Sunday, June 11, 2017

Gotong-Royong

Balai Raya Kampung Chempaka

As part of the Lenten season, mum and I joined a community service activity that was jointly-organized by my parish and Kampung Chempaka. We were part of a clean-up crew to do what MPPJ failed to do-- keep the public areas clean. It qualified as a corporal work of mercy, an act of penance and charity which concerns the material needs of others. In addition to that, it was part of an outreach program to get to know our neighbours. Each weekend mass, they are probably pissed at us for causing traffic jams. Haha.

The morning's activity started at the Balai Raya Kg Chempaka where we met the Kampung Chempaka headwoman and her aides. They had prepared for us a breakfast spread of nasi lemak, karipap, and loh mai kai! All that food, and we had not even broke a sweat yet. Truth be told, that eating session took way too long. By the time we mobilized, the morning sun was already blazing. We took the tools, and split up to two different sites.

Mum and I worked along a road that was littered with rubbish. The drains were so clogged that we had dig up stuff with tools and sometimes our hands (thank goodness for gloves). Most of the rubbish consisted of polystyrene food containers, plastic bags, packing styrofoam, and bottles. The most suitable tools for the job were shovels, rakes and pongkes. When I was a primary school student, the pongkes featured regularly in my Bahasa Malaysia text book, but it took nearly 30 years for me to finally realize how useful it really is.

Thankfully, there wasn't much mozzies around, and the rubbish wasn't stinky. Traffic along the road wasn't that busy, and we got some shade from the trees. But with trees came lots of dead leaves and mulch on the pavement. With fifteen volunteers, it still took the whole morning to clean a stretch that was less than 200 meters long! At least we had about 20 bags of garbage to show for it. Once we were done there, we headed back to the church for a second round of clean up. Once again, fished out some interesting stuff from the drain-- pails, shovels, and more packing styrofoam. People think that acid or lava flow in drains that it can help them get rid of bulky stuff.

Nasi Lemak

By lunch time, mum and I were so exhausted that all we could think about was to head home to wash off all the sweat and grime, and put our feet up! Once we had rested sufficiently, we finally had the mood to think about food. Made arrangements to meet up SK and KH at Anson Kopi and Patisserie, Twin Arkz. They serve a variety of Asian food, and kopi at near-latte prices. But they also have gweilo cakes and some pastries, so it's a bit of fusion. The interior is spacious, modern with old school kopitiam touches. I wasn't impressed with the expensive kopi, and the curry noodles was mediocre. Hate that they deep-fried the long beans to a near-crisp. I would recommend the nasi lemak with chicken rendang, but a word of warning-- their idea of chicken rendang is fried chicken topped with rendang gravy. Clear soup noodles with YTF was also kinda good because the fish paste had an excellent springy texture. We also tried some of the cakes, but nothing impressed me.

Curry Noodles

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The moral studies in college once organised a trip to Cempaka as well. We were appointed to help them draw map of the kampung itself. Till today, I don't know what's the use of it. Better to clean up the place than to draw a map of it.

Twilight Man said...

Should it be MBPJ?
You made me think a bit about which Majlis is reliable and most efficient... DBKL

William said...

@Anon:
What methods did your team employ to come up with the map?

@Twi:
Yeah, MBPJ. Upgraded. Not sure about DBKL, as I always complain MPSJ.

Anonymous said...

There were many students in that class, so our lecturer just split us to different groups to in charge certain area in Cempaka. Basically, what we did was counting the number of houses in a particular rows, taking note of any unusual landscape, etc. Then we compile findings with the rest of the team. That's all.

William said...

@Anon:
I thought it was some cartography thing. Haha.