Everything about SIBU and beyond......
That picture shows Meng Siong (with the flowering plants) , I believe, whom I did associate with for a number of years when I was living in the "Twenty-Four Acres" parsonage with my parents for over 7 years in the early 50s.Yes, I did eat a lot of those plants, many of which have very attractive flowers, mainly the young, tender twigs, I should say but not the flowers. It is a great pity that urban people nowadays-------especially the children and the young, have no chance whatsoever to have a chance of tasting what we had had in our lives before. For example, in my teaching experience, once I asked my students how many of them had actually see or touch a chick or duckling before, the response coming from them was a "No", "never". Today, they (and of course, we too)come across more of processed foods and that is not very good for their health, and especially of those from the fast foods---chicken.I agree with oya saying that "we are all Sibu people, how come that we do not eat the same things...?" I suppose that is simply because we all live in different eras/ages. As we grow up, we begin to come to learn about what is good for us and what is not so good for us making careful discriminations as we compare them and as we learn to accept and not to accept certain things.What say you?
I ate too much ferns, a kind of free food, when I was small. My mom would simply pick them up near our house at no cost. There were also some neighbors who came to pick them up. As I grew up, fern started to disappear and it is now no longer a common dish. I must assume that it is getting very expensive these days. Perhaps we should start planting and selling them. Look at those weeds outside our house near Oya Road, but you find the similar kind of weeds being sold at a high price in the flower shops in the temperate countries. At then, I started to understand the price of our weeds. I have had endless dishes of kangkong while I was small. When we could not finish it at lunch, my mom would carry them over for our dinner. I hate it and that time, but kangkong is now one of my favorite dishes and it can be bought only at the Chinese stores! I also hate kangkong at then because sometimes I simply could not fully swallow it, and I ended up with pulling it out of my throat.In fact, my most favorite vegetable is the "Iban vegetable" (lagian chai), especially when it was fried with the egg. I don't get it here even in the Chinese stores. Once, I smuggled in a few stems of this vegetable and hoped to grow them in the nurseries, but I have never been successful. The Iban vegetable also brought me a miserable childhood. Why? because my brother and I were its victims. It was my mom's favorite tool of whipping! (my mom would have ended up in jail here for child absuse)The agricultural pattern changed a lot along Oya Road over the past few decades, or even along the road leading us to Bintangor (I prefer to call it Binatang) and Sarikei. We saw many pepper gardens along the road sides, but we hardly see it nowadays. How nice it was to view the wide spreading pepper gardens as the car approached the top of the hills as we drove along the dusty roads.
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