
potato salad and everybody loved it! (Well, we can never go wrong by cooking any food
connected with potato.... when we are in gwailou's land.... hahahahaha...)
We enjoyed boating, wind sailing, water ski, tubing (people holding on the tube which is
towed by a motorboat) and swimming. Needless to say, water in the lake here is COLD. Tommy
used to go over to Ogunquit, Maine which is about 1 1/2 hours drive. Lots of people go over
to the beach there for surfing and beach fun time. Tommy love surfing there. First, I saw
lots people covered in their wet suits that made them looked like divers. I cannot
understand why until Tommy's sister told me that the water in the ocean is very cold even
when the weather is burning hot. The water temperature is under 10 degree centigrade and
never warm up!! Ohhhh ya, it is Atlantic Ocean.
Yet there are so many people going out to the ocean for surfing!! I don't see the fun of
it. Freezing in the water just to catch some wave for surfing. Then I understand why I see
everybody sunbathing on the beach and nobody go in the water!! Mmmm.... totally different
from Malaysia, where more people spend their time in the warm water than on the beach
getting sun burn, eh?
A week after that party one of Tommy's ski patrol senior John Shipman, invited us for
sailing in his boat. We went to Newport which is about 3 1/2 hours drive away. We meet at
the boat yard and John took us with his small little boat to his 33' sailboat which has a
kitchen, living/dining room, bedroom and toilet. Mr. and Mrs. Ed McNamara joined us later.
So we went sailing in John's boat. John explained on how to read the meter and how to place
the boom following the wind so the boat could sail to its destination. The sea was very
calm and we were sailing slow at 5 knots per hour while enjoying the scenic view of the bay.
Newport is a historical town where the rich and the wealthy used to come up for rest and
relaxation. We could still see a lot of BIG villas and BIG castles there. All these were
built and owned by those well-to-do people many years ago. These magnificent buildings are
hardly used at all now!! Newport was considered a 'private resort' or vacation land for
those rich people before. But, now it has become a common living area for everybody.
However, those old BIG villas and castles still remain there and still being owned by
somebody for vacation ... though only used for a few days in a year or less. Most of
those rich people were mafia, I was told. But now all mafia had 'migrated' to another city.
Probably 'chased away' by those local people with their new buildings mushrooming there....???
Then we stopped at Sakonnet Beach (known as 2nd Beach too) and walked to 3rd Beach. My
Goodness......, it was a long long long walk. We walked about 8 km under the hot burning
bright sun for hours without any protection at all. No shade, no umbrella, no sunscreen
lotion. What an exhausting walk!! All the way just to get a small tiny mini cup of
frozen lemonade!!! Me and Tommy were melting........!!!! At first, I don't understand why
Gwailous and Gwaipohs like spending their day sun bathing on the beach and anywhere that
they could get the sun. But then when I counted the days of Summer, I realize that they
have only a total of about 30 - 50 days when they could really see the hot bright sun. So,
no wonder lots of them get skin cancer easily. Most of them are burn out during Summer!!
Anyway, Summer is ending soon....... School will reopen at the end of August.
Bye for the moment.
THE LITTLE INCENSE COIL
One day I met Foo Yook Yoon at our mentor's bungalow. As we sat talking our master asked,
"Yook Yoon, do you know when the mosquito coil was invented?"
The little mosquito incense coil had been our talk for sometime since I mentioned it in an
article saying that it is now carried by rubber tappers.
Mr. Miles remembers that it was not in use in the hostel in the fifties and sixties.
So the hostel students were all exposed to the ravages of the petty blood suckers!
Though petty yet they could be deadly.
Pity the hostel guys who sustained those bites!!
SEARCHING THE WEBSITES
Even the websites in the Internet, do not mention when the little aromatic mosquito
repellant coil was invented. There are articles that tell about the harmlessness of burning
the mosquito coil to humans. There are websites listing manufacturers, exporters and
importers. There is even a factory in Kenya, Africa producing mosquito coils.
Their chief ingredient being pyrethrum.
There is a specially written and photograph illustrated complete set of machinery for the
manufacture of the mosquito coil. So the mosquito coils are not produced by any crude
contraption like things manufactured in some cottage or suburban sheds. Anyway, on that day
a mosquito incense coil was lighted in readiness for the arrival of a very regular couple.
They are fearful of the little insect.
A MATCH STRIKES AND A BULB IGNITES
Mr. Miles struck a match for the act. Blink! That match lighted up a bulb in his grey
matter. he reached for a fork and a spoon. His movement and action surprised yours truly
and Foo Yook Yoon!
"What are you trying to do, Mr. Miles?" Yook Yoon inquired.
Yook Yoon looked at me and me Yook Yoon.
Our master stuck two match sticks between the prongs of the fork.
Then he slipped in the spoon. The whole contraption was balanced on the brim of a glass by
the match sticks. Like what you see in this picture.
THE BALANCING TRICK
He struck a match and fired the match heads of the supporting match sticks. The match heads
burst into flame and the stuff on the match heads were consumed. There left only the
charred heads of the sticks supporting the fork and the spoon !
But the fork and spoon remained in balance. What a trick. We certainly called it magic.
The balancing act remained on the table for a long time, at least until the next batch of
visitors on that day arrived. That was why I could captured it on film.
MATCHES BIG AND SMALL
MATCHES FOR ONE AND ALL
The match sticks also conjured up in our mind the various special matches that many of us
have seen in our lives. Our mentor particularly remembers his old man used to strike
matches to light fires by scratching them on his jeans! Wow, Scratch and the match burst
During the emergency, I remembered some British soldiers have big match sticks. They struck
the matches on the sole of their boots to light cigarettes. What wonderful magic!
That trick of magic aroused in my mind about an interesting entertaining trick.
Then and there is performed the trick.
I supported an overturned bottle on a 50 sen coin. The trick is to remove the coin from
under the bottle without holding the bottle and keeping it in the same balancing act!
(See pix below).
I did it in a flash with the help of a sharp cutting edge! Want to know more,
give me a call.
WHAT AN ILLUSTRIOUS CAREER UNDERGONE BY LEE YEW KWONG
While still schooling in the 1950's Lee Yew Kwong was helping his brother in supplying
rations to then British army serving in Bentong. A dangerous job indeed because he was
helping Chin Beng's comrades' enemy. But then ended the emergency, so their business shut
down. Then the British arm pulled out.
So Yew Kwong was left hanging around without anything to do. Remember the only non-schooling
boy lodging in the M.E.S. hostel? That was Lee Yew Kwong whom our mentor gave shelter over
his head when Yew Kwong's condition hit bottom in his doldrums.
But Yew Kwong picked himself up and gamboled around with some local politicians. He got
into their good books and stood for a local council election. But alas, his rise to
prominence did into last. Soon he differed from his political mentor. He was given the
boots by the Alliance. Or was it that he booted him out to promote his own political
So he struggled on as an independent. Those were the days of fiery rhetorics in
Malaysian politics. Many rallies were held by the candidates. We heard much mud slinging
and name callings. Yew Kwong was on fire on the stage. He lashed out at his former
Though Yew Kwong was a crowd puller when on stage, he was defeated by the major political
party's candidate. After the election Yew Kwong said, "I was hounded everyday and
everywhere." His political victors were after him. They gave him no peace. So he ran off to
cool off. Where? To the opposition stronghold in the east coast
He escaped to Kelantan. He wandered around. He met some friends or rather acquaintances
there. They recommended him a job as a timber trailer lorry attendant. One test he had to
pass was to jump down from the top of the driver's cabin without hurting himself. He was
told he had to do so because in case the truck went out of control he had to jump to save
himself. That test he passed. It was for his own safety in an emergency.
After three months of working he was confronted with an emergency. His trailer lorry could
not stop while sliding down a jungled hill mud slope. The cause? The trailer's brake drum
broke! Yew Kwong was getting ready to bail himself out of the cabin when his driver friend
shouted at him.
"No, no, no!" the driver shouted at him not to do so. "Hold ! hold! hold on to what you can
grab," he was told. The trailer hit a mud bank. An avalanche of mud buried the driver and
Yew Kwong waist deep. They struggled out and escaped. No injury, but the crash frightened
Yew Kwong out of his wits.
Yew Kwong made a quick decision. Quit.
His stint in the jungle made him wanted to go back into the jungle. Next he ventured into
business in the Jengka Triangle. He operated a canteen there. It was a rather out of the
way sort of sundry goods business. Well, it was using coupons for the business done. But
the business seemed to be a lucrative one. It looked like Yew Kwong found gold. But he was
not happy there being cut off from civilization. So he shifted to Mentakab where he
actually saw gold. He worked for a goldsmith for ten years or so.
Then Yew Kwong returned to Bentong. He nearly went into gold again in Sang Cheong. But he
was first offered a job in the Central Bus Company. He became a bus driver. Later he
changed job to be a ticket inspector.
While working for the bus company he came to observe many passengers' mentality and their
idiosyncrasies. Well, they rush for the buses. They even squeeze themselves in through the
windows! Overcrowding was forever a problem particularly on peak seasons. Sometimes he
could not sardine himself in to check their tickets. He just let go! Has anyone taken
advantage of this poor soul?
He had met passengers who paid for tickets for Bukit Tinggi but they disembarked in
Bentong. He had confronted people who gambled on getting free rides too! "And they were so
cool," said Yew Kwong.
The company had even called in the police to chase people out when buses were so
overcrowded. But conditions remained critical.
According to Yew Kwong, of late when there was competition there seemed to have some
improvement of the situation. Now the South Union buses are also plying the Raub route
including going into Bilut Valley. Then private cars have reduced the crowd for buses too.
People are getting richer and richer aren't they? To own a private car is not a big problem
Yew Kwong is now in his seventies, stays at home and does tai chi. He's a Mesian living
FLORA AND FAUNA NEWLY DISCOVERED
Mount Everest and the Himalaya mountain range conjure images of llamas and Sherpas
loaded with heavy packs. But tucked into the cold shadows of the world's tallest
mountain are biologically diverse hotspots filled with poorly known plants and animals found nowhere else on the
Scientists from Conservation International and Disney's Animal Kingdom recently
launched a two-month scientific expedition into six regions of the Tibetan
"Sacred Lands" in the mountains of Southwest China and Nepal.
Today they announced the discovery of a pocket of the world rich in extraordinary
and the rarest of flora and fauna.
Here's a sampling of the outlandish critters
- Giant hornets so deadly locals call them "Yak Killers"
- Jumping "Yeti" mice
- A new grasshopper species in which the males hitch piggy-back rides on the females
- Baby blue-faced golden monkeys, the region's largest primates
- Hamster-like pikas that eat their own feces
- A couple of new frog species, eight new insect species, and ten new species of ants to add the more than
11,000 already known.
The scientists and governments of various countries will develop strategies to protect the
region's many unique species.
"Local efforts by Tibetan communities through their 'Sacred
Lands' are helping to prevent these plants and animals from going extinct and demonstrate
that cultural values can play an important role in conservation," said Alonso, a leading
scientist on the project.
THIS VERY MESSAGE IS A DYING SPECIE! TO CONSERVE AND PRESERVE IT WE URGENTLY NEED
SPONSORSHIP. OTHERWISE ITS EXTINCTION IS CERTAIN. ISN'T IT NOW IS YOUR TURN?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FOLLOWING IN SEPTEMBER
||LAI KIM CHOO
||ZAINAL B. HJ. HASSAN
||LOK MOOI THYE
||ABDUL WAHAB AB. RAHMAN
||HONG CHEE SET (RONNIE)
||DORIS LOW AH MOY
||WONG SUI KONG
||WONG KIM CHOO
||CHAN SUY SANG
||HO CHIN CHING (DR)
||YAP KIM HEE
||TAN KOW KHIEH
||WONG SWEE YONG
||HO MEI YOON
||WONG THIN CHING
||YAP NEW CHYE
Edited and Written by Chan Suy Sang
Remember to come back SOON for more NEW and INTERESTING MESSAGES every month !!
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