Tok Cu Bee (left), Aunty Emy (middle) and me enjoying our time together.
Guess what happened this morning? I met Aunty Emy and Tok Cu Bee! Yes, that’s right… seven bloggers (dad, Aeshah, Anisah, Ali, Aunty Emy a.k.a. Royaltlady, Tok Cu Bee a.k.a. Bebee and me) met at Shukur’s Nasi Dagang Stall. Not that we met coincidentally (like how Uncle Azahar met me) but we had planned this meeting the night before. There were also two non-bloggers at the unofficial bloggers meeting; mum and Uncle Syed Mohd Zaid who works as a MAS pilot.
Uncle Syed (left- beside dad) telling us a joke while eating his Nasi Dagang
Aunty Emy is actually our relative and so is Tok Cu Bee. Aunty Emy and Tok Cu Bee called themselves ‘Grandma Bloggers’ as they both are grandmothers. Tok Cu Bee told us that she was inspired by Awang Goneng to start her blog (La Vie En Rose) and so was Aunty Emy (Royaltlady). Aunty Emy started hers on her birthday in December 2007. By the way, Aunty Emy was Uncle Azahar’s classmate in year 6 many years ago. Uncle Azahar is another blogger friend of ours whose wonderful blog is Nature Lover.
As we enjoyed our breakfast, we talked about all sorts of things. Uncle Syed explained how did the FedEx plane crashed in Tokyo a few months ago. There was strong wind at the time the plane was landing and the wind was blowing from the sides of the plane. As the plane tried to land, it bounced back and one of the wings grazed against the runway before bursting into a fireball which killed both the pilot and the co-pilot.
At about eleven, we decided to break up after spending more than two hours at the stall. I really enjoyed the meeting and I hope that there will be more bloggers meetings; perhaps with even more bloggers to make it even more exciting. Aunty Emy, Tok Cu Bee and Uncle Syed were really wonderful and I am looking forward to see them again; as we say in Trengganuspeak, ‘Dok sabor doh nok ttemu mata lagi!’
I was not feeling well yesterday. I had a sore throat and a fever. Even my little sister Anisah, my little brother Ahmad Ali and mum was not feeling well too. It started by Anisah who had a fever a few days ago.
Next was Ahmad Ali. He woke up the next morning with a swollen face. His eyes were badly swollen that he almost could not open his eyes. I went to him and I was struck with horror when I saw his face. He asked me why I was so shocked to see him. I then told him to look at the mirror. He was so shocked at what he saw that he nearly cried. He kept asking dad to send him to the doctor as he did not like the way he looked in the mirror.
Dad took him to Al-Islam Specialist Hospital or previously known as Kampung Baru Medical Center to see our Pediatric, Dr. Khairul Azman. Dr Khairul did some tests to make sure that it was only an allergy reaction that cause his face to be swollen. My little brother was so relieved when Dr Khairul ensured him that nothing was serious and he would get better soon. Today, he looks perfectly like the old Ahmad Ali again, and how happy he was to look ‘normal’ again. Anyway both Anisah and Ahmad Ali were still not feeling very well. They both felt better in the morning, jumping and playing together – and their temperature would rise up later in the day and ended up with mum staying awake for the last few nights taking care of the both of them during the nights. It seems to be very hard for young kids to stay in bed and rest.
Mum started a slight fever the day before yesterday. Next it was me, but I am feeling much better now. My Nenek said that it must be “museng demang’ (in Trengganuspeak) or the fever season . In Terengganu we have “museng demang’ during the fruit seasons and also during the current weather when it rains at one moment before the sun shines brightly at another and all the sudden it starts to rain again. Any way Alhamdulillah, for my little sister, Aeshah and my dad are in good health.
I love ‘pulok’ or pulut (glutinous rice) and so do my siblings. Among my favourite pulok dishes are ‘pulok gao nyo‘, ‘ttupak sutong‘ and ‘pulok lepa‘.
‘Pulok gao nyo‘ is glutinous rice balls coated with shredded coconut. I like to eat my ‘pulok gao nyo‘ with ‘ikang panggang‘ (grilled fish). In my hometown Kulala Terengganu, ‘pulok gao nyo‘ is also served/sold with ‘ikang kering goreng‘ (fried salted fish). Anyway I like to eat my ‘pulok gao nyo‘ with ‘ikang panggang‘ especially with ‘ikang tegiri (tenggiri) panggang‘ for I don’t have to deal with fine fish bones. Even though (in Terengganu) ‘pulok gao nyo‘ is usually served for breakfast, mum normally serves it for lunch or dinner for we find it too heavy to be eaten as a breakfast!
Unlike ‘pulok gao nyo‘ which is easy to be prepared, preparing ‘ttupak sutong‘ is rather tedious. First mum has to clean the cuttlefish or squid. Then the glutinous rice has to be cooked with coconut milk. Next, the cooked glutinous rice has to be stuffed into the squids. This process looks really fun and I always wanted to try stuffing the squids… only that mum never let me try because if this is not done properly, the ‘pulok‘ will spill out when the squids are cooked in coconut milk. ‘Ttupak sutong‘ is very, very delicious and mum has to cook a lot of ‘ttupak sutong‘ because it is everybody’s favourite. Nenek (my grandmother) serves ‘ttupak sutong‘ for tea but we prefer to have them for either lunch or dinner (better still to have it for both).
‘Pulok lepa‘ is glutinous rice stuffed with a fish based filling called ‘iti‘ in Trengganuspeak (or inti in standard speak). It will then be wrapped in banana leaf and grilled. According to nenek the process of wrapping is very important to ensure that the ‘pulok lepa‘ will be nicely intact when unwrapped. If not, it will ‘rela‘ and I don’t think anybody would fancy eating a ‘pulok lepa hok rela‘. Since mum do not make ‘pulok lepa‘, we have to count on nenek to bring them from Kuala Terengganu. I like the ones with generous amounts of fillings or in Trengganuspeak we say ‘hok iti banyok‘. Mum said that she likes to eat them with black coffee or ‘kopi ‘o’ in Trengganuspeak.
There are lots of other tasty dishes using ‘pulok‘ in Terengganu cuisine such as ‘nasik kunyit‘, ‘nasik dagang‘,’ ttupak daung palah‘ and ‘lemang‘. Glutinous rice is also used in dessert such as ‘tok aji srebang‘, ‘asang gupa‘, ‘bronok‘ and ‘pulok duriang‘. Some people believe that eating too much ‘pulok‘ will make us lazy and sleepy but that do not stop me from enjoying my ‘pulok‘ dishes!
Note: Spelling ‘pulok‘ is very tricky.The ‘o’ in ‘pulok‘ should sounds like ‘o’ in ‘okay‘. If the ‘o’ in ‘pulok‘ sounds as the ‘o’ in ‘on’, ‘pulok‘ will means something else and got nothing to do with food at all. Confusing isn’t it? So if somebody says, ‘Pulok doh‘ with the ‘o’ in pulok sounds as the ‘o’ in ‘on’, he is not refering to food at all.
A year ago I would be stunned if somebody were to tell me that I’m going to write on the subject of Trengganuspeak as I know almost nothing about it (please refer to ‘Solo Bolo’). It was Uncle AG‘s (Awang Goneng) GUIT (Growing Up In Trengganu) that started my interest to learn Trengganuspeak. Thank you again Uncle AG – you are a great sifu. Or is it siput in Trengganuspeak as Pok Chang Siput (in GUIT: pg 203)? (refer to ‘A New Trengganuspeak Word From Awang Goneng’)
How true it is that spelling words in Trengganuspeak is really challenging even for Terengganu folks in Terengganu. As for me; even to pronounce the words are challenging enough. Just now my little brother Ahmad Ali asked for his vitamin in English. I corrected his pronunciation and dad teasingly corrected mine to ‘bitameng’ (that means vitamin in Trengganuspeak). Upon hearing ‘bitameng’ mum asked, “Isn’t it ‘bitaming’?” Dad said it is ‘bitameng’ and left my mum puzzled…
That brings me back to ‘kerejong’ or ‘kherjong’ (refer to ‘A New Trengganuspeak Word From Awang Goneng’). When I first saw it in ‘Kecek-Kecek’, I thought it meant ‘keras’ (hard). But mum said that ‘kherjong’ got nothing to do with ‘keras’. The word that explain the state of ‘keras’ (hard) is ‘khejong’ – ‘kerah khejong’. Mum later explained that apart from ‘kerah khejong’, there is also ‘kerah ccokkeng’. ‘Kerah khejong’ refers to the feel of hardness or very chewy (for food). For example if one bite into a cold leftover fried keropok lekor; especially the ones sold in KL; one would say, “‘Kerah khejong’ doh khepok leko ning” (The keropok lekor had turned very chewy).
On the other hand, ‘kerah ccokkeng’ refers to the ‘visual’ state of hardness or may even be fresh in food. Mum gave an example of a sentence she used to hear, “‘Kerah ccokkeng’ ikang (fish) ni”.
Until now I guess I’m still confused and could not distinguish the meanings ‘khejong’ and ‘ccokkeng’ for they are too confusing and difficult. Worst , I may end up getting confuse of ‘kherjong’/’kerejong’ (straitjacket) and ‘khejong’ as in ‘kerah khejong’. So now, I’m getting more and more confused than I used to be.
[this is the revised comment as posted at Uncle Awang Goneng’s blog]
Wow Uncle AG, that is another new Trengganuspeak word for me to learn. Neither my parents had ever mentioned it to me before.
I have been “trying” to write some notes about Trengganuspeak too at my blog: Trengganuspeak and Trengganuspeak (2).
But definitely not to challenge the “sifu”. By that, hopefully you will not be mistakenly called “Awang Goneng Siput” as in Pok Chang Siput (your “Snapshots to the Past” that mentioned about my ancestor’s [Pok Loh] migration from China).
All my sibling enjoyed the several meetings we had especially when you came to visit our Atuk and Nenek and later during the GUiT launching at our Keda Pok Loh (Alam Akademik).
Photo 1: Showing Uncle AG the Dewan Pelajar (Disember 2006) which featured me on the cover. Sharing the moment were my siblings and Atuk.
Photo 2: Group photo after GUiT lauching at my Nenek’s Alam Akademik (Keda Pok Loh). Pok Loh’s sole surviving son (my great grandfather) is between Uncle AG and Auntie Zaharah (Kak Teh)
Note: But my dad just commented that he use “kherjong” instead of “kerejong” [I don’t know how to do the “umlaud” as you did]. And I thought it was “khejong” as in “kerah khejong” but as it happen, kerejong has nothing to do with khejong. That is how difficult and confusing Trengganuspeak is (to me).
Both of my parents are from Kuala Terengganu and studied in Sultan Sulaiman Primary and Secondary School (refer to The Sulaimanians). And I’m proud to say that my father was once the head boy of Sultan Sulaiman Secondary School.
Anyway, I was born and grew up in Kuala Lumpur; hence I am not that familiar with Terengganu or Trengganuspeak (refer to ‘Solo Bolo’, Trengganuspeak and ‘Trengganuspeak 2‘). Nevertheless I do love Terengganu very much. Among my favourite places in Kuala Terengganu is my grandparents’ house. I’ll always remember the big smile on Atuk’s(my grandfather) face the moment we reached there. I love them very much. There are so many things to do over there- huge area to play and run around plus the endless dishes and kuih (sweet cakes) that can’t be found in Kuala Lumpur. My sisters and I would sleep in their room and spent our time talking and sharing stories.
The next place in my list would be my grandmother’s bookshop- Alam Akademik or Keda Pok Loh Yunang (as Uncle Awang Goneng remembered it! – Growing Up in Trengganu page 73). My siblings and I love books and we would be spending long hours at the bookshop. The best part is nenek (grandma) would give us lots and lots of books to take home to Kuala Lumpur!
Another favourite place of mine is my great grandfather’s house [a son of Abdullah Al-Yunani]. I always called his house ‘library’ for he has a huge collections of Reader Digest’s books. He always remember the type of books that I like and would excitedly picked the ones that I have not read (especially the new tittles). Great grand dad even gave me some books from his collections (which I know he loves so much) – knowing that I really would love to have them.
And of course I love going to the beach. Dad would wake us up very early in the morning to watch the sun rise at Pantai Batu Buruk (the nearest beach). We would build sand castles, gather lots and lots of seashells, fly our kites or play with frees be. In the afternoon we can buy khepok leko, ikang celuk ttepong and a lot more.
Dad like to take us around Kuala Terengganu . We visited his schools, Pulau Duyong, places where they make kerepok leko etc. Once dad took us on a boat ride along the scenic Terengganu River and on our last trip we drove around places mentioned in GUiT including Uncle Awang Goneng’s house in Tanjung (close to Atuk’s kitab shop-Jendela Ilmu).
My other fond memories of Terengganu is of course the food. Buah Khadeh (so far I still can’t pronounce it right), khepok leko, akok, rojok betik and a lot more that I don’t even know what their names are. Unfortunately mum says that rare fruits like buoh ppisang (not pisang or banana) are not easily found. I really wish that I can taste those fruits one day. Thank you Uncle Awang Goneng for telling the stories of rare fruits and old kuih of old Trengganu, the history and my roots, and thank you for teaching me Trengganuspeak. But so far I still cant speak ‘in Trengganuspeak’ and having a hard time trying to understand them!
Last weekend I learnt a few new (Trengganuspeak) words- ma’nga, pongoh and ‘ngamok. Ma’nga like solo bolo is also about being careless only that ma’nga is a habit of forgetting to do something while solo bolo is being extremely careless in doing things like running over something or knocking down things. But children who are forever running around, disturbing others and knocking down things are not solo bolo but nano (not the name of the candy – Nanonano.)
Pongoh is hot-tempered and when a pongoh person could not control their anger, they end up ‘ngamok’ (losing temper/ throwing tantrums/ uncontrolled violent rage). When mum was about my age, their helper brought a dish prepared by her mum named ‘Tok Kaya ‘Ngamok’ (a rich man ran amok). Upon tasting the dish Atuk (my grandpa) laughed and said that now he knew why they named it Tok Kaya ‘Ngamok – it tasted sour and extremely hot. No wonder that rich man lost control of his emotion and ran amok.
The version that mum tried was cubes of fresh (very sour) unriped pineapple soaked in a gravy of very, very hot chillies, shrimp paste, tamarind paste, a dash of salt and sugar that was grind to a paste and mixed with water. Well, I have not tasted it and do not really fancy to try it for fear I too would ‘ngamok like the poor old rich man.
Note: I’m sorry to say that my knowledge of Trengganuspeak (as Uncle Awang Goneng quote in GUIT) is very limited and I just can’t pronounce them right.