Sunday, February 22, 2015

Indonesia-Penang Trip XIII

2 June 2014

A Roadside Stall, A Cathedral and A Marketplace

After visiting the temples at a remote area, the drive went on to a more lived area with houses and market. We had our short snack at this roadside stall. After days of testing our GI system, Fanny finally reckoned that we might be strong enough to experience some real roadside food! So we went to this stretch of little stalls, which were no different from Malaysia's except most of them were covered with flies. It was a bit worrying but one has to try!

We were introduced one of the local favourite: jeruk. In Malaysia, jeruk meant fruits marinated or pickled to be sweet or sour. But here, it is actually a kind of citrus, or orange, with green coloured skin but really orangey flesh. Here is the stall owner preparing the drinks for us. Their specialty was to prepare the drink with coconut flesh at the same time.

In case you wondered, the beverage looked like this. It is very refreshing, with sweetness and a tiny tint of citrusy sourness. The coconut blend its milky sensation with it and resulted in a surprisingly tasty texture and taste. I will definitely miss this refreshment for a while.

On top of the menu, we had sate kelinci. Now, kelinci meant rabbit in Indonesian. So far, rabbits or hares that we ate in Malaysia were usually farm-bred, and I believed this one was hunted. The meat texture was definitely leaner and springy compared to the one in Malaysia. Perhaps it was more of a familiarity bias, I kind of prefer my hometown's rabbit meat. But still, worth a try.

This is our favourite dish at that stall, porridge. We were expecting a normal bowl of porridge, or at most, a Malay-style porridge, whatever that means. But what we ate proved us otherwise. It was fragrant and crunchy with the peanuts. The combination made porridge no longer a boring food.

In case you wonder, this is how the peanuts looked like. It was roasted so nicely that it was crunchy, not oily.

On top of those, mi bakso was ordered. When it is called Bakso, it almost always meant beefballs, so I did not manage to taste this due to my dietary limit. However, we did get to taste SioMai but a different kind. This one was not much preferred by our taste though.

We took our waiting time to actually examine the sauce bottles on the table, if only we practice such mindfulness to our daily life.

After the meal, we took a stroll back to the car while observing the few stalls near the one we had food. They sell different kinds of snacks, keropok and even onion-like plants that were lined at the bottom of their stalls. This was interesting as it reminded me of how Cold Storage selling herb plants...

Our transport was parked just outside of this cathedral, hence, we popped in for a visit.

The garden area was lined with statues along the path, depicting the story of Jesus. They were amazing as they should. We had a little exercise with the walk and had a little chat, which was wonderful for a trip like this.

After the cathedral, we walked further out into the main street to witness a local life kind of scenery. We passed by a house with this dog, which was heterochromatic. And, we passed by several stalls selling tempeh, one of the most prominent staple in Indonesia.

Alas, we stopped by a market place. It was not filled with people, probably because it was already quite late. We were very attracted by what we found there, really red and pretty little pumpkins...

And if you have noticed, these really dinosaur-green (not really a word) avocado. These were different avocados than those we've seen in Malaysia and Singapore markets. They were hugh, for first; and they tasted different, more buttery. What's more was that these were eaten when they were still this green, instead of brown-ish for those we had encountered.

Not surprisingly, us being us, we posed with the fruits, too excited to meet those lovely interesting fruits.

This is me, posing... with mini pomelos. I don't really fancy the taste, but I fancy the colours.

The Mak Cik was very kind to cut open some of the fruits to let us try. She must have been laughing at how tourists like us being so knowledge-less about local fruits. In the end, we did bought some from her...

In the same street of the market, there were some reared birds, in cages of course. they were quite pretty, but since I was not a bird enthusiast (at the moment), I know them as bird A, bird B and bird C. Thank you.

And so, on the way, I got a pair of flip-flop to replace my poor sandals. This was my first flip-flop and it was going to give me a kind of adventure for the next few days...

Thursday, February 05, 2015

What Does It Mean by 'I'm Fasting Facebook'?

Time flies, people. It was now first week of February, yes, one month just passed by. You may have completed a project; or wrote a book; or sang a song; or won a game; or had a yawn; no matter how much things you had done, it was one month used. 

One of the few things I did in January was fasting Facebook. Not that I hate Facebook, or was planning to stage a raging war against it, I simply had a few reasons that drove me to this motivation.

First, let me explain what it meant by fasting Facebook. In fact, it was not a total social media shutdown. What happened was, instead of swiping my phone and open the Facebook app, I will pause and ask myself if that action was necessary and beneficial, what was the purpose of my action. This did not apply to Facebook only, but to all of my social media app. 

Social media, in my opinion, was not just a trend or icon during our generation. It represented our social behaviour and was meant to help us improve our civilization. Hence, I felt a responsibility to not abuse such wonderful creation but to make full use and be a responsible netizen. There are so many useful and constructive things you could do through social media: spread good things, teach interesting information and connect with people upon important and handy subjects. 

However, one must be careful of the side effects of social media too. To me, it should not be a place for me to boast about myself and get some virtual recognition, which probably meant nothing in real. It should not be a place where I spend my time, just because I did not think through what I should be doing at that very moment. It should not be an excuse to ignore my friend's conversation over a gathering. And it certainly should not be a pillar, for me to rely my life on.

I, myself, was a person who was not very well equipped with social skill. My survival rate in the real world, would not have stand a chance at all. And it was really tempting, to dive into virtual world, because it was easier to talk to people that way, it was less scary to 'be' with a person, it was way more convenient to send things in text rather than requiring myself to talk, plus I could avoid all the eye contact, as much as I could. Trust me, this part of social media, was one of the stronger appeals to me. And I was there once, when I was in my teen. I was glad I passed through that stage, sometimes lamenting of the time I wasted on it - but again, without those period of time, I might not have realized the emptiness of all these.

Therefore, in this new year and coming years or whenever, I decided to be mindful over my usage of social media. I've even return to one of the app which I did not touch previously, Instagram. To fast is not to avoid, but to accept it with grace and with mind and will power, practising conscientiousness over it. I hope I would at least give it a try and make this work, and I hope you enjoy my little thoughts on this.

Thank you.

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