Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our Builders' Tea...

A fellow blogger mentioned about Builder's Tea. I must admit that it was the first time I've heard about it. Nice joke about milk and 2 sugars and you get...builder's tea! LOL. TQ K. Learnt something new. It's different over here in our country. I thought it would be a good idea to write a little about what our builders drink. Their way of life, that is. Our builders don't come to work with a Thermos but a bottle. Recycled bottle filled with plain water. Weather is hot here so hot 'tea' (drinks in other words) is out of the question. Cold tea/drinks yes and it comes in these forms. See the pictures. This is what is normal over here. Drinks in bags/bottles. The white coloured drink? That is soya bean milk. The 2nd picture, ermmm...I think that is what is left from the melted ice. LOL... Or even iced tea or Nescafe. Something to know, over here if you order Nescafe iced from the shops, it will be instant coffee powder. It needn't have to be the brand Nescafe. It can be any other brands but we always say it as Nescafe. I would like to think that it could be the brand Nescafe was the first to come into the market with instant coffee. If you order it as coffee iced, then it is always ground coffee. For the tea, it is drank either with milk or lime. This is as far as I gather from the many builders that I've seen. Food, well as you can see here. It is also packed and it is bought from the stalls/shops in these forms (as in pic). Just a rough idea. Oh yah, my lunches has been in these forms too. A packet of rice or noodles accompanied by a drink. Yes, that's my drink and lunch in the picture.
I'm under 'house arrest' and without a 'workable' kitchen remember? LOL. job every evening when the workers/builders leave? Collecting all the food containers or drink bags that is hung all over the house. I have a choice...nopes, that's the way it is over here with the workers. :o)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another week and still going on...

I was happy to see the first batch of workers clearing the debris and taking them away. Then, disaster! Omigosh, I don't see any drainage holes and one water pipe for my existing tap, where is the pipe? Someone cut it off!!! Where is the drainage pipe and the hole? I see nothing but a nice cemented new floor. Phonecalls and back they come.

Pictures here shows two guys. What are they doing? Having fun of course, looking for the pipe that leads to my tap and finding the drainage pipe.

No worries, they found it. Finding out (roughly) where they are situated is a piece of cake. It was the drilling part that was hard. The hard ground plus they have to be careful not to puncture the pipes. Oh, I did help a little by helping to locate the pipes and then standing there to make sure that they don't get carried away with the drilling. After buckets of sweat, wahla..., you can see in the pictures the hidden 'treasures' found!

Meet Mohin who is our Chief Mason (acting). He is always left here by his 'boss' to do the tiling. Boss Mason has another job to be finished. We couldn't do much to stop Boss because that's the normal practise over here. They can undertake many jobs at one time and play appearing and disappearing acts.
Here you can see Mohin busy at work. He is camera shy. I took 5 shots and only managed to catch one with his face, partially but then it is better than nothing. LOL. Yes, the floor tiles will be finished today. A little on Mohin--Mohin was thrilled yesterday when I said he is a Bangladeshi and I couldn't help laughing. Why? Over here in Malaysia, they are called Bangala or Bangla. Mohin doesn't like it and he said the same goes for his compatriots. I am the first he heard saying that he is a Bangladeshi. It was nice seeing his wide toothy smile. Mohin is back here to Malaysia a 2nd time and working for the same Boss Mason. According to Mohin, wages are very, very low in Bangladesh and you earn from hand to mouth. It is sad but that's a fact back home, Malaysians are lucky. Well, thank you Mohin for opening my eyes wider!

One thing I must admit, despite his appearing with 3 workers in the morning and disappearing with 1 worker later on, I can't complain about this Boss Mason. You can see in the pictures here, he personally handles the job of making the concrete tops, sides and the base of my counters. A neat job is what he has given me. I was a bit worried about the strength of the top and to prove the strength Boss Mason climbed up on the top and danced on it. Ahaaahaa...yes I think it is good and strong. I'm smaller than he is.
Hmmm...another 2 weeks (almost) added. Light is shining brighter. Tiling job will be finished by tomorrow. Then it will be another batch...:o)
to be continued...

Friday, October 17, 2008


This man is barbequeing/grilling meat...Satay as is known in Malaysia. Chunks of meat marinated with spices. Tumeric is the main ingredient and that is the reason why the meat is yellowish in colour. Back when we were younger, the Satay Man is always present whenever a birthday party or any party is held at home. My father will 'engage' the satay man usually a Malay man back then whom we affectionately call 'Pak Chik' which means uncle in the Malay language. He'd come with his stove, meat, sauces, charcoal and a fan. This fan, it isn't an electrical fan but a hand fan which is used mainly to fan the fire for the barbequeing of the meat. Order will be no less than 300 sticks. The number sounds big but actually it isn't. The sticks of meat will disappear just as quickly as it is served. LOL...It is really an interesting sight not just for me but for all my friends. When one is younger, these things excite you, no? Well, for my siblings, friends and me, it was always a great joy to have Satay man at our parties. Memories float back whenever I see a satay vendor. As you can see in the picture, the meat are skewered on bamboo sticks. It is slowly grilled/barbequed over charcoal fire. Once in a while you can see the vendor using a brush to brush some oil onto the skewered meat. For some, the end of a lemon grass which is slightly crushed is used as the brush.
Here is the cooked skewered meat, the Satay. It is normally served with some cucumber, onions and eaten with the peanut sauce. The sauce is a bit spicy with chilli as one of the ingredients. If you happened to get your satay from a Malay vendor, you might even find 'ketupat' together with the onions and cucumber. Ketupat is rice that is packed inside coconut palm leaves pouches and boiled. I would say Satay is somewhat similar to shish kebab marinated with different herbs and spices and when cooked, served differently. :o)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kitchen...progress as it is...

The mason and his troop...they are here...yippeee!!!
Yesss, like any renovations or remodelling, once you see the masons, a little light can be seen. Wasn't I delighted. The equipments, the machineries and all as can be seen in the picture. They arrived on Wednesday right on the dot as per the head mason's appointment. A leader plus 3 workers. They started work straight away. The dust flying all over as they knock the walls getting rid of the old tiles. No dust would bother me at all, not this time around. LOL. I was happy taking pictures of them working.

Friday, arrival of all the tiles. Everything in order? Yesss, as per our order, all tiles arrived safe and in boxes.

Saturday, mason started putting up some tiles on the walls. Whoa...when I walked into the kitchen. is the wrong colour. did it turn out to be this colour? Grey tint. Noo...I didn't order this colour. Of course you did, the mason told me. Know what happened? It was the lights the shop used. Somehow with yellow lightings, the tiles that arrived at our house was of a different shade. It was more grey and it made the kitchen looked dirty. Aaarghhh...oh no, we don't have time to stop work. Final decision, to use the tiles meant for the wet kitchen. A switch was made. Phew...that's what the mason and me said. He could keep to his schedule and me...the mess cleared and finished as soon as possible.
Here you can see the mason moulding the table tops. Yeah, I will be having concrete table tops this time around. See the sink casted in the mould. Grrr...not just the tiles were of the wrong shade, my sink turned up bigger than what I thought. your eyes play tricks on you. Honestly, viewed from high up, the sink actually looked much smaller. Hubby said this might be a blessing in disguise...heeeheee who knows, right? The mistake with the tiles, it turned out to be a blessing. Found out that the sales person recommended tiles meant for floors to be used for walls. A better commission earned. Darn..! Boy, am I not lucky that it turned out to be the wrong shade? Can't imagine the wall tiles falling off after a year or two because we used floor tiles for the walls. Hmmm...really time to count our blessings. Now, I think I'll have a few words with hubby for giving me that stare when I wanted the supposedly beige/yellow tiles taken down and changed. LOL...

Here one of the masons working on the tiles. Must say these 4, they really are hard working. No nonsense type of workers is what I'd say of them. Just 5 days and look at the amount of work they have done...we'll be there soon...soon!

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Japanese Restaurant...Asagiri is the name

With our kitchen still under 'repairs', dinner is usually a dine-out affair. This is one of the restaurants which we liked to frequent. Japanese food, yes it is. Son's favourite is all I can say. This restaurant happens to be his favourite. Daddy relents every time he asked for a meal here, reason being...the pricing of food here is reasonable. Japanese food is expensive here in Malaysia. To get a Japanese meal of reasonable standard, you normally have to pay quite a lot compared to a normal Chinese meal. Son has been asking if I've written about this particular restaurant. He is worried that it'll be closed for business if there isn't enough advertising done. Heeeheee... You see, this place is not strategically located. It is in a quiet area at night that is and is easily missed.

The menu offered here is limited but the food served is delicious. These are the particular two that got us 'hooked'. The first is the DIY Temakisushi. Making our own sushi! Wow...oh wow. It was a first for the 3 of us. For the number of sushis we made, I must say the price is resonably cheap. We had some good fun making the sushi and this is what I have to say...all 3 of us, we failed miserably. Guess you can see it from the picture here. Greedy, greedy, too much rice put on the seaweed sheet. How to make a nice neat sushi with that much ingredient?! LOL.

The second is the Roru Kyabetsu (rolled cabbage). The filling is either beef or chicken. It is deeelicious. How not to, that was what son said. Reason being, the owner Mister Oki (Oki San) is also the Chef. All meals are prepared by him personally. The times that we visited, Mister Oki was also the waiter. A personal touch is what you get when you visit this restaurant. If you are wondering where it is, Gottlieb Road it is on and right across Penang Chinese Girls' High School. I think it is a few shoplots away from Sukihotu (it is on the same row). Pay Mister Oki a visit if you want good home cooked Japanese food. You won't be disappointed. Oh yah, the grilled eel, this is a must try. Good price and good amount served.

***Asagiri 'sudah hilang' (disappeared). I don't know where Oki San went. Sorry.