December 9, 2012

Glass in English Nga Lak Bui in Foochow

I grew up with enameled tin cans for drinking and rough China made crockery (chicken bowls). Corelle and Corning Ware came very much later in Sibu to grace dinner tables. I still don't own a Corelle set which is not necessary since my June Rose set is still doing very well. I have my mugs and my Nga Lak Bui.

At the height of cholera epidemic in Siby my father bought some nga lak bui because he said that these glasses could withstand scalding or even boiling so that we could have clean "cups" to drink from. He discarded the enamelled tin cups and plates because he was worried that germs might be lurking in some of the cracks of the paint/enamel.

I must say my siblings never had problems with runny stomachs in those days.

All coffee shops in Sibu in those days had a special hot water "catchment" (another future post)  to sterilise cups and glasses which gave the Coffee Shop Association  a special mention during one of the Health Reports sessions of the Sibu Urban District Council meetings.

(Whenever there was an outbreak of some contagious diseases coffee shops often were the first targetted cases to be checked by the Health Department in those days.)

My father would have the set of glasses sterilised each morning after he boiled the first kettle of water for his coffee and my mum's coffee.

My brother and I have a great love for nga lak bui before some of us took on mugs with those nice designs and handles.

But we continue to keep these old fashion " glasses" in our homes...Now my son has a good collection of his own:

These glasses are found in many coffee shops in Sibu and elsewhere in Sarawak...sometimes coffee is served with a small plastic saucer, which is usually red in colour.

Photo courtesy of (Do you Remember?)


Ann said...

They really won't break in hot water? We had but never with hot water. Used them for cordial and water.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

No..because they are made in can stand 100 degrees.

Anonymous said...

rememeber those glasses. we wven used them to seve soft drinks during CNY!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes indeed...these glasses are important in the tapestry of our lives in Sibu.

Ann said...

now we have the French darken glass for cups, three sets of plates. forgot the names, they don't break but get lost some where.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

the brown ones are Arcopol. Madein France.

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