My Memorable Trip Home (Arrival and Election)

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Very delicious Kuching laksa

Very delicious Kuching laksa

I am finally back to the land of free air condition after being away for about 3 weeks of vacation back to home sweet home in Malaysia. Each time, the thought of going back makes us all over excited. It’s all about seeing our family, relatives and friends and enjoying all the delicious food. But each time when we landed at our final destination after more than 16 hours of flight time, excluding transit time, the heat immediately kills part of the excitement! It doesn’t take long before I would be scratching all over from heat rash…..*big sigh*. This time, the heat finally took its biggest toll on me………headache!…..sob sob. In fact I was glad to be back again to Aberdeen. Stepping out from the air craft into the cool weather is just SO refreshing! It was 10 degrees Celsius when we arrived, not too bad. But then I really miss all my loved ones back home. This just repeats every trip home……*big sigh*. Saving money and counting the days to our next trip home again.

My jet lag is almost over now, after 1 week…..phew……big relief! As much as I enjoyed sleeping, I had been sleeping a lot, all at the wrong time! My heat rash had long gone though my head still feels heavy. Hope it goes away soon. I have been back to my badminton. After a few weeks away, a friend yesterday commented, ‘Mary, your badminton had gone a little rusty!’ Sob sob….I had to agree with him. Time to pick up again.

This vacation back to Malaysia is very different from all the other previous vacations. I must say this one is crazy and even more memorable. GOOD craziness though, madness if you want to call it….*big grin*.


First of all, we changed part of our travel plan, all because of the election in Malaysia which fell on 5th May 2013. Had to spend quite an amount of money to do that. But then, we thought it’s more important to exercise our constitutional rights. I read that there would be long queues……*big sigh*. That makes me worried. Can’t imagine myself standing under the biting, hot sun. What if I collapse from heat stroke? What if? What if? I had my darkest of the darkest sunglass and umbrella all ready in my handbag, even a bottle of water! Talking about survival, I must give myself an A+….haha

Reporting in to vote

Reporting in to vote

I arrived home on 5th May. Straight from the airport, I went to my polling centre while my hubby went to his. There was NO queue….YAY! What a HUGE relief! But it was strange because it was only about 1pm. Had everyone voted so early? But then looking at the page where my name was, there were only about 3 names struck off, including mine, out of the many on the list.  Anyway, It took me about 10 minutes only……reporting and voting. That’s really quick.

However, my mind is still bombarded by some irregularities of the election. I read that pens will be provided for the election. But in my centre, only pencils were provided…..hmmmm. That’s not right. I almost wanted to take out my own pen but on second thought, I didn’t. I didn’t want to be thrown out of the place for not following orders. Better vote than to waste a vote. But the question still lingers.

Then my left index finger was painted with the so-called indelible ink which is supposed to last for at least 5 days, to prevent double voting. This was done before I was given the ballot paper. I had to be very careful not to dirty the paper otherwise it will be counted as spoilt vote. Why not paint it after I had voted? I still wonder. I mean, the purpose of it is to prevent double voting. To my shock, the ink was easily washed off with some soap after I got back. That’s not right. I read that millions of ringgit was spent on the ink which sadly didn’t serve its purpose. Why? The question still lingers.


This is the first time we decided to stop over in Kuching, mainly to visit my sister checked into a care home there last year, at the same time to visit other family members and relatives. A few years ago my sister had an operation to remove a brain tumour which left her wheelchair bound……SO sad. I’m really glad to see that she is very positive and coping well and well taken care of by the nurses and workers. She still receives physiotherapy treatment everyday except weekends.

It all started with headache…..persistent headache which got worse. Doctors just prescribed pain killers. The dosage was consistently increased as the pain got worse gradually but nothing else was done. She insisted on further checkup but the Dr just told her there’s nothing wrong and it’s psychological! Psyhchological??

One day, while driving, she felt something not right in her hand and leg. She felt numb. She went back to the Dr and insisted, rather fought with the Dr, for an MRI scan of her head. He agreed finally. But it was too late. The scan showed a tumour the size of a small egg on the top part of her brain. She was devastated and furious. She was then referred to the surgeon. The surgeon told her it has to be removed but because the tumour had pressed into the nerves that controls her legs, it’s very likely she may not be able to walk after that. He was right. She couldn’t walk!! How heartbreaking is that! With the physiotherapies, she could stand quite a while. But after a very minor stroke, it was all too much for her. Even standing was difficult. I’m really glad to be able to stop by Kuching to visit her. I can see that her strong faith in God keeps her strong and positive.

To all my readers, please don’t take your body/health lightly. Anything that is persistently bothering you needs further checkup, before it’s too late. Fight with the Dr if you need to. Not all doctors know everything. Don’t take their words for granted. Seek for referral to see specialist if the problem persists. Check it out before it’s too late. Having said that, the most important is to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. That itself will minimise your trip to the doctor. Regret is always too late.

Delicious longevity noodles (mee suah) in chicken soup

Delicious longevity noodles (mee suah) in chicken soup

I got to meet up with my brother and his family and also my aunty and uncle too. That was such a wonderful meetup on the night we arrived Kuching. My aunty cooked mee sua (Chinese longevity noodles) with chicken soup and Chinese homemade red wine. You should have seen my big smile! I think even my heart also smiled….haha. It was just too delicious for words, just what we love. I miss the Chinese red wine. There’s no where you can buy it here. It’s SO good in chicken soup…..mmmm. My mother-in-law makes very good red wine.

My coffee-loving uncle

My coffee-loving uncle

We had coffee after that. My uncle makes the best coffee! Look at him here….UK size?….hehe. He’s my awesome uncle! By the way, you need his type of coffee machine and also good quality, imported coffee to get such nice coffee. Nice cups and saucers too….*big grin*. Speaking of coffee, it kicks off my craving again. I better run to get a cup for myself now….*big smiles*. We chatted until about 1am. Oooops…we forgot our brain were still functioning on UK time. Others need to sleep. My hubby seemed to have no problem falling asleep. He was off to his dreamland the moment his head touched the pillow. How jealous I was! I’m not too sure how many sheep and stars I was counting before I slipped into my dreamland.

Next morning, 6am we had to get up. I felt I had not slept at all…..hmmm. Oh no……it’s sleeping time for my UK brain. But we need to get ready to go and visit my sister, go for breakfast and then off to airport to home sweet home, Sibu.

Breakfast was simply the best….Kuching laksa! ( top picture above) It’s SO delicious! If you ever drop by Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, this is a MUST to try……serious. Nothing can be compared to that. But you must go to the right place to eat. Just ask around. People there are very friendly and helpful. Not only will they tell you the best place to eat laksa, but all other delicious food around Kuching. And if you are still not too sure who to ask, just hunt down food bloggers, people like me…..hehe. Food bloggers are all connected, friendly and helpful. We will help you find out.

The Kuching Sarawak laksa is very famous, very different from all other laksa in the world! My aunt and uncle took us to one of the best ones. If I had a bigger stomach, I would have eaten 2 bowls!…..*big grin*. Sounds greedy huh. I don’t mind to be called ‘greedy’ for this one! Oh wait, I feel sorry for you if you can’t eat spicy food. You just miss one of the best food in the world.

A very good laksa must have the right amount of noodles in the right amount of soup. The soup must be very tasty. Arrrrgggghhhh….it’s too difficult to describe. Just make a trip to Sarawak, stop by at Kuching, enjoy the place and most important enjoy this most special laksa. After eating, you would want to visit Kuching again….and thank me, too, for introducing to you…..*big grin*.

Actually this Kuching laksa makes our whole holiday craving for laksa! It’s true. We went to several places in Sibu for laksa but none can be compared to the Kuching one. Well, time to learn and cook myself here. Good luck to me….*big smiles*.

Delicious Kuching fried kway teow

Delicious Kuching fried kway teow

My gosh…too many things we want to eat apart from the laksa. Kuching ‘kolok mee’ is very popular too. We had to skip that because my hubby wanted fried ‘kway teow’, which is fried rice noodles. He made the right choice. It was really delicious……tasty and full of a well fried, smoky aroma.

My favourite drinks in Kuching

My favourite drinks in Kuching

And drinks? I love ‘teh tarik’, also know as ‘pulled tea’. It’s hard to get very good teh tarik. It’s disappointing that many shops decide to use the 3-in-1 ‘teh tarik’. To me, that’s cheating! I want the real thing! I think they are just going to lose good customers….people like me. I know they will say, “Who cares?” because I can only visit them once a year. Anyway, there’s no teh tarik in this shop. The closest and also my favourite is the ‘teh c’ which is actually tea made with evaporated milk and some sugar to sweeten. I love the ‘teh c’ here. Again, not every shop serves good ‘teh c’. This shop also serves very good iced coffee and black coffee.

Fried kway teow in tomato sauce

Fried kway teow in tomato sauce

This fried kway teow in tomato sauce looks attractive but I think the look doesn’t match the taste. Not too bad but I won’t go for it again.

So much for my first 2 days back in Malaysia. What an exciting start to my holiday! I think I’ll stop here and continue in my next post….more excitement, more food and more stories. Let’s have a break…….you from reading and I from writing. I’m running for my second cup of coffee…..*big smiles*

Do hope you enjoy your week and I’ll see you in my next post.

Quote of the day……

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle’.

- Albert Einstein

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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somewhere in singapore  on May 29th, 2013

Good evening Mary…

Ann from vancouver  on May 29th, 2013

I dropped you a note long time ago about the condensed milk. It doesn’t mean I didn’t read your blog.: ) After reading your trip back to Malaysia makes me homesick. Ha! Ha! I didn’t know that you are from Sarawak, I am from Sabah. My dad’s kopitiam in KK serves good teh-c & local kopi. If you are visiting KK next time, do drop by for a good teh-c & local kopi. OK. My mom makes good kaya too, kaya cooked on top of charcoal.

Mary  on May 29th, 2013

@somewhere in singapore - Hi Sharon! You are the first one to drop by today….yay :D Are you drooling over the food?….hehe

@Ann from vancouver - Thanks very much for visiting my blog, Ann. Wow… are in Vancouver, even further away from home! How wonderful to know we are neighbour states back home :D Exciting to know your dad owns a kopitiam. How I wish your dad opens one here! I would be his regular customer :P If I ever visit KK, I will surely visit your dad’s kopitiam for a good teh c and your mom’s kaya……mmmm. Kaya and butter toast…..oh….it’s SO good!

claire  on May 29th, 2013

Mary, lots of exotic food for you in Malaysia, right?? Hope you had a fantastic time tasting all those that you missed! Next time you MUST come to IPOH and taste the signature dishes here too… the invitation goes to your babyfaced hubby as well.. hehehe.. :)
Take care, dear..

suituapui  on May 29th, 2013

Wahhhhh!!!! Only in Kuching, already eaten so many nice things.

See, Claire!!! What for spend all that money to go all the way to the UK, not nice food, frozen almost to death??? We’ve got it all here in Sarwak…especially SIBU!!!!

Jeannie  on May 29th, 2013

Oh so you managed to come back to vote! Luckily that is not the main reason huh, if you would be so disappointed lol! Glad to see you had so much fun eating your way around your home trip lol!

Angie@Angie's Recipes  on May 29th, 2013

Lovely that you had a great time at home, Mary. I want some kway teow! Welcome back!

Mich Piece of Cake  on May 30th, 2013

Hi Mary, sounds like a great visit home. I know many friends who went back to MY specially to vote.

Mary  on May 30th, 2013

@claire - Haha….you are very right……too much good food there! Just not possible to try all. Always heard of famous Ipoh food. Now that you are there, all the more I must go one day. If only air tickets are not so expensive. My hubby will become round faced if we ever visit you :D He has already become rounder after our trip home….face and tummy. I think not as cute now….haha

@suituapui - Haha…..fantastic life huh :D I wish I can do that every few months instead of once a year. Arthur, I have to agree with you that food back home is SO good, much better than what I get here. Haha….so amused at how you poked at Claire. I’m sure Claire doesn’t mind the trip despite the cold :D I don’t like the cold here but I also don’t like the heat back home….hmmm.

@Jeannie - Ya, quite disappointed with what I experienced at the voting station. No wonder many people are complaining. Well, that’s politics….very dirty. At least all the delicious food and loved ones cheered me up :D

@Angie@Angie’s Recipes - Thanks very much, Angie! Not sure if you can get kway teow at your place. It’s not easy to get fresh kway teow here. Usually I use the dried ones but they are different. Maybe should learn to make myself :D
Lovely that you had a great time at home, Mary. I want some kway teow! Welcome back!

@Mich Piece of Cake - I think many people keep their vacation home to be around the same time as the election….one stone kills 2 birds :D I didn’t plan for that. It just so happens. Couldn’t wait for the announcement. It has been delayed too long. But glad that we were able to vote.

mary  on May 30th, 2013

Hi Mary,

Our family is planning to visit Kuching in June. Is it convenient to share with us the name of the shop selling Kuching Sarawak laksa.

Thank you very much.

Mary  on May 30th, 2013

@mary - That’s wonderful! Now I’m jealous to know you are going to enjoy a lot of good food :D Of course, I will check out for you. Will ask my aunty and uncle and get back to you.

Christine's Recipes  on May 31st, 2013

It seems that you had a great time. Home sweet home, Mary.

Cheah ~ No-Frills Recipes  on May 31st, 2013

Mary, I really enjoyed reading your post. I’ve heard of Kuching Laksa, seems to be very good. And your account of the election and the disappointing results. Never seen fried Kway teow in tomato sauce, think it doesn’t look appealing, at least to me! Looking forward to more stories :)

faye  on June 3rd, 2013

Hi Mary,
I haven’t been back to Singapore since 2005. Now I am afraid of the heat. I was there for one month, and I hardly get any sleep, but eat non-stop. When I came back to Vancouver, my liver was hurting, my eyesight went all blur. Oh dear, I would have to stay in a hotel with aircon, but for 2 months, it is too much money, and it is too far, so once I go, I will make it a long trip…
Luckily I am not homesick for Singapore food, don’t know why, but I am definitely homesick for food in Munich, and the cakes too. Weird kind of Chinese, my husband said. BTW, my husband has recovered from his illness. Very bad one, almost gone case, 3 surgeries, but must watch his diet and do walking. Man, lacking brains in some places. Cheers.

TasteHongKong  on June 5th, 2013

Hi Mary, Worth a trip back home!

Mary  on June 5th, 2013

@Christine’s Recipes - Thanks Christine! Yes, a great time home. Nothing is better than home sweet home :D

@Cheah ~ No-Frills Recipes - Haha….you are right with the kway teow. It’s my first time to taste kway teow cooked that way :D Thanks for visiting. There are lots more stories on the way!

@faye - Wonderful to hear from you. Have been wondering how you and your hubby have been getting along. Thanks very much for the update. I really hope you are all well now. Really glad to know that your husband has recovered….phew. Please take very good care of yourself…, exercise and healthy, nutritious food. And I’m amused that your hubby calls you a weird Chinese….haha :D

@TasteHongKong - Yes! Every trip home is worth everything! :D

Mistletoe  on June 7th, 2013

Hi Mary,

So sorry to hear about your sister, but am happy to hear that she continues to go to physical therapy almost everyday. The most important part is never to give up and I think she has great fighting power.
Great job on making it back to Malaysia in time to vote. Glad you didn’t have to wait in long lines under that blistering sun. Sounds like you had a good time visiting family and catching up. Hope you’ve gotten over your jet lag by now.

lena  on June 7th, 2013

hi mary, so good to hear that you were back to vote! yea..a lot of irregularities were spotted for this election. * sigh* . Cant be much more happier than meeting up with relatives and enjoying good food! few months back, we did a blog event on sarawak food and i came to know about the kolok mee, the sarawk laksa and also the kuey toew in tomato sauce. I dont hv the chance to taste the real thing yet..i really think it’s delicious..afterall it’s malaysian food! LOL!

Debbie  on June 20th, 2013

Hi Mary, your auntie’s chicken mee sua looks yum. Any recipe?

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