Friday, October 31, 2008

Rambutan

It's Rambutan season again and the tree at my backyard started to bear the fruit few weeks ago. Rambutan in Indonesian or Malay means hairy or in this context, hairy fruit caused by the "hair" which covers this fruit

The young unripe rambutan fruit is green in colour. It's a presage of what to be expected in about 2 weeks time.

A mixture of ripe and unripe rambutan

The leathery skin is reddish when ripe

There is a second species which is known as "wild" rambutan, a little smaller than the usual red variety and is coloured yellow.

It's quite easy to peel of the skin and can be easily done by using the fingers. The flesh is translucent, whitish with a sweet , mildly acidic flavour.

The seed (after the flesh had been eaten) is glossy brown with a white basal scar

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chinese BBQ Pork

Chinese BBQ pork is a Chinese delicacy and one of my favourite food. Unfortunately, my hometown failed to produce a decent BBQ pork and mostly they used minced meat for that purpose.

Singapore on the other hand is famous for its Chinese BBQ pork. Even my boss bought a few packets from this country before Chinese New year and ship them back.

While In Singapore, I also took this opportunity to try some their BBQ pork. There are a lot of stalls that sold this product at the Chinatown. After shopped around, we decided to purchased from "Bee Cheng Hiang" at New Bridge Road. For those who remember a Singapore movie " I Not Stupid", Bee Cheng Hiang was one of the sponsor for the BBQ pork in the movie.

At this outlet, one can see through a transparent glass how the BBQ pork is prepared. I been told by the employee here we can purchased with credit card with no additional charges. According to them again, other outlet nearby charge some additional charges for using credit card.

We bought a few packets home for my parents and in laws to savour this unique delicacy. There are a few types of BBQ pork sold at this outlet. Sliced pork (1Kg at SGD43) is their best seller, according to the employee. We also bought Chilli Gourment (600g for SGD30) which is very hot but still remain delicious. Another type we bought is Gourment (600g for SGD30) which is very tasty. There are samples for buyers to taste for each type of pork sold there before the buyers decide which one to buy.

Before we left the country, my office branch staff gave me a packet of Chinese BBQ Pork as a present. On closer inspection, it was bought from "Kim Hock Guan" outlet. From the business card, there are a few outlets at South Bridge Road, Bencoolen Street, The Bencoolen Singapore and East Coast Road.

It is equally tasty and I came to conclusion most of the Chinese BBQ pork here are pretty much standardized in term of quality and taste. Most importantly, the products are not made of minced meat.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SMK Methodist Secondary School

It's been sometime since I last visited my secondary school, where I had my best 5 years as a student. SMK Methodist produce a lot of outstanding students (that includes me. Ha.... Ha....) in the past and I hope it will continue to excel.

Many things had changed since I left the school in December 1996. The school plan is now available once entering the main gate. I notice the building blocks had been divided to A-H to avoid confusion to the students and visitors

The hibiscus structure is in a dilapidated shape. It should be well maintained as the flower is the national flower for the country

Summer Memorial Building (Block F) is the main building of this school. The ground floor is the administration office. The teachers and principal's office are located here. I not so sure what the first floor function is now but it used to be a hall and drama stage there. At one stage it had been converted to a temporarily library.

Adjoining to Summer Memorial Building is a row of classrooms (Block E). I spent 2 years at this block (Form 1 and 5). Ironically, this block is where I spent my first and last year at this school

Some of the classrooms here had been designated for clubs as well as uniform groups for their meeting places.

A peek to the classroom also reveal that a lot had changed since I left the school. The wooden chairs had been replaced with more durable plastic chairs. The tables now are without storage compartment underneath them.

Even the teacher's table been replaced with a more simple design. I remember those day, the teacher's table was large and had drawers with it.

This concrete square (between block E & D) you see here used to be a tennis court but had been converted to parking space.

Opposite block E is the infamous block D. During my years, this block houses the bad students and notorious classes.

Next to block D is a beautiful garden. The site of this garden used to be a bicycle shed where students park their bicycles and motorcycles. The garden is called Taman SPBT (Skim Pinjaman Buku Teks), which probably been designated to the text book club of the school.

Adjacent to the SPBT Garden is Block C which consists of classrooms. I spent 1 year here (Form 2)

Next to block C is the girl's toilet. It used to be separated at each side, the girls on the left side and the boys on the right side. However, the boys section had been "sterilized" for the use for the girls somewhere in 1994

Behind Block B is an old building, finished in 1974. This block used to be our biology, chemistry and physics labs. The 2nd floor used to be our main library. Now the whole block had been converted to classrooms.

There is a small thermometer hut opposite Block B where there are thermometers inside for geography lesson. I think there is a barometer also somewhere here.

Behind block B is sinking wall which also function as the "boundary" of the school. Beyond this wall is a residential area. I used to climb over this wall a few times to get into the school as a shortcut on some occasion. Back then there was no barbed wire.

Nearby here is the living skill workshop. This is where the students saw woods to make furniture and etc. Behind the workshop is an indoor squash court. Back then there was no squash court and I never get to know the sport.

There is a huge stadium a stone's throw from the workshop. It's called Methodist Centennial Stadium. On closer inspection, the basketball and volleyball court occupy the stadium. I never get the chance to use this stadium. The site of this stadium used to be an open air basket ball court which I occasionally played back then.

In front of the stadium is Block A, which had been heavily reconstructed. The canteen occupied the ground floor. 1st and 2nd floor should be classrooms. The 3rd floor should be the lecture room and the main library. I spent 1 year at this block (Form 4)


The boys toilet is situated between block D & E. This aging toilet do hold some fond memories as we made fun of our friends back then by kicking the door and etc while they were urinating. This is also the venue for some students to smoke undetected.

Next to the toilet is a shelter for potted plants.

Next to this shelter is a pond. The management of the school had beautify this pond. There was no bridge, stone slabs and structures around this pond during my time.

Between block E and G is now a stretch of grass field. It used to be an open air badminton courts (4 concrete floor badminton courts). I remember I used to play badminton here during the weekend.

Block G consists of classroom, AVA & ERT Room. I spent a year at this block (Form3).

This massive building is block H. I never get to fully use this building as it finished constructed just before I left the school. It has classrooms, hall (badminton court), lecture room and meeting room. I believe the biology, physics and chemistry labs are now relocated here.

The surrounding area of block H is beautifully decorated.

There are also some words of wisdom hanging around the wall at this block.

This stairs lead to the main hall of block H. I remember using the hall once for one of my final year paper here.

Water dispenser units are also available for students now (note the water leakage). How lucky are them compare to our days here.

Tennis court is situated behind block H. Still appear the same it was before.

This is a park dedicated for the red crescent club of the school. This spot used to be a bicycle shed for students to park their bicycles and motorcycles. I notice there is hardly any shed anymore for the students to keep their bicycles and motorcycles. Most of the sheds had been demolished to make way for this sort of park. How do the school encourage the students to cycle to school (environment friendly too) without a proper facilities for them?

The football field is indeed in a very sorry state. I used to play soccer on this field and definitely the condition back then is better than this. Notice how barren it is at the centre of the field.

Back during my day, only the area around the goal post was barren.

Worse of all, students now are not allow to play soccer on the field. I think that is a bit outrageous as the field belongs to the students. Back during my days, we played without any restriction. How on earth the school expect to produce a footballer with this restriction? With other sports facilities seem to be off limit to the students outside school hour, some students will have no place to practice the sports of their choice. What a shame.

This tap water is really nostalgic for me. This is where we clean ourselves up after getting dirty or muddy after a soccer match or practice. Glad to see it still here after all these years.

Some more random photos I manage to took. All this gardens and structures were not in place during my time

The motto of the school is "Seek, Find & Serve". We never been briefed about the meaning behind it but I believe it is to encourage us for seek and find knowledge while at the school and serve the community using the knowledge gained.

Lifesigns Life Quotes