Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Durian Destroyer

Raider of the Durians
edited 10/06/07


The stem attached to fallen durian

The last two days, around 4.00am in the morning, there was a heavy downpour causing durians to fall. I was very sad to see many durians on the ground when I entered the orchard at 6.45 in the morning that day.

At the top of the hill, there are many trees. These trees create a path for the monkeys to swing their way to the orchard. The monkeys start to pluck the durians and some of them use the durians as leverage to swing from one tree to another. In the olden days, my Uncle has got a license for a shot gun and after a few rounds of warning shots, the monkeys would start to run off into the jungle. We have stopped using the warning shots since they are back in bigger groups and not scared at all. A few years ago, when I was searching for my snorkel in a game shop in Penang road, I came across a bow and arrow hanging on the wall and I asked the salegirls on its usage and the regulations for buying it. Well, the answer was that I had to join the Archery Club to do so. At that moment, an old lady beside me started to talk to me and she mentioned that it was very effective for shooting at monkeys. The way she expressed it told me that it was very good. I went back home after buying the snorkel. I did not buy it but an old story flashed through my mind then.It was Ah Huat, my father's sincere helper who told the story. It happened one day that a very stubborn monkey heard the warning shot but did not run away. We shot it and the monkey died immediately. Unfortunately one of its hands still hanged on the tree. My uncle took aim and after a second shot at the other arm the monkey came falling down on to the ground. I was thinking what would happen if the same incident happens when I use the bow and arrow. I am not a sharp shooter and to bring it down with that bow and arrow would be ridiculous. So I left the shop without further buying the bow and arrow.

:Pong Chu Chiak Durians

Durians eaten by squirrels

Squirrels love to eat durians and there is a saying that if these durians are eaten by them, then these durians should be very good or tasty. Well, for this particular durian tree the durians are partly eaten by squirrels. During my round searching for fallen durians, I threw away a few of them and one day out curiosity I decided to pick one of this type and opened it in the house. Wah Lah!, the other chambers that are not eaten by the squirrels are very very tasty. I quickly went back to the orchard and collected all of them back. At home I packed the balance of these fruits into a tupperware and put them into the fridge. Ha! hopefully my wife did not give these to relatives, "Sea liao"(die lah) " Pi Say"

Wild Boar

There are many wild boars in this orchard and I even showed my sons the foot prints of these animals. They are not dangerous except when in a herd. I had an experience last year when one baby wild boar was still playing in the river when I arrived. I had the shock of my life but it quickly went into the wild undergrowth. Other animals like snakes and caveat cats were also present in the early hours and not hiding in their hide-out.They were surprised to see me too.

Well, I quickly shooed them away and scolded them for being so daring !!!
Wild boars would use their their legs to smash the tip of the durian and then suck all the durians out. I will take a shot if I see one and post in the blog in future.

Thank God that there are no tigers in this orchard. I was informed by my ex staff, Ah Huat that when a tiger eats the durian, it would assemble the durian properly back into one full piece. So when you see one such durian then you know instantly that it must have been eaten by a tiger. This is true because when Ah Huat was a small boy, he was staying in a very remote village and one day his father found a baby tiger which was left by its dead mother. His father took it back and reared it until it was reasonably large. Ah Huat mentioned that it was quite tame and one day he saw how the tiger ate the durian. His father eventually left the tiger back into the jungle. This peculiar way of eating the durian by the tiger was also narrated to me by other people who stayed in Raub, a town in Pahang.
Well, I hope that I will not pick one durian like this type in the Orchard. I will "lau jeao" (urinate) definitely.

Dog on Surveillance

Finding her way around

One day I took my dogs to the orchard and instead of happily following me around they got very curious because they could detect there many animal smell in the place . Rav. kept going into the undergrowth and later came out through another outlet. I was very worried for him because he was not good when handling snakes
Snow,(Baby) was very obedient and was always either beside me or at a distance where I could see her. I hope that he could lead me to the ripe durians one day. He is a guide dog and maybe one day he will perform his role.
With him around I felt very secure.

The Smartest Thief, ( The Human Being)
On one of our rounds picking the durians at the orchard at 6.30am. we were surprised to see the shadow of a human being walking slowly in the back part of the orchard. I was scared at first but after flashing my torchlight at him, he started to walk very fast into the back forest which led to the granite factory, Teik Granite. We started to take home all the durians that he had collected.
Another incident happened when I went into the Orchard at around 12.15pm. ( during my lunch break ) I saw a young man walking in the orchard. I knew that he was working with my former caretaker and I told him that I knew he was there and I decided to show him my PDA. I told him not to come again. He went back with some durians in his hand. There is an old Chinese saying, DO NOT LET YOUR GUESTS GO BACK EMPTY HANDED, "PI SAY" (shy lah)

The next incident was a dangerous one. This happened on the first year I had taken over the orchard. I was on my round in the orchard when I come across two Indonesians walking and searching for durians. I walked over to them and when I looked at one of them, I found that he had placed his hand behind a tree and was hiding something. My suspicion was correct - he was hiding a parang . Well , I politely asked one of them their background and they mentioned a person's name.They told me that they were helping their boss to trim the weeds in his orchard. I told them that their boss was not tendering the orchard that year and hence not to come again. Very happily they showed me how it was done yearly and as usual I gave them some good durians to take back home. Sad to say, I could not employ them part time at all.

For this season, I hope that I would not meet these people again. One good news that was told by my father's good friend during the lunch break was that the thief who stole the durians that time was captured and put in prison for taking drugs. I told him that there are also some who have gone into the orchard with motorcycles. He mentioned only these words, " Ah Ni Tua Tar" (So daring).

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Fruits in the Orchard

Buah Ciku

Very tasty when ripe

Around this time, May, the fruits in the orchard need to be harvested. The fruits are
durians, buah ciku( buah is fruit in English) mangosteen, pomelo and alot of "Gulai Hwa" ( a kind of flower that goes with curries) Below are the pictures showing the process of harvesting buah ciku.

Only one Ciku tree in the Orchard

The Myanmar workers who helped in the harvest were wondering what fruit
these were. Well ,if I ask them to take some back to the site and taste them when they are ripe they would ask for more on the next trip,Hee! hee! The harvest looks good for today but I have to distribute them to elder brother and eldest sister and not to forget the good neighbours who take care of my dogs whenever we are on holiday. Sorry, I cannot give them to my eldest brother and wife,niece and nephew who are in the United States. Well, at least they can see them in this Chiak Beiliao blog website address: http://www.chiakbeiliao.blogspot.com/.

Ooh have to wait for a while for this durian season is a bit late. Here are some pictures on what kind of work have to be carried out during the Fruit Season and this include the process of harvest durian.
For the last 3 Sundays, workers were there trimming the lalang ( bushes) and yesterday they have finally reached the end of the orchard. I have not started on the next tier which will be very tough and will be doing it on weekdays. Why clearing the bushes? Normally, the trees will bear fruits in the May and since we have not been taking of the orchard for the WHOLE YEAR, I might as well do it now. Alway footing out more money than earning at this time as there are alot of monkey and squirrels eating away the fruits and especially the bats who love the Buah Ciku. Not to forget the Wild Boar who normally stamp the durian until they are broken and eat them. The worst are the thieives that always make a trip to the Orchard at this time coming from all directions since we cannot fence up the Orchard. At the end of the season ,very good exercise for me and my wife. Just imagine we have to pick up the durian everyday at 6.30am and return home by 7.30am and after our bath rush to work. This same routine will start at 6.00pm and by the time sun has set, only are we back home. Normally, both of us will loose a few kilo. Just imagine my father has been doing this routine work when he was young.
Sometime when picking durians, it started to rain and while carrying down the durians from the hill top ,I accidently slipped and slided down to the next tier. Very lucky no injury at all.
The worst part was that I have to carry the durians,in the laundry bucket, on my shoulder to the car . How heavy?

Yearly Orchard bushes clearing


There is also one very old and short pamelo tree behind the broken pig sty. The fruit bear are not very sweet and surprising it is still growing very healthily and without fail some pamelo can be seen on it

One Pamelo tree and its fruit

"Gulai Hwa" (The Curry flower)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Teluk Bahang

Teluk Bahang Town
updated 12/06/07

All of us miss the Aunty's homecooked food. Only open during lunch time

Picture 1 and 2. Approaching Teluk Bahang roundabout

Picture 3 and 4. Entering the "End of the World"

Approaching this town, you can see on your left a few food stores ( Photo 1 & 2). An old coffee shop is normally called Kopitiam in Hokkien. It existed since my younger days and also on the left is a Nasi Kandar food stall . Upon reaching the roundabout, we turn into a road on the right and travel into a small lane which lead us to a place normally people call the End of the World. Here you will find alot of seafood restaurants which open only in the night. Our favourite stop for lunch is a small coffee stall operated by a mother (Auntie)and her daughter. All the dishes are home cooked . Well, when I was a small boy , my mum would cook all these dishes ranging from Tao You Ba, Asam prawns, Fried fish, Fried Sotong (small),
etc. Beside it is a fishmonger who sells the fresh local fish. Well ,one of my contractors who was with us at that time would buy pomfret, and tau teh in order to keep them fresh. He would also buy a polyester box and pack it with ice.
After our lunch we proceeded to our job site in Batu Ferringhi
. Sad to say both of us, Jarvin (our Architect) and I had an unfavourable reply from the church beside our project. We had to keep our fingers crossed. When we resolved the hoarding problem at Moonlight Bay, it was almost 12.00 noon and we called in the rest of the staff and ask them where they would like to go for lunch.We agreed on Teluk Bahang's auntie's place.... Good lunch for all of us for we ordered deep fried fresh fish called "Kambong" (the name of a type of fish)and also fried sambal prawns. Very delicious . That was what our Taste Buds told us>

Obeiliao's comments

1.Choose saltwater ocean fish over freshwater fish from streams,river and lakes for they are less polluted.
2. Choose smaller fish over larger fish for smaller fish has lesser years of pollutants.
3. Eat a variety of fish instead of a particular type.
4. Don't eat fish skin for they are prone to deposits of toxic chemical.
5. Farmed fish are less contaminated but they have less Omega 3 than the wild ones.
6. Finally, most studies suggest that eating fish 3 times a weekscan make a tremendous dent in heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.
7. Some fishes have more cholesterol than others

Can somebody out there tell my good friend "Ong Kia" to take fish for the sake of his heart?

Map of Penang Island



Penang' Food

Coming to this post will be some of the foods of Penang Island.

Ha Mee Pun Ho Chiak
(All foods are delicious)

A conversation in a KL family

Son: Where are we going to this holiday?
Mum: We will go to Langkawi.
Son: It has been a long time and we have not seen Ee Ee( Hokkien : auntie) in Penang for so long. Wondering how is she?
Mum: I will call her tonight and maybe we will go to Penang instead of Langkawi
2nd Son: "Die lah!", I will definetely put on weight when in Penang.
Son: Ee Ee always takes us for food and her favorite words are "Chi Peng Ho Chaik" and E Peng Ho Chiak.
Mum: All of you bring a short elastic pant
Daughter: I will bring my "Peter & Jane"'s story book. The journey will be long ,6 hours?
Mum: Do not worry for we will take the North South Highway
Son: Mum only say 4 hours but she will normally stop in Ipoh or anywhere if there is good food..Better bring a Chu Leng Tua Pants (Elastic pants)
2nd son: Mum, please check with Ee Ee quickly for she and uncle always take their children out to Marine island in Thailand during the holidays. Her son loves to eat Thom Yam Soup and other Thai food.
Mum: OK OK.
Dad: I have to check the car condition before we go to Pe Nan Su ( Penang Island)
The roads have changed so much . Wondering if I can remember them!
Son: Hurrah, Here we come Penang Island.
2nd son: I love to eat Ee Ee's home cooked Laksa
Daughter: Her 2nd son is very good in cooking too. Last trip, he cooked Spaghetti for us and I over heard that he normally cooked for his class at the end of each year. Most of the parents of his schoolmate commented to Ee Ee when she was there one day waiting for his return from pre-NS training in Chung Ling
Dad: You can still remember so many things when it comes to FOOD but not your studies
2nd son: Ah chee ko teoh meh. (Sister got scolded again )
Everybody started to go back to their study tables.Mum went over the phone and started dialling Penang.

Obeilliao's comments

Normally, a common outcome during the holiday ,festive season. social or a weekend food fiestas is OVEREATING.
Watch Out!!