Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Right after KH and I got back from our Hokkaido trip, we attended a family function together at Bagan Sungai Burung, in the heartland of Selangor. It's a fishing village where my maternal cousins live and work. Every year, my uncle would throw a huge birthday party (cum annual dinner for his employees) and he would invite us to come. To him, the more the merrier, so invited SK and KH to tag along. Both of them had never been to that neck of the woods before and they were curious to try the famous seafood there. We exited at Sabak Bernam and headed into the Sungai Besar area. Further in was Bagan Sungai Burung.
Our first stop was at Tokong Hui Long Kong, the main Taoist temple of the village. The road in front of the temple was lined with rows of huge joss sticks with dragon motifs. Nothing unusual about that, but we were shocked to see pineapple shaped joss sticks too! At my uncle's house, I brought them around jetty to look at the place where they process the daily catch, mend the nets and clean the crab cages. Also showed them the rustic village way of living, where the swamp beside the house is multi-purpose dump site. For some reason, they cooked at the porch, and SK was shocked to find a cleaver on the floor where kids roamed freely. When she expressed shocked over that, my cousin sister assured her that the kids knew that the cleaver was in its allocated location. Really a huge difference from how Big Monster and Little Monster experience childhood.
As usual, dinner was great with a good selection of fresh seafood. Most of the seafood on the table was either caught by my cousins or sourced from neighbours without any post-processing. The ingredients were directly passed to the Kedai Makanan Laut Tien Yin for the banquet. We had longevity noodles, lemon chicken, chili crab, fish curry, steamed fish, and steamed prawns with egg. Beer was provided and when my uncle walked over for a toast, SK casually asked him for a bottle of VSOP which he happily obliged. His birthday cake was a two-tiered affair with a dragon crawling across a sea of icing. The seafood feast didn't end there. When we left, the car was loaded with a big box of frozen fish, prawns, sea crabs and mantis prawns!