Saturday, October 16, 2010

161010 Changkat Jering to Penang

Saturday 16 October 2010

It's been a while since I went back to Penang, having spent the Raya celebrations in Bangi. So when we heard that the Penang State Govt was having another ride, we signed up without any thought.

We left early & left the hustle & bustle of city life behind. Throughout the PLUS highway, our thoughts were just about the ride. Ashaari was excited & so was Arief. I believe even Hanafi had sleepless nights. Three stooges, without the knowledge & skill of what's in store for them. Are they gonna enjoy it or suffer? Only they can judge & gauge their own feelings.

After about 100km, the bike wobbled on the roof. Stopped & swapped the C50 to a normal low profile ones & the shaking stopped. I'm a virgin when it comes to this. Never used THULE roof rack before lah, what do you expect? Huh! Remembering that it was a Saturday, I kept telling myself to exit at Cangkat Jering. Changkat Jering is a small town in Perak, Malaysia. It is near the larger town of Taiping.

Map - Changkat Jering, Perak

Google route

It connects Taiping to the North-South Expressway via the southern exit, located near the junction of Federal Route 1, the old trunk road, with Jalan Air Kuning. Changkat Jering is famed for its big weekly evening market on Saturdays. Cangkat Jering brought back fond memories of my father. He was born in Kampung Panchor, Pantai Remis, Perak which is 30km or half an hour drive from Cangkat Jering.

Gado-gado / Pechal

Every possible time, he'd would stop at this small junction town after passing Kamunting, Taiping & the family would have kampung style "Laksa Buyong" cooked in a earth pot. You'd also find Dangai, Cok Peneram & 101 variety of kampung fare. Af far as I could remember, these simple folks would sell their wares particularly on Staurday, here only.


Chok/Cucur Peneram

"Lokan" was my favourite clam but since it isn't their season, none can be found. Instead, we took home one hellova big salted Ikan Parang & ten packets of Ikan Pekasam (Pickled fish with grated rice).

Salted river fish & Pekasam

We arrived @ my mom's pod around lunch & she cooked the best fish curry in the world! Got up after Asar prayers & went over to Padang Kota Lama (Fort Cornwallis) to meet up with my old friend the Tauke Mee Sotong. Caught up with Pak Piee of the famous Boria troupe as he was acting for a drama on a trishaw. Ariefr can't resist a pix with the legend.

Boria troupe. Pak Piee & Arief

After the nose watery threat, we headed towards Feringghi where Hanafi, Bedul & the rest of the gang looped a soft ride around Teluk Bahang.

That nite, we gobbled a hefty plate of carbohydrate fatty Nasi Kandar @ our regular Deen's Nasik Kandar Restaurant in Jelutong & with an unsteady daze, groggily drove 10 minutes back to the awaiting pillow.

Jering - = Archidendron Jiringa.

Changkit Jering - A hill full of Jering trees
Changkat = Low Hill/slightly elevated platform of earth, Jering/Jengkol. Dont eat too much of jering, you might get "Kapit" / difficulty when peeing! The beans are mildly toxic due to the presence of djenkolic acid, an amino acid, which causes djenkolism (Jering/Jengkol bean poisoning). It can cause "spasmodic pain, gout, urinary obstruction and acute renal failure". Even though it has a bitter taste and foul smell, the large brown legumes can be eaten raw, are very popular and cooked with coconut milk & chili (Masak lemak). It's best boiled till soft and eaten with sprinkled sugar & grated coconut.

Growing to about 21 metres, the Jering (Archidendron Jiringa), as it is known locally, has smooth, pale grey bark, originated in Southeast Asia, it grows wild and also cultivated in Southeast Asia. The most striking feature of this tree is the massive purplish-brown pods that suspend coiled from its branches. The pods, that measure 20 to 25 cm long and 5 cm wide, are used to extract purple dyes to colour silk.
As part of traditional medicinal usage, the Jering seeds are extolled for preventive diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure. And as a remedy to eliminate stones from the bladder, a decoction of finely pounded ginger, Jering seeds and water, is consumed.

The leaves can be pounded and applied in chest pains, pains, skin ailments. Ashes obtained by burning the old leaves can also be applied on itch, cuts & wounds. Its bark powder are sometimes applied on to one's body for treating chest pains, skin ailments, made into a gargle for treating gum pains & toothache.

*Warning! Never go into a lavatory knowing a person who has consumed Jering.

Boria is a traditional song and dance sketch or dance drama, found mainly in Penang, believed to have originated from Persia & India. Boria made its appearance in Penang in the later decades of the nineteenth century It is described as a traditional quatrain song form or pantun which is performed in a fusion of traditional & western music style and with dance forms such as quick-step, rhumba or soul juxtaposed with inang, zapin & other classic dance steps.
Although it was probably brought in by Indian Muslim traders of long ago, it has today come to be identified mainly with the Penang Malay community.
Boria incorporates the elements of dance, music and comic sketches. The troupe has a leader, a chorus, comedians and musicians.

A Boria performance begins with a comic sketch, followed by a song and dance featuring a juxtaposition of choral and solo parts. The lyrics amplify the gist of the comic sketch. The violin, maracas and tabla are used to accompany the singing, although the western pop band may also be used.

"Hangpa ni semua borialah..." Translation "You guys are so "Boria"". Meaning - To wear something similar / same costume / same outfit.

Lokan - Polymesoda expansa / Marsh/Mud/Swamp Clam
(Is a kind of clam/mollusks mainly found within the mangrove forest). This large, heavy bivalve formerly known as Geloina expansa is found buried in the stiff mud of the landward fringe of mangroves. Shell length is mostly around 9 cm in diametres almost as huge as your fist, with thicker and heavier shells. In the thick black mud of the mangroves, its well-adapted to this habitat, being able to tolerate long periods of low tide, and has the ability to resume filter-feeding rapidly when inundated.
As an important adjunct source of protein. this mollusks presents a healthy relief from the normal meal monotony in coastal villages. .
It's really a bivalve mollusk, tasting (to me) like a sweet, delicious oyster.
Best cooked with lemongrass as a soup or fried with chilies. My late grandma's & uncle recipe. Locals claim that this mollusk improves general health as well as enhancing s**ual performance!

Don't confuse yourself with Kristanna Loken's clams

Behind my granny's house in Kampung Panchor lay a huge mangrove area. During Lokan season, we would scour the swamp at low-tide & get a gunny sacks full!
Lokan is huge compared to the tiny "Remis"/a dime sized clam, me & my cousins loves getting soaked in the black mud ala Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie "Predator" "& catch the cute Silver Leaf monkey's babies ("Lotong" not Lontong ok?).

Recipe - Lokan fried in chili

Enuff for me & my clone.

1 kilo of lokan
12 red chili
10 red onions
1 bolb of garlic
2 slices of tamarind
2 sticks of lemon grass
1 teaspoon of sugar or none at all
A pinch of salt
1 piece of Curcuma Longa leaf (Daun kunyit)
1 bowl of water

How to go about cookin it:
Soak briefly & clean the clams thoroughly in cold water. Remove the excess membrane/loose skin around the Lokan & discard the shell (Unless u wanna break your teeth). Pound all the condiments into a paste & fry it on a slow fire in a wok. Make it to a boil & as the gravy thickens, throw in the lokans & make sure it's properly cooked. Serve to the glutton! Best eaten with soft rice & soy sauce. That's it baby!

Achtung! Never over-cook Lokan, it’ll be too tough & taste like rubber!

*Indemnity clause - The author shall not be made responsible for your health, that could result in death or permanent disabilities for the consumption of the concoction, remedies, potions & recipes detailed in this blog.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

131010 THULE, BBB to Kpg Sg Kembong, Ulu Bangi

A wonderful friend gave me a used THULE car rack as I was looking for a bargain.

It came with ProRide, OutRide, FreeRide bike clamps, cobwebs minus the spiders & over a dozen wasp mud/Mud Dauber's nests lodged within the bars tubes! (Which scared the wits out of the THULE technicians)

At this current economic clamite, I can't affort spending 3K for these. For the new clamps, kit, lock & keys set me back at a total amount of RM880. Less than 1/3 of the actual costs! Without the aero bars of course. Aero no aero, I had saved a huge chunk of money.

We later took a short ride from BBB to Kpg. Sg. Kembong as Ashaari was bugging me for the pre-Penang ride. Arief was even more excited as this weekend will be his maiden ride outstation. I was extremely windy but what really bothered me was the smell of rotting rubbish that came along with it. We stopped for a pix under the LEKAS highway & headed back home. Nevertheless it was fun going through the back roads & kampong houses.

Ashaari - the so ever eager cyclist.

Arief & Ashaari

my twin, Arief, Ashaari & me

Warm sunset looms under the train tracks

BBB - Kpg Sg Kembong, Ulu Bangi

Google route

Mud Dauber or locally known as "Penyengat" - derived from the word "Sengat" = Sting, not to be confused with the lead singer from the 80's band, The Police.

Mud dauber (sometimes called "dirt dauber," "dirt digger," "dirt dobber," "dirt diver", or "mud wasp") is a name commonly applied to a number of wasps from either the family Sphecidae or Crabronidae that build their nests from mud.
Black-and-yellow mud-dauber build a simple, one-cell, urn-shaped nest that is attached to crevices, cracks, corners & sometimes THULE's bar tubes. Each nest contains one egg. Usually, they clump several nests together and plaster more mud over them.

Monday, October 11, 2010

101010 BBB to Perez

We left Bandar Baru Bangi slightly after 7am & 7km down the road, the cellphone gave out an ear piercing noise - disrupting the frantic rhythm. Slowed down the cadence & heard Rizal howling that he shall rendezvous with the riders in Sg Tekala.
Half way up the Semenyih Dam, I noticed that he was rather slow than his usual self - citing that he had to do some "Servicing" before the ride. Need no explaining on that. I get excited & smirk with delight just thinking about the torture my friend is gonna endure. He doesn't know what he's gettin into.

Wak Jali & Baby tagged along but veered-off at the junction of Jalan Sg. Lalang/Semenyih Town. Auspicious day it is 101010. Too many wedding ceremonies to attend. Some couples happily rubbing one another belly buttons, we get all sweaty lining up for the oily-rice (Nasik Minyak). I'll leave them with their physical activity.

Many months later the stork will arrive with a bundle of joy.
Nephew No. 1 came into this world. A whooping baby boy.

Addean Hazriq Azril

Welcome Ashaari to the clan. This tennis player was so excited to ride with the clan & arrived so early that particular mornin. 1km to Sg. Tekala he smiled & said "I'm poofed, when are we gonna stop..."

We regrouped in Tekala where we caught a glimpse of a gal on a bike. But her riding style was particularly unique & attire so familiar. Who would ride on a big chain ring? Wendy would. She's training for the Ironman. They started off from Bt. 18 Ulu Langat & re looped the Tekala stretch & back. What a gusty couple. Admiral Alauddin tagged along on his trusty Toyota Corolla. perched on the roof was a simple touring bike. It's been a while since I met this two lovebirds. Wonder when I'll be able to join this simple folks for a road tour...

Admiral 60++ & Wendy 50++

It was no big deal riding up Semenyih Dam coz we had done it one too many times. Reminded Ashaari not to push too hard as we had 3/4 of the ride left. Kept him in sight & gave him support that he's doin OK.

Two Rahmans, Unidentical clones.

At the foothill of Perez a dozen or so cyclist congregated & oogled at one others bikes. Cyclist are normally a friendly bunch & this group acknowledge us upon arrival. One bloke even howled up my blogs nickname! There were some great old school bikes & some mean looking ones too.

With eyes almost popping out, some gasped when when they took noticed of a newbie who was part of the clan that rode all the way from Bandar Baru Bangi to Perez. As the chief of the clan, I invited them to scale the Perez peak but they gracefully obliged us to proceed first. 2 km up, I had to leave Ashaari behind & left him in the hands of Rahman UB.

Rahman EM looks stronger this time, fully prepared for the assault & made it with flying colours. Zaza partnered by Rahman Ujang Brava reached the peak with ease, smiling from ear to ear as one unknown rider grimaces & veered uncontrollably - legs quivering like jelly.

After 10 minutes Ashaari was still nowhere to be seen. my thoughts were thinking of a worst case scenario. Will he be eaten by the monkeys or gobbled up by the hills? I dropped down a kilo, waited up & a rider who was almost out of breath said that Ashaari is just right behind him. How many donkey years ago he isn't sure.
I looped down a second time & all of a sudden my cellphone vibrated. At this very moment, right at the second last corner of the peak, Ashaari stopped on his tracks. He lamented that he wasn't sure if he could make it as the end seems so vague & drank the whole two water bottles. 300 meters was all that's left for him to climb.
Made him tag me for a few meters & he struggled slightly but made it despite the torture. Alas! Hail to the new conqueror of Perez.

Sweat dripping thru his tongue like a thirsty puppy.

Like a drunken driver he veered from left to ride but he triumph!

me, Ashaari, Zaza, Rahman UB, Rizal, Rahman EM & my clone

The new champion!

Stop monkeying around cousins.

Undulating terrain didn't stop Asaari & Zaza. We regrouped in Sg. Tekala & wallop everything available. We had Sprayed Chicken/"Ayam Perchik" (Barbecued Chicken with thick coconut milk & gravy), rice with deep fried squid in chili & a pails of water.

I smiled watching these kids playing & havin fun. Oh how I missed those years but cycling has made me feel younger & returned my youthful spirit.

Jalan Reko - Semenyih - Tekala - Perez (Genting Peras)

Google route