Lips Talking

Monday, December 06, 2004

Ipoh Food Finally!

I wrote this last year but forgot to publish it... but thought I would do so for those wanting to salivate...

This is my first vacation for 2004 and I really couldn't wait. Since I moved mom to KL last Christmas, I haven't been back to visit. No place to stay was one of my excuses. Finances was another. So this was a very anticipated trip. To visits friends I haven't seen for a year, to taste glorious Ipoh food again and to attend my kai tai lo's wedding.

I dedicate this blog to good old Ipoh food...

We got to Ipoh at bout 11 plus pm on Thursday night. Headed straight for Stadium for supper. Eric was hankering for the char keoy teow that's quite famous there. Unfortunately that particular strip of stalls were closed. So we ended up eating 'wan tan mee' at another strip of stalls that were open. It was very good 'wan tan mee' esp the wan tan skin. It was smooth and it melts in your mouth. Definitely home made. It's the kind that makes you feel like ordering a whole bowl of wan tan skin only!! In fact, Eric ordered another serving of wan tan mee with extra wan tan just for the sake of eating the wan tan skin. I wasn't complaining since he was willing to share. It was a big bowl of wan tan that came with the noodles and it was only RM3.
Wonderful Ipoh prices!
(Translation: big bowl ala Ipoh = The kind they serve your soupy noodles in)

We rush through supper so that I wouldn't get in late as my hosts were working the next day. I stayed with my dear Jen and Darren who offered to host my mom and I while we were in Ipoh while Eric stayed with Lawrence. But we already decided where we were going for breakfast the next morning, Ma Ta Liu (Police Station) Curry Mee.

Ma Ta Liu (Police Station) Curry Mee - situated in town, it's right opposite the police station and that was how it got it's name. Truth be told, I haven't been there since I was a teenager. Most time Eric and I went back to Ipoh for a break, we rather sleep than wake up for breakfast especially ridiculous ones where you still have to queue up if you manage to get there at 7 am. Anyway, Lawrence told us that they moved across the road, has more space and stayed open for much longer now. We managed to get there about 10 am, just early enough to order the last few remaining bowls. They have already ran out of 'liew' - a side dish of roast pork and chicken to be dipped into curry sauce. Bummer! But they said they had some leftover which they can spare us. They will just add it to our noodles. Well all is not lost :) Well I was reminded what brought people here early in the morning. It was true Malaysian style fusion - Chinese noodles in heavily indian-spiced curry sauce.

I don't know what it is bout curry noodles but the hot and spicy feeling keeps you full for a long time. We skipped lunch (had to...what a pity!) but luckily was hungry enough by 5 pm so we decided to have an early dinner.

We went over to Rainbow City for the beef noodles. As we were walking to that particular stall, I chance upon an portable stall selling chee cheong fun. Since there was a line up for it, I decided that I should buy some since I was hankering for some good old fashion Ipoh chee cheong fun served with mushroom gravy rather than the sweet sauce that you get in KL (yucks!) . I wasn't until we've placed our orders that I realised why there was a line up. The uncle was a perfectionist. It's funny to watch him if you're not too hungry.

First he takes the noodles from the big steaming tray. He lines then up nicely before slicing then into strips. I swear that each strip was almost identical in thickness. He then takes the lids off the many containers. He puts in chunks of mushroom & chicken (yes he counts them) before pouring on the hot and delicious looking gooey gravy boiled with 'kei chee'. He adds on the condiments as requested. Then, he meticulously puts on the lids to all the containers, wipes his chopping board clean, folds the cloth perfectly and place it neatly by the chopping board before starting on the next order. The guy really has got a system going but for his sake I hope he picks up some speed before he loses customers. But since we were on a holiday, it was quite funny to watch. Eric and I both agreed that he's a big C (as in the DISC profile). Anyway, I can't complain. I bought one of the yummiest chee cheong fun that I've tasted in years for only RM 2.

Anyway we finally sat down for beef noodles (after devouring a pack of chee cheong fun). We ordered the standard keoy teow with everything. The soup at this stall is a bit bland (I'm used to the one at Hollywood Restaurant at Canning Garden which is more herbally). The 'beef chap' is worth raving...they have boiled it for so long that it has enough texture to chew and yet it melts in your mouth...yummylicious!

For pictures, go to Eric's site


PS: Who's up for another Ipoh makan trip? We've talked bout it for ages!!

Very Yummy Segambut Fried Chicken Rice!

Most people would have read Eric's version of the Segambut Fried Chicken Rice but I felt that I have to write my 2 cents bout it too... since I'm not a real fried chicken lover so I'll probably be less biased than Eric.

It was a Wednesday lunch appointment with Vincent. He said we have to taste this so off we went bracing KL lunch traffic and the Segambut jam and we finally got there about 1 pm. Like all good food places in Malaysia, it is a roadside stall kinda place. It has a name similar to another great eating place in Ipoh - 'Tai Shu Har' (underneath the big tree). It looks nothing out of the ordinary, just very packed. You probably wants to just grab the next available table or end up sharing a table with strangers (tap toi).

The food comes like in 2 minutes if you could get the attention of the boss who's taking orders and collecting money at the same time. Getting his attention took more time! We ordered fried chicken rice for 3 people with an extra helping of 'kai chap' (chicken extras?).

When the food came, it looks like the typical chicken rice except that the chicken is fried.
The fried chicken was sooooooooo flavourful. I'm usually a chicken drumstick fan when it comes to chicken rice but I found myself looking for the less meaty that I can just get at the crispy skin and 'crispy enough to chew' bones. In fact, the least tastiest of the lot was the drumstick that Eric lovingly sacrificed for me cos it has too much meat. Give me the skin and bones! (who let the dogs out...woof! wooooof! woof! woof!).

The rice was ok... maybe because the chicken was so good :)
The chilli is a tad more 'vinegretty' than the usual chicken rice chilli sauce and the boys practically drank it down. Yes they finished half a big bowl of chilli sauce. I still think that the chicken is better :)

Eric and Vincent ordered extra rice and chicken. They eat enough for 4 people.
While waiting for them to gobble down their 2nd meal, I felt pretty 'jelak' from all the oil so I started munching on the only vege in sight... cucumber slices soaked in soya sauce. Actually it did a lot of good. I felt a lot better after eating those cucumbers. In fact I ate them all. Didn't think that the boys would mind since they were too engrossed with their 2nd helpings anyway.
Well I certainly felt less 'jelak' after all the cucumber. I think there's a reason why they serve cucumber with all the yummiest, fatiest dishes. To let the yin balance out the yang. Worked for me this time!

If you need directions, ask Vincent (I wasn't paying attention!). Well I could find out if someone wants to 'belanja' me lunch!Anyway, Vincent told us that this place only serve fried chicken rice on Wed and Sat and go early if you want 'kai chap'. They serve 'chap fan' on other days to keep the fried chicken rice special. I think they would do very well selling fried chicken rice everyday but that's just my opinion. Prices are quite reasonable too RM 26 including drinks. Who's taking me for lunch?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Back to Basics

As most people who knows me well would know, I am rather overwhelmed by all the requirements of modern church; sunday service, cell group, accountability group, prayer meets, ministry meets, etc etc etc. Somehow being a 'good' Christian seems to equate to a rather busy life. When I was a student, it was well and good as I do have extra time. Now that I am working, I find it quite tiring trying to keep up with all the required meetings. In fact, to my own horror, I find myself dreading church.

But praise God, DUMC brought in 2 speakers that really impacted my life this year.
1) Pastor Edmund Chan on Discipleship
2) Jackie Pullinger on Using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Ministry

Both sounds 'canggih' and probably very complicated. In fact the opposite is true.

Pastor Edmund and Jackie both emphasized 1 very important fact, that's it's about people and loving them. For Pastor Edmund, it's spending one-on-one time with people. For Jackie, it's because you love people that you want to pray for healing, ask God for a prophetic word for them etc.

I think I've played the tapes on Pastor Edmund Chan's teaching on discipleship many times since the Discipleship conference. I just can't stop listening to it. It brought back memories and stirred up the convictions of my heart. I remember what impacted my life the MOST as a Christian. It was not great speakers (though I learnt a lot), or any great programs. It was my youth counsellors, pastors and friends... the people who took time and used their personal resources to love me, care for me, pray with me, counsel me, and help me. The friends who befriended me when I was obnoxious, the counsellors who held me as I sobbed over the years, the friend who loaned me money to finish school because God told her to, the family who took me in and loved me....these were the hands and feet of Jesus to me.

I'm so happy to be reminded that nothing matters more than this, to be like Jesus in his love for people.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

My Hypothesis Bout Oil

After reading the books that I did, I started wondering, why is there so much oil in the Middle East? On the surface, it's practically void of life but below, a reservoir of the world's most fought (literally!) after commodity.

Then of course, I started to think lah... (my trains of thoughts in italics, followed by my own cheeky commentary as usual)

Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait ... All in the same region!!

History books mention them.... Egypt, Mesopotamia ...wait a minute...isn't that Babylon later and Iraq today?...
(Mesopotamia... love that name... very funky)

All have something in common, sites of ancient civilizations? ...
(now I wish I payed more attention during Sejarah (history) )

And LUSH (if I remember correctly)....didn't the Israelites complain bout wanting to go back to Egypt cos there they have garlic, onions, leeks etc to eat....
(don't sound like a desert to me!!)

Hey they were all mentioned in the Bible too...
(the parts that we fall asleep reading... )

Curse be Babylon, it will lay barren ...
Curse be Egypt, it will lay barren...
Curse be...

Hey what if God really cursed them then what?
(Then they die loh...)

Die? Everything dies????
(Too shocked to comment.... turning purple!!)

Everything dies .... barren land .... middle east ... barren land... oil...
(Yawn... can you get to the point!!!)

I don't have a point! Can you just shut up and let me think...
(I thought you were faster than that Li Ping...)

If you're so clever why don't you do it!
(Alrite if you insist ... do you think that really lush land...with trees, and animals and people just dissapear? )

Never saw it that way... yeah... I did think that they just go poof! like Aladdin you know :)
(No comment!)

But if they didn't go poof ... they all die ... a whole nation ... many nations... shucks that a lot of death.... then they get buried... that's a lot of carbon man... then they become oil??
(If that's the case, then we won't really run out of oil rite? We have lots of raw materials. 6 billion (and counting) two-legged creatures (how much carbon is that?) who are killing each other over what they will eventually turn into!! Now how dumb can we humans get!!)

The Fuss Bout Oil

The KLCI fell a few points today due to rising oil prices. Seems that the whole world is quite affected that oil prices has gone past 50 bucks a barrel.

When I was young, I never knew what was the big deal about oil. All I know was that Malaysia produces some but the Middle East produces a lot. I've heard of the mega wealth enjoyed by the middle eastern countries purely due to the fact that they sit on an oilmine!!!!

I also remembered when the first Iraq War started under President George Bush (senior). I remember watching it on TV with my family. It's was like waiting for the start of a football game or something. When the announcer officially declared that the Iraq War has begun, my parents got worried but there's nothing they can do to stop it, so we went for supper. Not that I understood or cared much then. Now that I'm a 'big girl', I try to understand a little more... well at least try to care a bit more bout what's happening in the world and why.

So I watch (for lack of a better word) as President George Bush (junior) went to war against Iraq (again!).

The past couple years, I was rather attracted to reading bout women who grew up / live in the Middle East. Maybe it's cos of the fact that they are so hidden from the rest of the world, usually cloaked in a black shrowd, head scarf and veil.

I devoured books like Princess (bout Princess Sultana's life in Saudi Arabia), Leap of Faith (by Queen Noor) and countless other. It was Queen Noor's autobiography, Leap of Faith, that set me thinking that this world is more complex and corrupted than I ever thought it was (yes! I've been called naive many times). Michael Moore's book, Dude Where's My Country, came by my way at the same time. It's quite amazing reading a few books where you are able to make cross references and put together pieces of a puzzle. It's like solving a mystery AND yes I finally woke up from my stupor :)

It pained me to realised that the world revolves around oil. Kings go to war over oil.

"I will not allow this little dictator to control 25% of the civilised world's oil"
President Bush (senior) told King Hussein (Leap of Faith, page 358) who was the only one who managed to peacefully negotiate with Saddam to pull out of Kuwait. But peace was not on the agenda apparently.

Makes me wonder bout President Bush's (junior) real intentions this time around!

I have to admit, after 9/11, I was kind of scared into thinking that maybe Saddam intended to blow up the world. Hey we do have the tallest building in KL after all.

But there's no nuclear weapon, not even a trace. I thought that they would at least conjure up 'something' to proof to the whole world that they were right. After all, disregarding the UN is probably the greatest insult to the rest of the cilivised world.

Guess it's really bout the oil.

My Lame Excuse For Not Consistently Blogging!

It's been a while since I've written anything... I blame it on 'busy-ness' but I guess it's more like laziness! Hey writing these things is WORK ok....or rather editing it 10x before letting go on 'air' so that I remain politically correct...or just in case my senior pastor happens to stumbles across my blog (horror of horrors)! :)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

2003 Peace Child Production: Don't you just love the make up?

2003 Peace Child Production: The 3 gossipy ladies. From left: Jerrica, yours truly and Annette

Quarter Life Crisis

Eric and I were walking in KLCC one weekday afternoon sometime last month after a meeting with a client. We bump into his friend, Su Ling, whom we thought was busy at her high flying investment banking job but instead, has quit her job and for the past couple months, is studying Mandarin in Shanghai. Of course, her current beau is also stationed there but that is another story altogether.

In the midst of our conversation, she mentioned that in fact, many of her friends (and Eric's friends) have done the same. Quit their job, is either backpacking somewhere in Europe, vegging at home or like her, trying to pick up the next global language in China (we should have taken out POL (People's Own Language) classes more seriously when we were in primary school).

She's like, "Yeah...I don't know why or what's wrong?" (in paraphrase)

and somehow these words splurted out of my mouth,

"Dissillusioned high flyers!?"

and I guess I meant it. (Proverbs says that, "Out of the overflow of our heart, our mouth speaks")

But she took it nicely. In fact we all had a great laugh bout it, but at the same time, I believe my remark stirred something in our hearts.

For me, it made me wonder at our generation... (parantheses mine)

The 'more' privileged generation who don't know what suffering is (according to our parents).

The ones who's been through neither World Wars nor the Great Depression (hey what bout 1997 economic crisis, 9/11 etc...don't they count?)

The generation that can't phatom eating chicken only once a year during Chinese New Year (that is sort of (gulp) 'unphatomable' to me)

The generation whose parents 'die-die' also put us through school hoping that with a good education, we'll be able to obtain good jobs so that we don't have to 'suffer' like them (and we go quit our high flying well paying jobs and why...cos we don't know what we want to do with our lives!!)

Now are we confused or are we confused?

But why quarter life and not midlife? Did the clock fast forward? Maybe we're running to fast into the future?

Or could we just be doing what's natural according to the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs?
You know... the one that say we have to achieve one level before we move on to the next.

1) Physiological Needs - hunger, thirst, shelter, etc
2) Safety Needs - security, protection from physical and emotional harm
3) Love and Belonging Needs - affection, belonging, acceptance, friendship
4) Self-esteem Needs (also called ego) - The internal ones are self respect, autonomy, achievement and the external ones are status, recognition, attention.
5) Self-actualization - doing things

Maybe our generation has the privilege of having at least level 1 - 3 provided for which many of our parents generation fight for, thus leaving most of us seeking level 4 and 5...

Now, if I think like an average Gen X'er, Level 4 is closely related to Level 5 as our generation perceive success very differently from how our parents generation perceive success.
Our motto - As long as I'm happy!

Thus leaving us with the most difficult of all task :) SELF ACTUALIZATION - find out what to do with our lives!!!

Being Feminine

Wanted to write this much sooner especially after my conversation with Grace but somehow didn't get around to it until now.

We were out at Mont Kiara shopping and Sharon commented on how Grace is being more feminine (I think it's Alex's influence!) and Grace kinda gasp in horror! I think it just didn't fit her notion on being an empowered women which led to our rather interesting conversation...

About being feminine and empowered!

About what being an empowered woman is all about!

Does power suit means we're empowered and flowery dresses means we're not?
Does having a career means we're empowered and staying at home means we're not?

I think that being empowered has more to do with choice.
To be given the ability to make the choice for myself as a woman, is being empowered, irregardless of the choice that I make.

I am thankful that I grew up not really having to fight for my rights (gender equality rights, women's rights, whatever you might call it). In fact, I thought that it was mine all along... so I don't really feel that I have to fight for something that I already have (do I make sense?). My dad kinda told me once when I was really young that I can do everything that a boy can do and I believed him (to my mom's horror!)... which of course had nothing to do with being feminine. The countless sprained ankles from rough and tumble play with boys to the numerous scars still visible after almost a decade from my famous motorbike accident.

Seriously, I don't know how that equate back to being feminine but really, I don't like seeing femininity (is that how you spell it?) being trashed cos we're now supposedly 'empowered'. If so, we might as well just become man.

I Wanna Be Feminine

I want to reclaim my right to be feminine ... and ironically I want to reclaim this right from my MOM!

My mom has always wanted a 'good' girl which translates to someone soft spoken who goes to school, studies well, and stay at home to read books and help mummy. In other words, SENSIBLE!

But I wanna be a 'girl' girl. When I was younger, I wanted lacy frocks that looks pretty. When I was a teenager I wanted to wear makeup, to take part in beauty pageants, be an air stewardess, just like my cousins. FRIVOLOUS as some might call it.

But it was not to be. Not as long as I outdo the guys in school, university, career... it would be a waste of my potential (sigh!). Empowerment huh?!

Now that I'm older, I want to be able to be a feminine woman and even frivolous.

I dream of...

Wearing impractically high stilettos...
Shopping at La Senza...
Getting a 300 dollar haircut...
Agonizing over the next nail colour...
Wearing pretty dresses...
Dressing up and strutting about town with the girls looking at Prada, LV, Gucci...
Staying at home if I ever have kids...

I guess I do want to be empowered after all!

Monday, August 23, 2004

It's A Small World Part 1

It's been said that you're only 6 people away from anybody in this world. And how true!

I've always wanted to meet some people from my mom's past, her friends, neighbours etc.

You see, my mom is not particularly close to her family especially since her dad passed away.She said she doesn't get along with the rest of the pack. So I've only ever known my mom from what she tells me. I remember a couple of my aunts, an uncle and my grandma from pictures. I remember they used to be around till I was about six. I've not met them since then. Apart from them, I've not a clue as to who the rest of my mom's 10+ siblings are. I didn't even attend grandma's funeral when she passed away a couple years ago. In fact, my mom didn't even think it was important enough to let us know until it was all over.

So to satisfy my curiousity, I will always hound anybody I meet especially if they are foochows from Sitiawan and Ayer Tawar (my mom is from Ayer Tawar). I figured that everybody in a small town would know each other. My mom used to say that Ayer Tawar consist of only one road. How much smaller can you get? :)

Finally after more than 2 decades, I found her. And to think that I've known Aunty Eng Lih for 3 years
...been to her house for the most yummy-licious food
...know that she's from Sitiawan/Ayer Tawar
...admire and speak to people about their dedication and love for the Lord frequently
...spoke about my mom before though briefly

...AND I didn't know that she knew my mom. Well Aunty Eng Lih also didn't know that I was my mom's daughter. And it wouldn't have happen if mom did not have her schizophernia relapsed.

I still remember the conversation (italics mine)...

Your mom is foo chow right?
Uh huh (Nodding head)

Where she's from again?
Ayer Tawar (please tell me you know her)

I'm from Ayer Tawar, I should know her. What's her name?
Ngu Nik Mooi (Please God please...)

(Head shaking, don't quite recognise the name) Ngu (think think) I know that last name (Lights go off!)
What is her nickname?
Ah-ha...that I know (I love to tease mom bout this). Mooi Loong (Mooi from my mom's name and Loong as in 'egg' in foochow cos my mom is known to love eating eggs!!)

MOOI LOONG!!! I know her. I used to play with her. She's my comtemporary!!
(Eyes widen...Finally, thank you God!!! Comtemporary? Tells their age don't you think...hehehe)

I was so happy to finally meet someone who knew my mom. In the short 15 minutes conversation with Aunty Eng Lih over supper after cell group, I found out sentimental information about a family I never knew (yes I teared) and also information that helped me understand my mom and her family and shed light into an incident that happened to my mom when she was 15 that changed her life and continues to affect our lives until today.

More on this later... (I do want to stick to the topic you know ;p)

Sharing Straws

Can't believe it took so long to admit this but...

I hate sharing straws and I don't know why! I feel grossed out when I think of having to put my mouth around someone else's saliva. And worse if the person left flavourful bits of whatever they are eating around the straw. YUCK!!!!!!

Now I know you're gonna say the inevitable... "What bout kissing? You trade more saliva by kissing than through a straw!"


And it's also not because of the way I was brought up. Hey I'm Chinese after all!!! We freaking dip the same utensils that goes into our mouth, into the same pot of soup!!!
On the contrary, everybody from my parents to my sister to cousins drilled into me that there's nothing wrong with sharing a straw. In fact, I get this 'Why can't you share a straw' look which I translate as 'Is there something wrong by sharing a straw with me' look. And I'll sheepishly conform.

Occasionally when I felt bolder, I tipped the straw upside down and use the opposite end.
Yes, I know that the saliva (and everything else) just goes into the drink but...


And the 'grossest' ... watching someone drink from the straw and as he/she pulls away, a long sticky strand of saliva forms between the mouth and the straw until it snaps, leaving behind a HUGE lump of saliva on the straw and passes the drink to you!



PS: I find it gross to share a straw with the same person I share a passionate kiss with!

PPS: I don't intend to find out why I find sharing a straw gross!

PPPS: Sharing straws = Drinking from the same side of the straw!

PPPPS: In the event of more than 2 users, as long as the straw is tipped over after the last usage, it's ok!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Block or Blog?

I've been mulling over my first blog entry for half a day and ZILT... I have nothing to write. There's plenty that I want to say and everything seems to be a good topic...but I can't get pass the first couple of sentences.

Take my first attempt....
"Peer Pressure"
I started my blog out of peer pressure (horror of horror look!!). After 2 decades of trying to stay unique, to 'not' give in to trends, I finally succumbed... and to think that it was a blog that did me in.... what is this world coming to... (THE END)

My 2nd attempt...
"Leaps to Lips"
First of all, I'm not known in my current circle as Lips. To understand how I arrive at Lips ... you need to know how I got to Leaps in the first place (YAWN.... are you sleepy yet ....)

My 2nd attempt...
"Leaps of Faith"
(Now how do I start?)

Why do I feel like I have to justify having a blog or explain my name or the description I chose for my blog etc etc? If this a normal experience for everyone or is it just me?

You see this blog thing ... first came around as one of my close buddy Grace started hers (Check it out at Then my boyfriend starting his & he's so MEGA-LY excited about it and keeps TALKING about it to everyone that I suddenly realised most of the people I know have blogs ... (talk bout being blur!)

I was talking to one our writer friend Joanne ( bout how Eric would do on his blog as he has a hard time communicating effectively via talking ... due to the fact that he has so much to say and he says everything and he changes subject like the wind when he wants to (you get my point)...
Joanne said maybe he'll do better as a writer as he has to put more thought into writing ...
She said she had the same experience (except bout the talking too much part )...
And she is right...

I just hope the opposite is not true.... cos I'm babbling (can you tell? :p)

Anyway, my point was... I have no good reason to start a blog! I just felt like it...inspired by my boyfriend... and not wanting to be left out :)