Another lazy Sunday is here. The weather is really hot and this is aggravated by the haze. I can feel a little headache coming but I always try not to take Panadol unless it is really necessary.
My wife, my son Les and I went to Emart to do some shopping. Emart is a roaring success in Miri with big crowds especially during weekends. It caters mainly to the huge residential estates in Permajaya, Tudan, Senadin and Pujut as well as to people from Brunei. Due to the resounding success of Emart in Miri, the owner is venturing into Kuching with the Kuching Emart slated to open soon.
Within the Emart complex, there are lots of stores selling all sorts of things ranging from magazines, handphones, VCDs, DVDs, gold and silver jewelry, clothes, shoes, bags, etc. This is a no-frills shopping centre caring to the budget-conscious consumers. But the rental here is not cheap…..to operate a small store in the complex one has to fork out RM2,000 to $3,500 per month for rental. With the high traffic flow, I guess the rental is maybe justified. And the centre boasts of the biggest electric fan in Borneo.
While my wife and Les were shopping inside Emart, I spent my time at the tamu-style stores next to the carpark there. This is always an interesting place to browse around as you never know what you may find here. A few weeks ago, I saw sago worms being sold by a native but unfortunately I did not bring my camera that day. It is a sight to behold watching the fat sago worms wriggling inside the plastic containers. A lot of my friends told me that the sago worms are really delicious but these worms are a definite “no no ” for me. Even if someone offers me a hundred bucks to try the worms, I will not accept the challenge.
Petai beans or seeds look like broad beans. Like mature broad beans, they may have to be peeled before cooking. There the resemblance ends. They are not bland. They have a distinctive strong taste, and are said to be best in curries. The beans also have an unusual odour and are sometimes called stink beans. Young tender pods with undeveloped beans can be used whole in stir fried dishes.
The wild durians are rather small, like a grapefruit. It is said that wild boars love wild durians. How these boars get the spiky durians open is a mystery to me. Perhaps The Discovery Channel or National Geographic should investigate this.
Talking about durians, it is said that the Malays consider durian an aphrodisiac. “When durians fall down, sarongs go up!” they say.
As we walked back to our car, I saw the plants behind my car in full bloom. The flowers were really beautiful and I took this closeup photo of one of the flowers. Ain’t it a beauty?
As we were trying to exit the car park, we were treated to a grand display of the driving manners of Miri drivers. No one would give way to us. Just imagine this…..you are at at some sort of a T-junction and you want to turn right to get out of the car park….to the left of the T-junction, the cars are moving at a crawl…..if the drivers in the cars on the right side of the T-junction can just give way instead of blocking the exit, the cars in the car park can easily get out…..to make matters worse, some cars from the right cut into the oncoming traffic lane thereby blocking that lane too. It was a very frustrating experience being caught in this situation for several minutes. One wowan was even talking happily away on her handphone while blocking the exit. I worked in Brunei for about ten years and I have this to comment….the average Brunei drivers are much more courteous than Miri drivers….Miri drivers have a lot to learn from Brunei drivers such as driving on the left lane when not overtaking, stopping for pedestrians to cross the road at zebra crossings, giving signals when turning, etc.