Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Types of Singapore Rain

They say Eskimos have 50 words for snow. Perhaps we in Sg, who see a lot of rain in a year, should have a large vocab for rain. And since it is SG50, we might build on it and have 50 words for our national wetness experience (NWP).
Light misty rain - Powder Rain
Big drop rain - Birdshit Rain
Really big drop rain - Kenna-wallop Rain
Long sleet rain - Chopstick Rain
Got sun also rain - Kenna-sai Rain
Just-washed-car rain - *&%$# Rain
No-more--dry-clothes-to-wear rain - Sibeh-sian Rain
Got thunder no rain - Opposition Party Rain
Got sound got water rain - PAP Rain
Got downpour got flood rain - PAP-panic Rain
Got downpour no umbrella rain - Kenna-stuck Rain
Heavy downpour got pail rain - Kampung Rain
Heavy downpour got soap rain - Kiasu-bathday Rain
Sudden downpour and stop rain - Vending Machine Rain
Street wet but no downpour rain - Buat-gu-you (Butter Bread) Rain
Street half-dry-half wet rain - Sure-get-headache Rain
Can't-see-neighbor-house rain - Monsoon Rain
Can-see-neighbor-a-bit rain - Bath-curtain Rain
Can-see-neighbor-waving rain - You-forgot-to-bring-in-your-clothes Rain
Orchard Road flooding rain - LV-freebie Rain
Bird-flying-in-the-rain rain - Sibeh-sudden Rain
Children-playing-in-the-rain rain - Happy-like-bird Rain
Many thunder-small rain rain - OMG Rain
Car alarm go-off rain - Wah-piang-I-don't-want-to-die Rain
Like pour water rain - Pour Water Rain
Big-small-big-small rain - 4-D Rain
Rain-on-your-funeral rain - You-die-too-early Rain
Rain-at-your-doorstep rain - Sibeh-suay Rain
Rain outside MRT rain - Shud-have-brought-umbrella Rain
Whole Sg sky dark-piffle rain - Long-life Rain
Piffle rain with wind rain - Feel-shiok Rain
Piffle rain with strong wind rain - Shampoo Girl Rain
Wild wind-wild rain rain - Tree-fall-down Rain
Howling rain - Woo-woo Rain
Window slamming rain - Bang-bang Rain
Dog-scared rain - Got-ghost-meh Rain
Got rainbow rain - Rainbow Rain (better than Kenna-sai Rain)
Whistling rain - Time-to-dig-your-ear Rain
Sticky rain - Time-to-bathe Rain
White rain - Code-10 aka Brylcreem Rain
300-dot per inch rain - Inkjet Rain
600-dot per inch rain - Laserjet Rain
1200-dot per inch rain - Bio-Hazard Cleansing Rain
3200-dot per inch rain - Scuba Gear Rain
NDP rain - LKY Challenge Rain
Share umbrella rain - Precious Moment Rain
Raindrops-keep-falling-on-your-head rain - Musical Rain
Swirling, dancing rain - Chinese 7-month Rain
In labour-screaming in pain rain - Cantonese 60s-drama Rain
Cool weather rain - Time-to-koonz Rain
Note: Other notable rains familiar to National Service boys:
Morning sun-afternoon rain rain - Brunei Rain (also known as World-is-changing Rain to locals)
A few days of Brunei Rain - No Underwear Rain
Piffle rain - Shiok Refreshing Rain
Sudden downpour - WTF Everything-all-wet Rain
Night thunderstorm rain - No Morning 5BX Rain (aka Chance-to-sleep-in Rain) 
Got thunder no rain rain - Cat-1- or Cat-2-huh? Rain
Got thunder got rain - Back-to-Training Shed Rain
Downpour rain - Training Cancelled Rain
Middleweight rain - Time-to-scrub-armour-tank Rain
Lightweight rain - You-are-all-bloody-guniang Rain

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Chee Mah Hoy - an Ali Baba & 40 Thieves retelling...

A retelling of the famous tale quickly inspired by this pix of belacan shrimp paste. ;-)

Chee Mah Hoy! - an Ali Baba tale
- by TC Lai, 20 May 2015

Ali Baba was a lad who had a thing for curly toed shoes. He was also fond of dark eyeliners the kind wore by Jack Sparrow, a famous pirate. Of these customs, Ali Baba's father was most upset. "Why is my son so fae that he dresses and makes up like a girl," he would lament. Being a traditionalist, he couldn't understand the trendy habits of the young nor their need for identity. In the old days, kids just yearned to own their own camel; these days, they want to win Arabian Idol and be popular with the girls, just like that crosstown boy whose name Beiber (Berber) denoted a noble mixed-race of Arabian nomads, not a sun-scared skinny white dude with the perpetual droopy hair-do and love-lorn look.

One day, Ali Baba went to his favourite man-cave to practise his vocals. The cave had a hole at one end allowing echos to naturally fade. This suited Ali Baba very well as he loved to sing songs of a vibrating and emotive timbre, not unlike a guy named Elvis whose influence traveled farther than his own passport ever did. In this manner his sandals never caught the sands of Arabia, only the petshit on the lawns of Graceland.

Suddenly, during a lengthy pause between notes, Ali Baba heard some noises emanating from an adjoining cave. At first he thought it was a pair of wayward lovers engaging in some pre-nup bedroom rehearsals, but it turned out to be forty guys having a post-mission pow-wow. They had jugs of wine and plates of meat. "No-see-sky pork!" "Wu jia pi jiu!" Ali Baba had no idea what those blokes were saying. 

No see sky pork???

Maybe they had been keeping pigs in the cave (a Muslim, afer all, was forbidden to eat such meats, not to mention the drinking of liquor). In Arabian, wujiapijiu sounded like a fierce swear word, and so Ali Baba decided that these guys weren't exactly school teachers on a retreat.

Creeping closer, he counted 40 brigands standing in front of 40 jars. What those jars were for he didn't have a clue, only that some of these brigands were either standing in them or without.

"Tonight we celebrate," the chief brigand said. "We have managed to ship 40 jars of The Stuff to Singapore, with no one the wiser!" 

'The Stuff' as it turned out was "belacan shrimp" - a potent spice swooned over by ladies in sarong kebayas in Singapore and Malacca, and some say Penang.

But in actual fact, no BS was ever transacted. It's all a ruse to launder money, and to fence off robbed goods. It's one reason why the sarong keabaya-clad ladies in Singapore and Malacca (and some say Penang) were often so well decked in pearls, silver and gold all the time.

Now, as the night wore deep, punctuated by the hoots of three insomniac owls, the 40 brigands slowly drank themselves to stupor and unconsciousness. If an earthquake and tsunami were to happen, they would surely drown.

Ali Baba surveyed the scene before him and caught sight of the gold and silver (and pearl) valuables and decided they were better off on him than whomever they were destined for. Also, such accoutrements would be a plus on his Arabian Idol run-up. No one will suspect they are real given the flourish of costume jewellery on very episode of AI.  He'll just tell any inquisitive sod that it's all costume jewelery anyways! The rest of the treasures he'd use to produce his very own album and on the hiring of ghost songwriters. That will pay better in the long run!

As he was dreaming away, out of the shadows stepped Morgiana, Ali Baba's maid. "My, my, that's some treasure," she said, not without greed. In her mind, she's already envisioning a life free of domestic duties, perhaps setting up a chain of food joints selling authentic Cantonese soups: a skill she had picked up from working as an "oy yung" or FDH in HK for over 10 years.

Of course, she also picked up skills squirreling away employer valuables and how charcoal could be useful outside of cooking. And of course, the ancient Chinese art of pickling.

"Let's dump them in the jars and seal them up," she said, not without glee this time, the gleam in her eyes deadly with intent.

Ali Baba, accustomed to deferring to his maid almost daily, duly obliged.

When all the jars were sealed, Morgiana made sure the cave was airtight and heaped a pile of charcoal ready to burn. That would doubly ensure that the 40 brigands would suffocate and die.

At last, when the fire was roaring, she stood at the cave entrance and uttered "Close Sesame!" Miraculously, a boulder rolled into place leaving the cave behind shut tight. A huge (and probably indentured) Arabian Ghost Crab scuttered away, knowing its days of rock rolling finally over. Morgiana and Ali Baba could only stand in awe at its size. That will make many bowls of crab porridge, thought the soon-to-be 'former' foreign domestic helper.

With the riches moved to Ali Baba's man-cave, Morgiana and Ali Baba set about plotting their futures. One - an entertainer with his voice; the other - an entertainer with her soup spoon. As last heard, Morgiana is still calling the shots on Ali's career. And as an inside joke, she made Ali call his first album "Chee-Mah-Hoy!" to the annoyance of an AI guy named Simon.

The end.

Note: Chee Mah Hoy is Cantonese for "Open Sesame!"; oy yung is Cantonese for "outisde help", i.e. foreign domestic helper (FDH); wujiapijiu is a Chinese table wine.


I said this empty steamboat pot reminded me of River Valley swimming pool during its end days. Someone asked me to satirize it and this is the result.

Madam White Snake series....

Some comics done recently to tease some folks at a food blog.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

No-See-Sky Charsiew

Gorgeous charsiew, isn't it? Made from bujiantian (不见天 ,
 'see no sky' meat, i.e. armpit of a pig where there's
a layer of glassy fat over the lean meat.)