Category Archives: fruit

A Survey Of Rambutans In Tanjong

Keep Calm and Continue Reading!  In 1971, I was enrolled in Form 4 at the Technical Institute, Penang (also known as Tanjong).

My course of study was Mechanical Engineering & Workshop Practice, but somehow, there was a subject called “Surveying”.  I have forgotten much of it, save for the most enjoyable outdoor practical sessions.

The worksite is where the present Penang State Mosque stands. Back then, it was a rambutan plantation. So while we practised with our Theodolites, Measuring Tapes and Ranging Poles, half the time we set our sights on the irresistible globes of hairy, fiery red balls dangling tantalizingly from the branches around us.

Whenever the teacher-in-charge was not in view, up went our Ranging Poles (about 2m long), to whack down the rambutans – and exact sweet justification for our labour in the sun.

Ia Nya Papaya

A big advantage of living in the kampong was that one could grow all kinds of fruits.  Around our house then we had 4 papaya trees, of which 3 were prolific producers.  (The sole barren one turned out to be a male tree, as we later learned).

My father used to put a dozen or two in a basket on the back carrier of his trusty Grandpa Bicycle, and pedalled all the way from Butterworth to Sia Boey Market on Penang Island to sell them. 

Also, we would take along a couple of the fruits to our relatives and friends on the island when we went visiting. Haha, “buah tangan” in the very essence of the word.

These days, however, papayas have become  ya ya in price.  In Singapore, a sizeable one costs between SGD2.00 to SGD3.50.