merdeka celebration in uk

23 Sep

london 5.28pm 18.3C sunny saturday 2017

i was coming back on the victoria line, from highbury and islington, and was really surprised at the crowded carriages. people were trying to squeeze themselves in;  what can be bringing all these people out at this time of day (it was about 3pm)? on a saturday too.

there were people with luggage as well, blocking the way; and i was hoping they would all get off at euston, and when they still did not do so , i was hoping king’s cross then. please let them get off there, but no, they all want to get their money’s worth by going to the furthest station on that line, victoria. the carriage practically emptied when we arrived at victoria. so that was where they are headed, and i could not help thinking what is with all these people wanting to travel. cant they just stay at home and enjoy their home lives…? haha. 

but of course, the mark of a city is that its people are always on the move. masses of people going one way, and masses of people going the other way… so much so that u wish they would go live there , exchange homes with each other, so that all this seemingly pointless moving about wont happen. haha.

ah well, that is modern life… aimlessly moving from one spot to another. in the old days you stay in your village your whole life and be happy about it. now you get restless, wanting to go off somewhere , anywhere… just as long as it is not home.

no wonder the trains operators can charge so much to move people around.

i went to the merdeka do sponsored by the malaysian high commission at the tun abdul razak (he was our 2nd prime minister)research centre in hertford north this morning… you could say i have been part of the mass moving of people too… joining all those who travel to attend this do.

most of them went by car, as the car park there was jammed… not many came by train even though they provided free transport in the form of a minibus and cars to take us to and from the two stations , hertford east is the other, that service the area. it seems this festival have been done every year, but this is the first time i heard about it. well, it will be the only time of the year when u can see so many malaysians in one spot.

and it is a area of uk that i have never been. my impression , when taken to the centre from the station is that there are a lot of roads and roundabouts and very few houses , lots of fields, maybe because we did not go through the town centre… it is very rural, at least from the little i saw of the place from the back of the minibus. the normal train fare is £8.50 if u take it from finsbury park. a half hourly service, which stops at a lot of small stations before it ends at hertford north. i used my freedom pass, which means i only pay from crews hill(zone 6) onwards, costing £4.50 day return. naturally there were lots of malaysian foods, but i find i have lived in uk too long, i dont seem to crave eating it as much as i used to. i was chatting to one of the stall holders, they were selling malaysian products , and are only online, no shops she said…so that means u have to pay the delivering charges if u want to buy their stuff… i mentioned it, and she very cleverly said well then, here is the only chance u can get of buying our stuff without the delivery charge… and she was right of course. i mentioned the ikan bilis, they sell bags of it for £5, and i mentioned how strange that ikan bilis in uk is so expensive, when in malaysia, ikan bilis is a poor man’s fish… it seems it is the cost of transporting it here, but she also said even in malaysia, ikan bilis is expensive, because it is getting scarcer to catch… it surprised me to hear that, ikan bilis getting rarer to harvest… what is happening??? living here, and ikan bilis being so expensive, i have long ago stopped eating it in my cooking… and dont miss it nowadays. it does add a distinctive flavour to all the cooking though.

there was a stall selling live plants, and i was chatting to two ladies who also were also hanging around there, and said it is a pity i cannot see any curry leaf plant, because that would certainly make me buy one… as i have never seen live curry plants in uk in all the time i have lived here at all…





3 Responses to “merdeka celebration in uk”

  1. Garfield Hug Sunday September 24, 2017 at 1:20 am #

    Aahhh….ikan bilis has sky rocketed in prices!! This is true. Same for dried shrimps called har bee! Wow! Alot of Malaysians in UK judging from your description…glad your community organised Merdeka day 31 Aug. Nice to be able to see things or fares from home country. Pity no photos from you. And yes curry leaf plant….best to have and in lil red dot they grow everywhere as birds scatter the seeds in their poop! I use the leaves to scare away lizards. The smell or aroma from the leaves pushes them away!😉

    • alifesgayventure Sunday September 24, 2017 at 7:39 am #

      i wish the curry leaf plant grow easily here, as the leaves gives the curry a very distinctive flavour that i associate with malaysian curry.but perhaps the westerners dont like it, because i dont see it being used to flavour the curries here. now u mention it, dried shrimps are the other item that is expensive here. they and ikan bilis are used so much in malaysian cooking and they give it its distinctive taste and smell. though i think the westerners may not like it and here they have to tailor the food to their tastes. i mean belachan is essential in malaysian cooking, but it has such a strong smell when u cook it, i think restaurants here just dont use it anymore.

      • Garfield Hug Sunday September 24, 2017 at 7:41 am #

        I think you are right on western palate. Happy Sunday☺

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