Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

May 31, 2011

Spammed Blog


[Blog To Express] has been spammed this morning with the following topic header:

"Contend by yacht size? Nowadays it is ineffective - add to ..."

This is not the first time that this blog has been spammed and not likely that this will be the last time.

The spammed blog was deleted accordingly when discovered immediately.

For the protection and safety of blog users, please ignore any blog topics which appear suspicious as anything unusual and DO NOT click the blog with link to websites indicated by the spammers. The authorized and legitimate blogger will delete the spammed blogs.

If noticed, please report spammed blogs to email to help us to prevent spamming activities on "blogosphere". Thank you.

Who are these spammers?

Why did these spammers do such sadistic things to cause a nuisance on people they do not know or offended them in anyway.

Why don't they leave us bloggers alone to enjoy our blogging hobby and useful purposes to share their blogs to express?

I suffered a frustrating experience as a blog spam victim.

How to explain to readers and friends that those spammed blogs were not posted by me?

Although Blogger.com provides security features to detect users to report and track the spammers, the changes of passwords was still abused apparently by spamming programs by them.

The necessary actions were taken when new spammers, like new breeds of virus and disease, they were detected.

As a part of blogging experience, blog owners are required to regularly maintain and remove the rubbish and "killer litter" nuisance.

Hopefully these boring people could go elsewhere using spams to sell Viagra, all kinds of products for online business to disturb us.

Please support our "Keep Blogosphere Clean and Safe" campaign for the enjoyment of everyone.

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May 27, 2011

New Year Day Babies in Singapore

New Year Day Baby, 1974. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

On an Internet forum discussion for mothers-to-be, the topic: "Choosing the birth date and time for our new born" was posted by Anon (Hidden from Privacy) and the reply from the geomancy webmaster to advice:

[Quote]

I have thought about this issue many times and I feel that it is quite 'unethical' to do so...even when I was tempted to do so.

Previously, although I had analyed several dates "fortunately" or "unfortunately", the date of birth did not materialsise as the birth was natural.

I would at this point in time not make such analysis available. Hope you understand.

Overall, for general info, for such an analysis. it would usually invole:-

1. analysing especially the parent's Ba Zi.
2. The child's ba zi.

Sorry, I am not able to help you in this area. I do not want to be seemed to play/tamper with one's destiny.

[Unquote]

Fortunately, this geomancer was honest and did not try to play God.

Astrologers and religious masters do not attempt to intervene the birth date/time of the child or plan the prosperity and future using artificial contraception or unnatural birth induction methods by the parents.

A few of the New Year Day babies born in Singapore with the courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore on this blog.

New Year Day Baby, 1972. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).


New Year Day Baby, 1973. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

New Year Day Baby, 1975. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Babies born in Singapore on other special events:

Mr & Mrs Sim Yeo Wah with their new-born girl at "Year of the Rabbit" on 12 Feb 1975. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Christmas Baby, 1975. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

First Walk in Space Baby. Source: Archives of Singapore (NAS)

Baby born in the kampong in Singapore with the help of midwife. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

I was born in Singapore on 28 September, 1948 (not a new year day baby) at home by a midwife (not in KK Hospital).

Licensed midwife clinics in Chinatown c 1950s. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

The following NAS photos are babies born by midwife, not in the hospitals.

Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

A few photos of the children born in kampong who are happy and care-free:

Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

Kandang Kerbau Maternal Hospital - Then and Now:

Construction of Kandang Kerbau Hospital in 1953. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

Construction of Kandang Kerbau Hospital in 1953.Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS). Did you notice the Samsui workers on this construction site?

Kandang Kerbau Hospital, 1950. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Kandang Kerbau Hospital, 1950. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

Kandang Kerbau Hospital, 1950. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

Architectural model of Kandang Kerbau Maternity Hospital with Childcare Centre 1997. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

Architectural model of Kandang Kerbau Maternity Hospital with Childcare Centre 1997. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

The story of KK Women's and Children's Hospital .

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May 21, 2011

Ya Kun Kaya Toast - Then and Now

Courtesy photo of Ya Kun
The History of Ya Kun

The year was 1926. Clutching a black wooden suitcase, 15-year-old Loi Ah Koon scrambled frantically on board an old Chinese junk poised to set sail from Hainan Island to Singapore. After what seemed like an endless sojourn in the South China Sea, Ah Koon finally tumbled out onto Singapore soil, uncertainties swirling around in his head. Knowing neither kith nor kin, he naturally gravitated towards the local Hainanese community. It was there that he was introduced to work as an assistant in a Hainanese coffeestall.

Quick and nimble of mind, Ah Koon picked up the tricks of the trade fast. Before long, he could hear the happy jingling of his meagre earnings in his khaki shorts' pockets. That did more than delighted him. It aroused the entreprenial spirit in him. He partnered 2 fellow Chinese immigrants to start their own coffeestall business at Telok Ayer Basin. However, the partners later decided to venture elsewhere on their own. Ah Koon was then left to fend for himself.

A determined young man, Ah Koon decided that, sans partners, it was still business as usual. Coffee, tea, egg and toast - he served them all to one and all. The coolies, merchants, money-lenders, police inspectors, boat operators all sprang to life slurping Ah Koon's piping hot coffee and munching on his charcoal-grilled toast.

Ah Koon got married during one of his visits back home to China. In 1936, Ah Koon's wife joined him in Singapore. She worked alongside her husband, perfecting her skill of churning out homemade kaya (a local of spread of egg and coconut) to go with their toast. Ever resourceful, Ah Koon also began roasting his own coffee. He bought coffee beans, added 'Planta' margarine and sugar and roasted these over firewood at the back of his stall.

To Ah Koon, service involved sacrifices. Although home was a cubicle at 15-B Cross Street which was just across the road, he chose to spend his nights sleeping on the hard wooden countertop at the stall in order to be on time to serve his first customers at 5 am. When these customers barked their orders, he would, with chalk in hand, he scribble their preferences furiously on the same countertop he had slept on. Irate customers never floored him. With a serene smile and a resigned shrug, he kept at his chores. Ah Koon served more than food for the body. He dished out kindness as well. To those in want, he freely gave. To those who read, he circulated the dailies. To those who were regulars, he extended credit.

After operating for more than 15 years at Telok Ayer Basin, Ah Koon relocated his business across the street to Lau Pa Sat. The stall was then simply called Ya Kun Coffeestall, the name 'Ya Kun' being the hanyu pinyin equivalent of 'Ah Koon'. The business remained in Lau Pa Sat for another 15 years during which it clinched 'The Most Courteous Stall in Lau Pa Sat' award. In 1984, it moved back across the street to Telok Ayer Transit Food Market to make way for the revamp at Lau Pa Sat. Finally in 1998, Ya Kun Kaya Toast Coffeestall settled down at its present site at Far East Square and in now completely managed by his children.

By Jennifer Loi - 2002

"The Top Toast" - Ya Kun and the Singapore Breakfast Tradition
by William Koh (Excerpt from the book).

Mention "Ya Kun" in Singapore and most people will be reminded of that popular coffee stall chain that has been a welcome presence in the heart of the urban city as well as suburban shopping centres. Ya Kun is like a legend in Singapore: it grew from a family-run, sole proprietorship in the 1920s to become a well-known coffee stall famous for its unique blend of kaya, served with aromatic, black coffee from an authentic, Hainanese coffee maker.

Ya Kun symbolises the early days of Singapore when coolie and hardworking immigrants from China toiled away at the ports and trading houses to build not just a fortune for themselves but to also turn Singapore into a bustling trading post of the British empire.

The portable kopitiam hawker before the days of Ya Kun coffeestall at Lau Pa Sat.

What is so enticing to enjoy a cuppa in Ya Kun? The experience may be elusive to outsiders, but Singaporeans, especially the working clans of middle-aged men and women, will continue to flock to Ya Kun and similar stalls and outlets to savour not just the coffee or tea served in traditional ceramic cups, but the thick aroma of strong, well-brewed coffee permeating through the air, served with crispy slices of freshly toasted bread smeared with butter and sweet-smelling kaya - reminiscent of their youthful days when they had experienced such memorable times with their elders.

The coffee shops of yesteryear were the quintessential part of the common people's way to leisure and pleasure, sitting round marble tables catching up with tales of their daily toils as they kickstarted the day with hot beverages they could afford, while striking up conversations with new friends or just relaxing with old acquaintances to while away some free time meaningfully.

Ya Kun's wife brought with her the idea of homemade kaya spread on toast, and that turned out to be their bestseller, among other meals sold. Ya Kun's coffee stall soon became popular for good coffee and delicious kaya toast.

Kaya, derived from a world of Malay origin meaning "rich" because of its golden colour, is jam made from coconut milk, eggs, flavoured with pandan leaf and sweetened with sugar. The spread originated in Southeast Asia, most likely Indonesia or Malaysia. The jam is sweet and fragrant, and is available as a golden brown or green coloured spread, depending on the amount of pandan used and the extent caramelination of the sugar.

As with other jams, it is spread on toasted bread to make kaya toast and eaten as breakfast although it is now enjoyed throughout the day in Singapore.
Kopi breakfast in the 1960s. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Above and below photos of the Telok Ayer Transit Market in 1986. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

The above Ya Kun coffee stall at the Telok Ayer Transit Market, a temporary location for existing La Pa Sat stall owners and tenants, as it was going to be renovated.

Telok Ayer Basin. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

The Lau Pa Sat in 1973. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

The Lau Pa Sat in 1973. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

The Lau Pa Sat in 1986 under construction. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

The Lau Pa Sat in 1986 under construction. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Lau Pa Sat in 1990. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Lau Pa Sat in 1990 (at night). Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Telok Ayer Basin. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Telok Ayer Basin. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Telok Ayer Basin. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Almost every Sunday mornings in the 1970s, I was a regular customer with Ya Kun at his stall at the Telok Ayer Transit Market which was conveniently located at Shenton Way. I used to address him as "Ah Kor" (brother in Hainanese) and he was very courteous and efficient service. I visited Ya Kun stall using around 6.00 am or else there would be a long queue with customers waiting for their orders.

Ya Kun kaya toast is a "heritage food of Singapore" which many senior citizens will remember Ya Kun and his friendly, humble and excellent service to all his customers.

Mr Adrin Loi, the enterprising son of Ya Kun tells the success story of Ya Kun franchise here .






Related post to "Singapore Kopitiam Culture" blog by Remember Singapore .

Common Terms used for Beverages & Food found in a Kopitiam

(Tea)
Teh – Tea with Condensed Milk and Sugar
Teh Peng – Teh with Ice
Teh Siew Dai – Teh with less Sugar
Teh Gar Dai – Teh with more Sugar
Teh Kosong – Teh without Sugar
Teh Or – Tea with Sugar, without Milk
Teh Or Peng – Teh Or with Ice
Teh Or Siew Dai – Teh Or with less Sugar
Teh Or Kosong – Tea without Milk and Sugar
Teh Si – Tea with Carnation Milk and Sugar
Teh Si Peng – Teh Si with Ice
Teh Si Kosong – Tea with Milk, Without Sugar
Diao Her (Fishing in Hokkien) – Tea with Teabag
Jio Kia (Mirror in Hokkien) – 1/3 Tea, 2/3 Hot Water
Teh Tarik (Pulled Tea in Malay) – Foamy Tea with Milk (usually found at Muslim stalls)
Teh Halia – Tea with Milk and Ginger Water (usually found at Muslim stalls)
Teh Masala – Teh Tarik with added Spices such as Cinnamon, Cardamon, Fennel and Ginger (usually found at Muslim stalls)

(Coffee)
Kopi – Coffee with Condensed Milk
Kopi Gao – Thick Kopi
Kopi Di Lo – Extra Thick Kopi
Kopi Po – Thin Kopi
Kopi Peng – Kopi with Ice
Kopi Or – Black Coffee without Milk
Kopi Or Siew Dai – Kopi Or with less Sugar
Kopi Or Gar Dai – Kopi Or with more Sugar
Kopi Or Kosong – Kopi Or without Sugar
Kopi Si – Coffee with Evaporated Milk
Kopi si Siew Dai – Kopi Si with less Sugar
Kopi Si Gar Dai – Kopi Si with more Sugar
Kopi Si Gar Dai – Kopi Si with more Sugar
Kopi Sua – Extra Order of Kopi
Kopi Tarik (Pulled Coffee in Malay) – Foamy Coffee with Milk (not common in Singapore)
Check out the Coffee Lingo by Nanyang Old Coffee

(Others)
Tak Giu (Kick Ball in Hokkien) – Milo
Tak Giu Peng – Milo with Ice
Dinosaur – Milo with extra Milo Powder on top
Lao Hor (Tiger in Hokkien) – Tiger Beer
Clementi (Kim Boon Tai in Hokkien) – Lemon Tea (Home-made or Can)
Lai Kor (Underwear in Hokkien) – Coke Light
Xiao Bai Tu (Rabbit in Mandarin) – Carrot Juice
Siao – Home-made Barley Drink
Yuan Yang (Mandarin Ducks in Mandarin) – Teh plus Kopi (Common in Hong Kong but not very popular in Singapore)
Michael Jackson – Soya Bean with Glass Jelly (not common in a typical local kopitiam)

(Food)
Zar Tan (Bomb in Hokkien) – Half Boiled Eggs

Brewing up a cuppa history here .

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May 14, 2011

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle - Then and Now

Mr Tang Chay Seng at Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle in the 1980s. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)

Mr Tang Chay Seng at the Tai Hwa Eating House at Crawford Lane now.

Can you spot the difference of the series of photos then and now?

Same people. Same business partners. Different times. Different Experiences. Different business locations but the same "bak chor mee" secret recipe inherited from the same "Tai Hwa" proprietor in the same country.

Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)



Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS)


Local food-lovers are fans of the "Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle", commonly known as "bak chor mee" (translated as "minced pork noodle" in Hokkien).

Mr Tang Chay Seng, the proprietor of Tai Hwa "bak chor mee" located at Tai Hwa Eating House, Blk 466, Crawford Lane # 01-12, Singapore 190465.

According to Mr Tang, "We are the one and only original Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle". In 1932, his father started the business at Hill Street and handed over to him in the 1960s with 3 years of "mentorship". The "secret recipes" as a trade secret preserved from father to son.

In 2004, the stall was removed from its location at Hill Street to Marina Square and then to Tai Hwa Eating House at the present location.

The original ingredients had remain unchanged over the decades. However, at Marina Square, customers could include meatball fritter as an option.

The price of a bowl of the "Bak Chor Mee" at Hill Street was 50 cents each in 1980s.

Young Singaporeans do not remember "food heritage"...memories about the favourite food in the 1930s but those who were born in the 1980s or later.

I remember. In the 1980s where I worked at Koon Hoe & Co. at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce at Hill Street, I was the "errand boy" to buy the Tai Hwa Pork Noodle for lunch for everyone in the office. At that time, the "bak chor mee" was prepared by Mr Tang Chay Seng's father. Heritage food memories from a personal perspective.

I grew up without "fast food" or "instant milk", that's why I tend to be slower in developing my mental and physical growth ;)

Every new generation of Singaporeans change with their eating habits and diets, just as the difference of individual preference from person to person. As said, "one man's meat is another man's poison".

Food for thought!

This is not a 'foodie" blog for advertising, food review for taste rating or popular voting by customers or comparison of the various legendary "bak chor mee" masters.

"Heritage food" documentary is to be presented at Sitting In Pictures .

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