Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Subtle message

Visiting my in-laws in the northern Kota Marudu district recently, I did a double-take after coming across six white sacks with a very familiar looking logo on them.
It turned out that the sacks contained fertiliser distributed to farmers by federal government. (As in what appears to be still a precarious Barisan Nasional-led government.)
But I think Sabahans are no longer contented with hand outs. I reckon it's about time Sabah leaders become more assertive. More here.
For too long, the Borneo parts of the Malaysian federation have been taken for granted (some may even say taken for a ride.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Off to the market

The tamu or traditional market is a weekly institution in many Sabah districts. Despite the advent of supermarkets and the like, the tamu still gets a good following whether it is in Kota Belud, Donggongon, Pekan nablu, Sipitang or Tamparuli.

I was at the Kota Belud recently and came home with these impressions.

Locally grown and cured tobacco known as siggup has been at the tamu for generations. The Kadazandusuns, Bajaus and other ethnic communities have been rolling the tobacco in dried leaf called kirai and smoking or simply chewing it.

Handicrafts such as these tudung duang food covers woven from dyed pandanus leaves are also for sale at the Kota Belud Tamu.

For the musically inclined, the tamu is the place to go to in search of gongs and mini gong sets known as kulingtangan.

The tamu has become an open air boutique with a seemingly endless variety of clothes and used shoes available. I was flabbergasted to see what appeared to be a winter jacket or two being sold at the Kota Belud tamu.

Green peppers, cabbages and leeks are just some of the highland vegetables trucked in from neighbouring Kundasang to be sold at the Kota Belud tamu.

As proof that his wild honey has not been adulturated with sugar syrup, this farmer brought the bees nest he had collected from a jungle in a bucket and with defet hands poured the honey into glass bottles as his potential customers watched, fascinated.

A must have treat at the Kota Belud tamu are these shallow fried pancakes called kuih pajaram. Made from rice and wheat flour as well as palm sugar, this concoction is best eaten warm accmpanied by a cup of black coffee.

Monday, May 5, 2008

When a sidewalk will do

I've always thought of the game of chess as a game either for cigar chomping gentlemen in their stuffy clubs or nerdy types sweating it out in a competition.
However this scene outside a coffee shop at the Sinsuran area in downtown Kota Kinabalu a few days ago corrected my perception about the game.
This is also a rare sight in this day and age when so called online electronic games such as DotA or Defence of the Ancients.