Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fish Tales and Other Stuff

Has anyone noticed that the prices of essential goods are shooting skywards?

I’m not complaining that I can’t fill up my tummy with ten cents’ worth of noodles like Mama used to grouch but nowadays even 50 ringgit is hardly sufficient to fill a tiny basket. Just several years ago, the same amount could fetch enough vegetables to fill a bathtub.

Pic from Google Images
Take the papaya I bought this morning. I could swallow it whole—skin, seeds and all—if   I opened my mouth big enough. The fish we call ikan pisang-pisang was 15 ringgit a kilo… no, it’s really fishy-looking and hardly resembles a pisang at all. While I was waiting for the lady fishmonger to gut my little ikan I spotted this huge monster of a fish. I asked the lady if she had buyers for such a giant.

 “Oh yes,” she said, “people do buy fish this size and that’s my last one.” When I asked what the fish was called, she mumbled something I couldn’t catch. I didn’t want her to repeat herself three times and give the impression that I was deaf so I nodded and pretended to have heard her.

I always like to know the name of stuff I put into my mouth (don’t you?)… even though it is said the things we put into our mouths are clean and it is the stuff going out that is dirty. But these days with pesticides and fertilizers and things that cause botulism you’d never know for sure.

Pic courtesy of Andrew Twinning
I had enough money to buy two fish. I like the ikan pisang-pisang because it’s delicious if fried and splattered with kicap when it’s still smoking hot from the kuali. It’s also good in curry and santan. But I like it best cooked with pounded onions, chili, kunyit and all that stuff and a daun kunyit and a bit of tamarind juice. Sedap and super simple!

I forgot the name of the other fish. This is good for steaming and I bought just the right size. Too small and Mr. Hubby would complain that he can’t even get a decent mouthful and has to chew his tongue instead. Too big and I know I’ve to finish the left-over as I’m the family’s scavenger. I’m not too worried about that now because I’ve an assistant. Remember the stray cat who has come to stay? Ha!

Everyone is fussy about vegetables so pleasing each one is impossible. Anyway, I try to feed the family healthy so today I bought watercress, iceberg lettuce and sawi. I seldom buy eggplants and bitter gourds nowadays because Mr. Hubby says they make his joints act up. I secretly think that his joints would be okay if he does more than hit the remote control buttons—like mop the floor, scrub the pans or mow the backyard? But I can see that he’s in some kind of pain for quite a while now. Last night I had to drive him to the hospital and the so-called doc just gave him paracetamol. We’d have enough Panadol to stock a small pharmacy if we had kept all the ‘expired’ tablets we got from the hospital.

Pic courtesy of Andrew Twinning
Anyway, we went to a private clinic immediately after getting the medicine! This time we got some antibiotic. I do wish Mr. Hubby would get well soon so he could get out of the house and lepak with his friends. Then I won’t have to trip over him every time I turn. Let me re-phrase that… so he won’t see how much time I spend playing stupid online games. I’m typing this—I’ve a personal target of 250 words per day—because the line is down and I can’t play.

In case you’re wondering, it’s not an addiction. I’m just procrastinating. Tomorrow I’ll start that great book everyone wants to read. Honest.


  1. Hehe... Ada word limit lagi ba kan..I wish I could be as consistent as you...I'm always mood-driven ;P Anyway, I hope you get to write that book you're talking about. Any snippets to share? :)

  2. Lizee, I gave a ceramah to my peers encouraging them to write. I suggested 250 words per day because that would mean they'd be able to write an 80,000-word book in one year with one month 'off'! Can you imagine how 'malu' I should feel if I can't walk the talk? Haha.. that's partly why I started this blog.

    You've lots of stuff to do. I sit around all day! But you'll make a fine writer! I love your voice. Keep writing!

  3. nowadays kinda a little bit slow in blog updating...ada angin2 bah ni...hahahaha....send my regards to uncle..hope he'll get well soon. =)

  4. Sama lah Angel. Sometimes we have a lot to say and other days nothing at all. Thanks, I also harap he gets well enough to go jalan-jalan and see his kuda!

  5. If it is up to Mr. Hubby to choose the menu, you are going to starve and miss the enjoyment of masakan kampung. Tina, I can tell that you have the talent of writing. Creative and humorous. You go girl!

  6. Hi Julia! Thanks for the compliment! Humour is good for the body and soul.
    Over at my house it's masakan kampung saja. I guess you can't have that very often at your place.