December 2, 2009

More than 3 Decades of Friendship and Three degrees of Separation!

One was my student in Sedaya in 1975. She married my fellow teacher at  the end of the year. They have been together since then.

One was my colleague in Limbang in 1974 but has been married to a splendid and musical Melanau since 1978.

One was one of the earliest Iban graduates and lived just one block away from me in Brooke Drive Sibu in 1975.

And most of these friends came from Tanjong Lobang School where I taught in 1987-1990. Because we are about the same age - we studied together in MU too.

How do all these people in the photo know each other? There are so many many long long stories to tell. Thanks to Lutong Cafe for coming up with their signature dishes. (not the mangoes and sago worms which were BYO)

This is the famous Sago Worms fried by Doc. Nuing. They came from Balingian. Lian Hun though married to a Melanau was challenged to it for the first time during the dinner. A breakthrough for her!

Mike saying Yes to Sago Worms.

A box of goodies.

How tasty is it? (Linda Nuing and Regina Isut looking on)

Crispy Pata - as only Lutong Cafe can do....

Three Bean Dish with belacan.

Fresh Garoupa Head - Assam Pedas. Simply Delicious.

Claypot Touhoo.

Singing 60's Songs - the original TLC Duet. Still going strong.

Two guitars - the "TV and Radio "of hostel boys. Hands talking to each other.

Happiness is being together from 1975

Dr. Nuing joining in singing "How many roads must a man walk down....."

Mangoes from my 22 year old tree (Luak). Ben gave more tips on how to keep the tree going for more years! What are friends for! These are the sweetest mangoes one can ever have. 10 fruits (no worms) gave this whole platter of goodness. Ask you and you shall be given....

Our evergreen Cangkok Manis - cannot be more "indigenous " than this dish...
Sorry cannot use the "L" word here.

As I recollected some of my wonderful memories (amongst thousands....)

My first school (SMK Limbang)taught me gardening(growing of peanuts) and how to walk 3 miles to town on a rainy day. It also taught me how wonderful it is to give lifts to people who were walking along the road to town. (We bought our first car later in the year) One passenger left her slippers on the road before stepping into the car. We had to buy her a new pair in town.

Sedaya taught me about the wild fruits and jungle produce most importantly. I learned to eat the wonderful salted empurau and semah brought by the father of a colleague who later became a YB. I learned to value the mats and baskets of the local people And most important of all I was humbled by a student who received his first ever cake of Lux soap from me when I discovered how poor he was. He did not have two cents to rub together.

I learned how to sit in a government owned school longboat after 4.30 p.m. to go across  the huge Rajang River (many times bigger than the Klang) to Kanowit and enjoy the Mushroom Juice in a bottle every day when I was pregnant with my first child. I could not reach the "bottle" fast enough because of my craving. (never thought of buying the whole crate!! May be it was because we had to stretch our dollar). Later when I had my fill of the mushroom juice I enjoyed looking at the small market by the river side and getting to the know the appreciative and happy hawkers.Wildboar and deer meat were lying on banana leaves for customers to choose their selected parts. Teachers and civil servants then were the favoured and dearly valued customers.

Both schools gave me wonderful friends (some of whom I still talk to frequently over the phone and share joys and sorrows). Friendship is just one phone call away or a click away. We used to share problems with our lesson plans. Now it is pleasurable and delightful datuk or nenek talk. I think the Malaysian phone companies should come up with  a special phone card for cheaper and more talk time for seniors - if that is possible.

Cheers to great friendship!! A friend said "We don't have another 30 years to come and enjoy may this be the prelude to more reunions....."


Ah Ngao said...

hi Sarawakiana,...i loves this post -especially your writtings styles and so well described. cheers!..he's a jolly good fella,he's a jolly.....

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks Ah Ngao...

When are you going to put more photos in your blog?

Have a good weekend.

Ann said...

Ths sago grub, how come they look as though you squeezed the insides out. They look so flat.

I am not adventurous to try these, come to NZ, and try the Huhu grub.

Mushroom juice, something new to me.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ann
After some deep frying the sago worms become flattned..squeezed out.

I might not be able to eat the Huhu...

Mushroom Juice was the name on the bottle. It is actually white fungus juice no longer in the market. Now I remember why we did not buy it by the crates - we had to return the bottles and pay a big deposit. If we broke the bottles we would lose the deposit. It was one way to get us to drink in the shop...clever!

Ido miss the Kanowit days.

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