A whole day of shopping, Batu Pahat (6th July 2009)

Was up at 7.30am to accompany mum to the morning market in my suburb, Taman Batu Pahat. For mum, this was a routine task she did most mornings, shopping for veggies and meat for the night's dinner, and maybe even buy a few local pastries for breakfast or afternoon tea. For me, it was an opportunity to tag along with my camera to snap photos of what the locals in my town do in a typical morning (mum included) - yippee! Frankly speaking, I don't recall when I last tagged along with mum to the market. Perhaps never??

Most of the stall owners knew my mum since she's a regular at the market. Many asked who I was and when told I'm the daughter who lives abroad, the next question would always be 'oh, so she's married over to New Zealand, huh?'. I just rolled my eyes - it didn't make any sense to me how they could equate 'living abroad' as 'married abroad' but to them, a woman my age should be on my way to matrimony thus such conclusions. Sheesh...

The morning market is small and compared to the Sunday markets in Wellington, you would find some stalls here you would never see in Wellington - I've never seen chicken or pork sellers selling their meats from the back of their truck or car boot in the Wellington markets (in fact, I don't think you can buy ANY meats at the Wellington markets), nor stray cats and dogs lingering about waiting to be given raw meat scraps. A tad disgusting but such is life typical in Malaysia. Photos taken at the morning market: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157621261069619/detail/

Oh yeah, I also met 4th-chim po selling fishballs at one of the stalls - she's a relative of 3rd-yi po and have watched me grow up since I was a small kid as both her and 3rd-yi po have been living on the same stretch of houses nearby for as long as I can remember. She looks very much the same too - surprisingly haven't aged much!

After breakfast at home, mum and I went to Pacific Mall to check out the shops. Still quite empty i.e. lots of shop lots available for lease. Spent several hours there, going from shop to shop to see if there was any clothings or shoes I fancied to purchase and bring back to NZ. Gee, shopping sure is tiring on the legs, even more so when you can't find anything you like or want...Bumped into Geeta's mum and younger brother, Kishan, at Popular bookstore - my, my, Kishan has grown up and is so tall! I only have an image of the shy 12-year-old boy I once knew in my head, not the qualified chef and man I see today :) It was so nice to see them (fancy meeting them before my catch up with Geeta later this week!) and we chatted and laughed reminiscing those days when I would pop over to Geeta's place for lunch or Geeta sleeping over at mine. Ah, yes, those highschool times :) Bless Mrs Ramachandran - she was hoping I could convince Geeta to settle down soon. Er, I don't think I'm the best person for this job when I'm the single of our old foursome gang (the other two in the gang is Ley In, who's happily married with 2 sons, and Cindy's getting married this weekend)...

Dad came to join us for lunch and left us to continue with more shopping. I was getting rather exhausted about 4pm and decided to call it a day. Went to the ground floor for mum to complete some competition form for her purchases. Urgh, the bells rung by the girls nearby trying to sell ice-cream is SO deafening and utterly annoying! Thankfully we didn't have to stick around for long. Bought some Papa Roti (they are these huge hollow puffed-up buns that is soft to the bite) and 'bak kua' (Malaysian-style pork jerky) - yum, I loved these especially 'bak kua' which I can't find any in Wellington, not even during the Chinese New Year period. Bad for my figure but what the heck - I'M ON HOLIDAY! Will work it off when I get back to reality haha :P

It's really nice to be home and enjoy the simple daily routines with my folks like afternoon tea in the dining table with mum - we used to buy some snacks like pastries, buns, 'goreng pisang' (fried battered bananas) to have with tea or coffee around 3-4pm when I was still living at home AND we still do so when I'm back :) The rest of the evening was spent at home having another yummy home-cooked late dinner and watching Singapore soap opera on TV. Gosh, how much I miss Singapore soaps - sometimes the whole family would be glued to the TV for the hour when a good soap is on!


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