Mee Koo Toast

My neighbours in Taman Pekaka celebrated the birthday of the “latuk kong” (resident deity) last Thursday. Worshippers who contributed to the festival were each given a goodie bag of fruits, two mee koo (tortoise buns) and a box of nasi kunyit (steamed turmeric glutinous rice) with curry chicken. They gave me one bag too when I dropped in to collect some things from the apartment.

Mee koo - tortoise bun
Mee koo – tortoise bun.

Wuan and I ate the nasi kunyit and fruits when we got back to the hotel but decided to take the mee koo back to Kuala Lumpur. The mee koo is basically a bun made into the shape of a tortoise with a head, legs and tail. It is used as an offering to deities during festivals. They are also given out during birthday celebrations of elderly people.

Pink mee koo are more common as the colour signifies auspiciousness while the tortoise shape represents longevity. On the same note, yellow is also an auspicious colour. It is a matter of preference of the deity who will inform the worshippers through a medium during a trance. Halal nasi kunyit with either chicken or mutton curry is predominantly an offering for latuk kongs.

The mee koo can be eaten just like that when fresh. Alternatively, it can be coated with beaten eggs and made into toasts. I also like them with a generous dollop of butter hot from the steamer. Wuan turned the mee koo into toasts for breakfast this morning. This is the recipe she used:

Mee koo toasts - tortoise bun toasts
Mee koo toasts – tortoise bun toasts.

Mee Koo Toasts Recipe

1 tortoise bun
2 eggs, beaten
Cooking oil, for frying
Pepper, to taste (optional)

Peel the skin off the mee koo. If the skin is stuck fast, steam for 10 minutes and it will come off easily. Cut into 3/4″ thick slices. Heat oil in pan. Coat generously with egg. Fry in low heat until golden brown. Serves two.

Elevator Etiquette

The elevator is such a convenience in buildings nowadays that we take it for granted when we need to access other floors in multi-storey buildings. Yet in this time and age, it is surprising that people still do not know how to use elevators properly.

They crowd around the entrance and rush in the moment the doors open without even allowing the occupants inside to exit first. Some use their shopping trolleys like a battering ram to intimidate others into allowing them to get in first. That is Malaysian kiasuism at its ugliest.

We should use the elevators like we use other public facilities. Courtesy and politeness should be the order of the day. The following is a list of good elevator etiquettes that I have compiled from experience and observing other elevator users, polite and inconsiderate ones, in my weekly jaunts to shopping malls.

1. Adhere to queuing rules. First come first served. If you are in a rush, the stairs are a faster alternative.

2. Stand aside to allow occupants of the elevator to come out before getting in. It is inconsiderate to push your way in when people are still coming out.

3. Hold the door for others to get in if you are the first or only person inside an elevator. Many times, I had the door closing on me after the person before me had walked in, with both hands empty and morosely watched as the door hit my wheelchair.

4. Hold the door open for others if you are standing beside the control panel. Likewise close the door when no one else wants to get in or out.

5. Thank the person holding the door open for you.

6. Move all the way to the back to allow more people to get in. Don’t stand right in front of the elevator even when there is enough space at the back to hold another five persons.

7. If you are deep at the back when the elevator reaches your floor, be polite and ask those in front of you to give way instead of pushing your way out. Say something like: “Excuse me, this is my floor.” Thank them when you are out.

8. Avoid taking the elevators if you are coughing or sneezing repeatedly from influenza. Some things are not meant to be shared. This is one of them.

9. Don’t push a wheelchair without asking if assistance is needed. Most time it is not. The wheelchair is an extension of the user’s body. Pushing the wheelchair without asking is like pushing a non-disabled person on the shoulder, which is not only rude but could cause the person to fall from the unanticipated action.

10. And lastly, hold that fart!

Hari Raya At The Curve 2010

Malay kampung house on stilts at The Curve in conjunction with Hari Raya celebrations
Malay kampung house on stilts at The Curve in conjunction with Hari Raya celebrations.

The Curve constructed a life-size kampung stilt house at the Centre Court in conjunction with Ramadan and Aidil Fitri celebrations. To add autheticity to the model, it was furnished with curtains and other typical items found in and around such houses.

There was a grandfather clock hanging on the wall. Bamboo torches were affixed to the fence to welcome Syawal. A Vespa scooter was parked outside the house while a classic Volvo was shaded under a garage. Green plants were aplenty. It almost felt like I was in a kampung during Hari Raya.