Phase Ignition!

"Quod Scripsi, Scripsi."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Long post, Part 2

Sin Nien Quai Ler!

Yep Happy Chinese New Year ! The Year of the Dog was ushered in Sarikei with not only a bang but a hundred thousand bangs. Starting at around 9-ish, the fireworks began to itensify by 11:30 pm and until around 1 in the morning, the whole place sounded like one wild night in Beirut! I actually took a shaky, vertigo inducing, non-clear video of part of the event, lemme see if i can include it into the blog. Other than that, CNY was mostly about eating, eating every 2 hours, rice for breakfast and chicken in every meal. My Mother in laws cooking is good but with the volume of food, gosh, i think i put on even more weight! We had Crab, chicken, tiger prawn, pork (in various incarnations), top shell, beef tendon, deer tendon. Then I got introduced to a whole slew of uncles and aunts. Super nice people even if they can't really communicate with me. They tried tho, but i guess my Iban is no good, so we stuck to wifey translating. Strange that their children didn't dare to look me in the eye and chit chat. I even have one relative who is malay! Wow! talk about muhibbah.

Apparently, the custom around here is that when you visit someone's house, on top of the biscuits and cakes, you get soh meen (noodles, rather fine. Usually served for your birthday if you're chinese. Longetivity noodles I think. I'll double check). So imagine visiting 4 houses before lunch, aiyoo! thank god we didn't do much visiting.


Ah, such a quaint, quiet town. Green all around, the town is filled with giant bungalows built by timber and pepper tycoons. Nice buildings all around. Lots of Banks and after so many years of having only one Shell petrol station, they have lots, including one Petronas that just opened. As far as newspapers are concerned, you get the Borneo Daily everyday. If you want the Star or NST, you can get yesterday's issue at full price today. There ain't no big supermarkets etc. Most of East Malaysia is controlled by a chain of small (as in Fajar-sized) supermarkets under the name Ngiu Kee (recently listed in Bursa Malaysia)

This town is FULL of 2 things, old time coffee shops and disturbingly, hand phone shops. Its a little bit more expensive (I'm talking about phones) here. The Coffee shops however had all kinds of food and drink (most of which i tried in 2004 when i first visited). Charming old world-style shops that would put Yut Kee out of business ASAP. Best of all, most of them have signs like these:

"When cigarettes and alcoholic is send, Please pay up."

oooh... profound.


In Sarikei, one would encounter many peoples (deliberately misspelt) of Iban origin. There are even Masses in the Catholic Church said in the language. A strange custom here is that during CNY, groups of women (3-5 in every group, accompanied by an army of kids) walk around with a huge basket on thier backs. They come into your house if the gate is unlocked and make themselves right at home and wont leave til that basket is filled. If youre not careful, your shoes go missing as well. Lak-khian is the Foo-chow word for Ibans.

Not all Ibans are bad tho, i have met many who are loyal, honorable etc etc.. guess its one of those customs they have there.

Ok.. end of the long post. When i have the time, i'll be back with stories of my new phone, DarkThrone and ... (drumroll pls...) The return of Mudslide!
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