Carrots, cucumber and cabbage get the spectacular treatment

Carrots, cucumber and cabbage get the spectacular treatment in this recipe handed down from my nyonya great-great grandmother. My mother recalls the arrival of her great grandmother as always marked by a flurry of activity and excitement in the household. My great great grandmother was a formidable woman who was obsessively particular about how acak/acar was prepared. It's all in the preparation. ...more

That Dam Stupa (Vientiane, Laos)


hot and sour soup for the day after the night before

When I was a kid growing up in Malaysia, two of my uncles got married within a short period of time. As both of them had traditional Chinese weddings, my most prominent memory of the time was the many banquets in quick succession. At the end of the banquet, after the rounds of drinking and feasting, the roast meats, (chicken, duck and pork), that were left over, were carefully separated and brought home by my grandmother and aunties. ...more

This looks like a delicious recipe! I have never heard about kai choy, i will try it for ...more

The Devil's Red Shoes

THE DEVIL'S RED SHOES This is a cautionary tale for clever little girls and all the rest of us. ...more

deet and centipede

When I was making preparations in Sydney for my trip to the Borneo rainforest, my partner, Jackson, and I decided we needed industrial-strength insect repellent. Even though we had never seen any product actually repel insects before, this item was now deemed necessary. We were going to the jungles after all, and we needed everything we could buy. The chemist approached us as we had clearly reached analysis paralysis: do we get the one that was water proof or the one with sunblock? Borneo was both sunny and wet - we got one of each. ...more


When I was in Borneo, I stayed with Bangie, a talented weaver of the pua kumbu cloth, in her longhouse studio. My partner and I ate from her store of Iban rice that she farmed in a cleared space in the middle of the Borneo rainforest. ...more

Playful Eve Teasing? Or Is It Sexual Harassment?

It is not just limited to young boys or rickshaw pullers but men from all walks of life are guilty of it – young or old, educated or uneducated, clerk babu or engineer. It does not matter where one comes from; harassing women is a widespread phenomenon across India. ...more

introducing myself and my blog

This blog started as a way to help me write about the ethnographic fieldwork I conducted during research for my phd in anthropology. I enjoyed the experience tremendously, traveling with my partner, visiting talented ...more

The Widow Colony

I have to admit, that I had no idea that this had happened in the wake of the assasination of Indira Ghandi.  I remember chaos and horror, but no specifics.    And sadly, no specifics with a human face. ...more

Guessing who has the votes in Malaysia

The Malaysians are having a guessing day today, as Anwar says he has the votes, and the PM Badawi says no he doesn't: Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's opposition leader said Tuesday he has more than enough pledges of support from ruling coalition lawmakers to topple the government, and urged the prime minister to give up power voluntarily. ...more