Question: What type of bread does not go mouldy?
Answer: The 70’s pop group Bread of course!
Yes, yes, I know it’s a pretty lame joke. But then this time the joke is from my kids, the very ones who groan every time I tell a Lame Joke.
Are you surprised that teenagers in 2006 listen to Bread? Well, it’s a tradition for us. Every time we drive up to Malaysia we must listen to my Bread Essentials CD in the car. So it was no different this past week when we made another trip to Ipoh. Some of you know that I make a trip to Ipoh every December with my family to visit my in-laws. This time, it was unplanned as we wanted to see my mother-in-law who had a fall recently. Thank God it was not serious.
Nevertheless, it was a good break for all of us.
One afternoon, while my girls went shopping, I went fishing with my son to this pond near Tanjung Rambutan, about 10 km from Ipoh. It was one of those ‘special’ ponds with salt-water fish; and at RM20 per hour per rod, it was quite exorbitant by Malaysian standards.
We could see that most of the other anglers were seasoned regulars with expensive gear and reeled in their huge catches (sorry don’t know the name) which put up fierce fights, with practised ease. Most of them were Malays. On our part, we managed to hook 8 kois. Yes; kois - apparently, the owner had discarded them into the pond some time ago.
On seeing our miserable performance, one of our neighbours came over and asked if we came from Ipoh and how much we paid. He sounded surprised to learn that we paid the normal amount of RM60 for 3 hours (plus another RM4 which I presume was some kind of “GST” – Goods & Services Tax). Apparently he was thinking, “These rich city folks are really suckers, paying so much just to catch kois”. What he didn’t know was this:
1. As ‘amateurs’ we were thrilled to be able to catch 8 huge (by our standards) kois. If only we could bring them back to Singapore. In fact, if one of the big fishes were to bite, we neither have the skill nor the equipment to reel it in.
2. We were from Singapore, not Ipoh. The S$28 we spent for an afternoon of quality time and father-son bonding was well worth it, not to mention the many nice photos that I took for this blog. I share them with you here.
(1) This is a shot of the entrance to the pond
(2) No doubt, my blogofriend Francis Ho of Kuching Kayaking will like this picture of the clouds. See? Not only Sarawak has nice clouds and mountains OK.
(3) Do you know what this chap is doing?
(4) He is perched on a raft and pulling himself on a rope to the cages located at the centre of the pond to release more fishes. Too bad it didn’t make any difference for us. See the funny shaped limestone mountains in the background? (Can’t wait to see what ‘sexy’ ideas my friend Victor is going to come up with)
(5) On the way to Tanjung Rambutan, we saw this Chinese temple located at the mouth of a cave on the side of a limestone hill. Does it remind you of a scene from a Chinese kungfu movie?
One other thing to share with you guys before I sign off. When friends learn that I drove a Toyota Wish, they often ask me about the mileage. They have heard that this car was very energy-efficient. Being rather ignorant and uninterested in such things, I have never been able to give an answer. So this trip, I decided to check.
On my trip back from Ipoh to Singapore, I topped up the petrol tank at the outskirts of Ipoh. When I reached the Gelang Patah rest point near the Malaysian Immigration Check Point, we had traveled 534 km and used up slightly more than ¾ tank. The mileage meter read: 15.5 km/litre.
The Toyota Wish is truly an amazing car. When I bought it about 3 years ago from a parallel importer, there were very few such cars on the road. I was quite concerned about the difficulty of getting spare parts. But today, I see so many Toyota Wishes on the roads of Singapore, even though there are hardly any reviews or advertisements in the papers.
Footnote: For foreign friends reading this blog; Ipoh is the capital city of Perak, one of the northern states of Peninsular Malaysia. It is linked to the western end of Singapore by what is called the North-South Highway; or PLUS in Malay, Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan. Traveling time for the approx 600 km journey is 7- 8 hours including rest breaks, and depending on traffic and immigration/customs clearance etc.
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