Thursday, October 24, 2019


Something the other day left me with an incredible longing for a tropical refreshment that I don't actually like: es katjang, shaved ice with sweet red beans. I actually prefer my red beans mashed and baked into a biscuit.

Es katjang featured in an account I wrote of my stay with a Chinese family years ago. It was mentioned in passing. It's on this blog under the rubric Talk Story, where there are over a hundred tales. Some based on actual events, some less so. A few are fiction, or fantastic autobiography.

A number of them talk about kids. And quite a number are not quite suitable for children. Rereading some of these I realize that I actually like children.
If they have already developed a personality and character-quirks.
A little exposure to the small blisters can be quite enjoyable.

Among my own favourite tales here are the following:

Eight Legs Cafe

Eight is More Than Enough

The Life Unlived

Something Familiar

Drink Milk

We Like Stinky Man

Don't Offend the Rabbit!

A Celebration for Turkeys

Got Soup?

Small Friend of Penguins

That last one mentioned is what prompted this post. A cute little Chinese girl, penguins, and nice cold treats.

The tale below also has a cute little Chinese girl. The reaction of one of my readers years ago was incredibly encouraging.
Thank you, Tzipporah.

We Want Charsiu!


Again, I don't actually like es katjang that much, I would rather have es Shanghai, which is more complicated and colourful, almost decadent. Fresh papaya or mango chunks at the bottom of a tall glass, with mixed fresh and canned fruits on top, generous shave ice, red syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. The old fashioned version had grapes in heavy syrup, far less fresh fruit.
It's basically an Indonesian version of halo halo.
Years ago it was still popular.
Very Chinese.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

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