Saturday, 30 April 2016

"abok-abok, pang sai boh cheh bok"

An old memory just came to my mind. Remember the rhyming childhood ditty that one used to recite, "abok-abok, pang sai boh cheh bok"?

Back in the 1960s, I would always be hearing a man intoning out loudly, "abok-abok...." as he rode along Seang Tek Road in the evenings to hawk his delectable sweet desserts. As I would remember, whenever someone wanted to buy from this burly and dark-looking old man, he would stop and open up the rattan basket at the back of his bicycle.

The abok-abok was his main dessert - basically a mixture of small sago balls coloured with green pandan extract and steamed with gula malacca and grated coconut in a conical wrap of banana leaf  - but if my memory serves me right, there was also kueh kochi santan too.

On the rare days that my mother agreed to buy me the dessert, which wasn't often, I would gently hold the abok-abok, wrapped in a banana leaf, in my hands but I could never bring them into the house because I would have already finished it even before I stepped through the door!

The abok-abok man went everywhere on his bicycle. I was told that not only had he been seen around the Dato Kramat Road and Perak Road areas but people around the Bridge Street and even Beach Street areas have recalled seeing him through.

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