Beginner’s Choice: Learning to nurture from nature

The chicken story

When I started my first job, I would occasionally take the No. 10 bus to work. It took a longer route to get to the central business district (CBD), but it was a more scenic route than the highway. There were huge old trees and kampung houses on stilts along Pasir Panjang Road. I loved seeing chicken running around and under the stilt houses. It was the traditional kampung scene. Pasir Panjang was a fishing village once upon a time.

The stilt houses have since made way for modern condominiums and part of Pasir Panjang (the area of Science Park II) has become the Silicon Valley of Singapore. Many things have changed. The beach has become reclaimed land, and the beautiful old trees had to go to make way for a wider road.

Despite all the new developments, the chicken are here to stay. They walk around in the morning – Mother Hen leads the way with her young ones in tow. It might look like Mama Hen or Papa rooster taking the young ones on an educational tour. They don’t look too different from human parents taking their toddlers to pre-schools along Pasir Panjang Road. Sometimes they will hang around the bus-stops for a while. It’s quite entertaining to watch chicken as they go about their morning routines.

The kampung dinner

We wanted to have a special farewell dinner for Teresa, our Spanish teenage guest. It had to be a meal that she would remember. Elena decided on a typical Malay meal that will remind her of Singapore and the kampung culture. We had a nasi lemak dinner with chendol for dessert.

Nasi lemak with fried chicken served on banana leaves is always a treat for us. I remember a more simple version of nasi lemak in the school canteen as a child. It was nasi lemak with ikan bilis (fried anchovies), cucumber and sambal chili. It was my favourite dish.

Banana turon

I am sorry that Teresa missed the banana turon we had last night. Carmen and Angie, who live down the road, harvested bananas from their backyard. They sliced the bananas and wrapped them in popiah wrappers and fried them. They dropped by to give us some for our dessert. That’s kampung spirit – sharing food and joy!

Have a great week ahead.

By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 17 July 2022

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