Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday activities

On the path up the hill near my family home

A view from the hill that stretches all the way
to the Peninsula Malaysian mainland

I officially went on vacation three days ago and left Hong Kong to return home to Penang for the holidays two days ago. But I'm still dreaming about work at night and waking up in time to go to work; this even though I've been 'working' pretty hard to convince my subconscious along with rest of me that it currently is time to relax rather than worry, etc.!

As might be expected, I already have been taking full advantage of my home state being "a food paradise of epic proportion". To help compensate for all the exercise my stomach has been getting, went on a short hike up a hill near the family home yesterday afternoon.

Doing so brought back memories of the Christmas day hikes I used to go on back in my last few years in the USA; a holiday activity that sort of became a ritual whenever I went and stayed with my friend, the webmaster (webmistress?) of the Michelle Yeoh Web Theatre, and her family. One difference, of course, was that this time around, I was hiking with some members of my family (e.g., my father, sister and her significant other).

Additionally, Penang on December 25 is a darn sight greener than California in December (or maybe any time of the year?). And this especially in view of a hike that my friends and I went on one year being in the Mojave Desert and another having taken us up into snow-covered parts of the mountains near Los Angeles! ;b


Glenn, kenixfan said...

I think I need a hike having just eaten two Christmas dinners, the most recent featuring quite a few traditional Italian family-kind-of-dishes like struffoli.

I have to ask: what kind of dishes did you have for Christmas in Malaysia?

Assam Laksa? Nesi Lemak?

If it was up to me, those are the types of things I would serve but the Italian stuff was pretty festive actually.

YTSL said...

Hi Glenn --

Not being Christian, I don't celebrate Christmas; so my Christmas meals reflect my personal preferences more than anything. Without further ado:-

Breakfast - Penang-style chee cheong fan (i.e., white flat rice noodles with hoisin sauce and prawn paste, garnished with sesame seeds)

Lunch - beehoon (thin rice noodles) with pork balls and kidneys from Perak Lane (which I've blogged on before)

Dinner - a hotdog and an egg burger from Tari Burger, a Malay burger joint that I consider to produce some of the best hotdogs and burgers in the world! :b

Re nasi lemak: it's not a favorite for me. Re assam laksa: my favorite stall only opens on weekends, so will have to wait until at least Saturday to have some! ;)

eliza bennet said...

I have been on vacation and it has been a treat to read all the accumulated posts! (My fave of course is the one with HK film related pics!)

Happy holidays to you and your family :)

Glenn, kenixfan said...

Well, since you lived in the States for a spell, I'm sure you realize that MILLIONS of people celebrate Christmas w/o any religious intentions.

The food sounds good, especially the breakfast portion!

I had Taiwanese style Dan Dan Mian (spelling varies) twice this week and I'm amazed what a great dish that is for only $4! So much flavor and spice in such a simple, quick, affordable meal. So much better than going to McDonald's and spending $4 for lunch.

YTSL said...

Hi "eliza bennet" --

Nice to see comments on my blog from you again! Hope you had a good vacation yourself. :)

Hi again Glenn --

Funny (peculiar more than haha) but true: what I noticed in the US was that suppposed/nominal Christians often celebrated Christmas without religious intentions but quite a few non-Christians (Jews especially) felt indignant and baulked against the hegemonic assumption on the part of many that Christmas was celebrated by all.

On a lighter note: US$4 is still expensive by Malaysian standards since most of my the noodle dishes here don't cost more than 50 US cents! ;b

Kathie Smith said...

Wow, your home is so beautiful! And the food sounds too awesome! I have never been to your fair homeland, but will make it there someday. I was totally charmed by the documentary The Big Durian.

Happy Holidays!

YTSL said...

Hi Kathie --

Glad you liked "The Big Durian" (which, incidentally, I watched at the HK International Film Festival but is banned in Malaysia). Have you gotten the chance to see anything by Yasmin Ahmad (e.g., "Sepet", "Mukhsin")? She it is who is my favorite Malaysian filmmaker. :)

Kathie Smith said...

I haven't seen Sepet or Mukhsin although I'll definitely check them out when I get a chance. I'm a pretty big fan of the arthouse or indie (or whatever they would be categorized as) films coming out of Malaysia by James Lee, Tan Chui Mui, and Amir Muhammad.

YTSL said...

Hi again Kathie --

Wow, I think you're a bigger fan of Malaysian indie cinema than me. Must admit to not particularly liking what I've seen thus far of works by James Lee or Tan Chui Mui. Rather, the three Malaysian filmmakers who've (most) impressed me are Yasmin Ahmad, Ho Yuhang ("Rain Dogs" -- in which Yasmin has an onscreen role!) and Amir Muhammad.