Sunday, 27 August 2017

Heavenly lovers

On the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, we remember the greatest love story in Chinese mythology: the cowherd and his fairy princess.

A long time ago, the story goes, a fairy princess - the seventh daughter of a Goddess - descended to Earth and fell in love with a mortal cowherd. They married and had two children

The Goddess was angry and banished the princess back to heaven and forbade her to return to her lover, separating them with a wide river that is depicted by the Milky Way.

But one of the other Gods then took pity on the lovers and decreed that they could meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. On that day, a flock of magpies would form a heavenly bridge to connect both sides of the celestial river, thus allowing the fairy princess to be reunited with her cowherd.

As the Chinese day formally begins at 11pm every day, my family will worship the Chinese lovers every year at 11.30pm on the sixth night of the seventh lunar month. So it shall be tonight too.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Penang Street

Fancy that. In the eastern London Borough of Tower Hamlets, there is a short, quiet road that is named after Penang. Our little island is remembered in England; this is a part of England that is forever Penang! Unfortunately, I don't see any other Malaysian state similarly honoured although there is a Singapore Road to the west of Greater London. Penang Street is a quick four-minute walk from Wapping Station. 

The Farthing Fields end

The Prusom Street end

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Uninterruptible power supplies

I'm a firm believer of using the uninterruptible power supplies to connect up the sensitive computer equipment and electronic devices in the house for fear of having them fried during violent thunderstorms or sudden power blackouts. However, it still surprised me to discover that I have not one but three UPS units lying around. Just very recently, I was forced to replace the rechargeable batteries inside these UPS units as one by one, they decided to give up their ghosts. One by one over a period of several weeks, their alarms began sounding off, indicating the end of their battery life. I had no choice but to replace them. Now I'm left with the question of disposing these old batteries. Where can I go to dispose them off? I can't simply chuck them away in the rubbish bin.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Kalama Sutra

The Kalama Sutra, as taught by the Buddha.

Over a period of about three weeks, I had been posting these messages every few days on my facebook page and I must say that they did strike a chord and went down well with many of my friends. Actually, my opinion is that these are all very down-to-earth lessons from the Buddha, advice that are equally applicable to everyone from all walks of life. People should not look at them solely from the religious point-of-view. 

Friday, 4 August 2017

Abdulla 37, again

Eight years ago, I tried to uncover some information about the notorious Abdulla 37 and got no-where. All that I ever achieved was some nonsense that read like this:

Last week, I saw an old facebook story by one of my friends in Singapore. I don't know where he got his information from but I felt that it was too important not to reproduce it here. Worthwhile stories on facebook tend to get buried through time but at least on blogs such as mine, you can still dig them out. Here it is, saved for perpetuity:
The Famous ABDULLA 37. Apparently, Singapore and Penang used to have two famous ladies of the night named after this cigarette brand. One plied her trade in Keong Saik Street in Singapore, the other along Chulia Street in Penang. Met a former mamasan who knew the Abdulla 37 lady of Penang. She was reportedly about 18 years old in the Sixties, much prettier than the famous Rose Chan and used to ride in a trishaw, the trishawman being the pimp who will be her bodyguard as well if the client misbehaved. The Abdulla 37 in Singapore was rumoured to have married and gone off to Penang to live whereas there is no word about the one in Penang except that unfortunately, she died of cancer. Wonder if they were one and the same lady? The cigarettes would be packed in gold leaf and the unfiltered brand of cigarettes in those days was Capstan.
Thanks, Stephen, for poking your nose where it's not supposed to be!