Another day of food and beauty treatments (8th July 2009)

Got up this morning to have breakfast with Dad at the former bus station off Jalan Omar. Once a busy bus station, today this place is filled with rows of little shops, mostly selling hawker food, and is rather quiet and bare during the day. Oh, but when night falls, this place is packed with youngsters and families out having a late night supper – bustling with people and at times you have to stand around waiting for a free table!

Dad brought me to the kopitiam (the Hokkien term for breakfast and coffee shop in Southeast Asia) which he and Mum frequents where I had two soft-boiled eggs (the way kopitiams serve soft-boiled eggs is by cracking them into a saucer/bowl to which soy sauce and/or pepper is added), nasi lemak (Malaysia’s national dish of coconut rice, hot spicy sauce aka sambal, cucumber slices, small dried anchovies or ikan bilis, roasted peanuts and hard boiled egg, served wrapped up in banana leaves) and coffee. “Oh my god, how do you eat this Dad??!” I wailed, after taking a spoonful of the nasi lemak that was literally coconut rice and a gigantic dollop of sambal – it was SO spicy! My spice tolerance obviously has gotten weaker over the years living in NZ. “Not spicy at all!” said Dad, who helped himself to the sambal I scooped aside from my breakfast. Grr…

The whole reason why Dad dragged me out of bed for breakfast here this morning was so he could show me this man he and Mum agreed looked a lot like my younger brother. According to my parents, the Andin-lookalike also frequents this kopitiam and Dad reckons we would get to see him this morning – Dad was on the lookout for the said man and true enough, he turned up for breakfast just a few tables away. And I have to agree with my folks that he does look a lot like my brother, at a glance, that is. Andin will have to come here when he’s in town to check out his ‘twin’!

Strange as it may sound, I feel more and more like a tourist being back this time. Things I once knew of and that were familiar to me now feels foreign or a distant memory. How odd…Well, I won’t be driving in Batu Pahat, that’s for sure. It’s SO stressful sitting at the front passenger seat and watching my parents swerve through narrow lanes that are shared with other drivers, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians! How do the locals cope with their already stressful lives AND still put up with stress on the road? I’m not sure I can cope!

Went out shopping for clothes with Mum and did takeaway fish ball noodles from my favourite stall off Jalan Sultanah (opposite the old Cheng Siu Primary School) for lunch. This stall has been around for as long as I can remember, a place Mum and I would come by to buy lunch at least once a week during my university days, and we still do so every time I come back for the holidays :)

Got dropped off back at Fo & Fo Beauty Fitness Centre around 2pm for another hot chamber session. Managed to quickly snap a few photos while the attendant was away to show you what I was talking about yesterday:

Mum taking a photo of me sitting inside the hot chamber
The hot chamber is shaped like a large urn

Photo taken on my mobile phone of the hot chamber that
had a small opening/door for me to climb into

Another photo taken on my mobile of the stool with a towel draped on
where I sat for the past 30 minutes

After my hot chamber session today, I went upstairs for my facial appointment. I wasn't keen to have the facial done at the centre but the lady owner is a friend of Mum's and agreed it would be a one-off treatment which didn't require me coming back for more session or buy products so I agreed to it. Cost me RM210 and took about 3 hours long for the treatment which included opening up the pores to remove blackheads, face scrub and mask, shoulder and neck massage as well as having my face under some light. Frankly, it was not worth the time or money. For starters, the place was packed and reminded me of the hospital ward, only that the beds were placed quite close to each other, divided by curtains. There was a sales/marketing tape playing at the background and to make it worse, the other ladies beside me were answering their mobile phones, talking so loudly without care for the other customers. Definitely NOT the relaxing facial I had in mind. And to top it all off, I was told I had to purchase their antibacterial liquid (this is included in the RM210 payment) and apply it for the next 2 weeks as my face is now 'clean but exposed'. I'm sure you can tell I was not a happy chap knowing this, especially when it was agreed yesterday that this would be a one-off facial and that was it but now? I'm not impressed at all with the experience I had at the centre. Not sure I would consider going back there again for another facial.

Dinner tonight was at Hai Kee (Seaside) Hawker Centre, along Jalan Shahbandar by the river, and Andin arrived just in time to join us for outdoor steamboat dinner. The hawker centre is said to be the oldest and most frequented foodie place in Batu Pahat and has about 30 stalls selling different kinds of food including BBQ chicken wings, grilled fish or ikan bakar, sweet desserts and fruit juices, chicken rice, wonton noodles etc. Not sure if it was the rain or some religious day today but most stalls weren't opened so we only had steamboat and oh chien (Hokkien for fried oyster omelette). Photos taken at the hawker centre on my mobile:

View of stalls at the hawker centre from our table
Photo of Andin looking at the remains of our dinner
Thankfully it was quite cooling tonight or we would have been sweating while enjoying our steamboat! Oh, for those of you who haven't tried steamboat, it's pretty much a hot pot with broth that is kept simmering where ingredients such as an assortment of seafood, fish balls, mushrooms, leafy vegetables, thinly sliced meats, eggs, noodles etc. are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. We would often start with the meats as it would give the broth more taste and flavour as we continued cooking our food. Filling up the hot pot, the lid is closed to cook the food in the broth and once ready, we would scoop them out using our own ladles into bowls with or without the broth and usually have the cooked items with a hot sauce. And this ritual continues on until everyone has had enough. It's a great meal to have during cold winter days!


Popular Posts