6 October 2007
It has been a while, maybe for a long time since I updated the last
News. Life has been busy, no time no time is always the best excuse!
Belacan Club is
still active, or I should say is too active among ourselves. Especially,
in the beginning of the year, we have been meeting up at different
members' homes for occasions like New Year celebration, birthdays
etc. Since the gatherings happened mostly on Saturdays, basically
we are seeing one another every other week or at least once a month;
besides the small "nur Frauen" meetings which happened during the
Since May this
year I have been working fulltime, plus my weekends shift and our
own commitments during some weekends, I have not been able to organise
any bigger Belacan Club get-together. Our next gathering will be on
this coming Saturday, 13th of October in Dortmund, hope to see you
When Belacan Club
was first appeared on the web, 3 names were listed and for a long
time we had only these 3 names. Shortly before our summer gathering
in 2003, some new Malaysians living in Ruhrgebiet joined in. For the
first time then we had a table full of Malaysians from Ruhrgebiet,
it was for me a great achievement for Belacan Club. As our goal is
to be able to form a small community in where we live, a chance for
us to speak our mother tongue once in a while and talk about our foods
(very important). : As time goes by we brought in friends we met during
language course to join our community. Now we have Korean, Japanese,
Southeast Asians and even a Latin American in our circle of good friends.
This group of
people have managed from did not know one another in the beginning
to coming for a gathering full of strangers, exchanged phone numbers
after the gatherings to meeting after school or work for coffee, and
some months later became good friends. Having friends away from home
has made living in Germany a lot easier and pleasant. We were lucky
that we have been able to get along well, really well! Otherwise,
meeting so often would be unbearable! Thanks to our hubbies too, if
they can't stand each other, it would be impossible for the wives
to meet up as couples or family.
Recently we have
lost a friend who meant a great deal to us. Nydia came into our group
as we began to form the small Ruhrgebiet-community 4 years ago! About
6 of us have been great friends since then. Two years ago Nydia was
diagnosed with lung cancer. It was a shock to all of us. She was not
a smoker and grew up in a clean environment, it puzzled the doctor
as well us how she could get this sickness. Neither Nydia nor we have
a clue why her! Shortly after that Nydia has stopped asking the question
'why' and just went ahead to fight against this serious sickness.
Indeed a very tough girl, she had gone through the whole package of
chemo therapy. She became well, the tumour shrank. We all knew if
Nydia got well, 90% was her will to live and fight for her life. The
following year in August 2006 Nydia and Lorenz got married and we
were there to witness that beautiful moment. Months later her condition
got bad again after she got her medication changed, she had to again
start another therapy. Everyday as long as we were still having her
has been a gift for us. Recent months we have noticed Nydia's body
became weaker and weaker, praying for her hoping she would pull through
as we knew she planed to fly home in August to have her customary
wedding in Malaysia. She managed, as we all know if Nydia wanted it
she would be able to get it done! Nydia flew back to Germany after
her Chinese wedding ceremony. On the 18th Sept 2007, Nydia left us
to rest in peace, suffer no more pain. These two years Nydia had lived
her life normally despite her sickness. There were days when the medication
pulled her down, she would rest at home. Never a day we saw her complaining
about or mourning about her fate. She had taught us to be positive
in our lives and live our lives to the fullest! We will miss her a
lot a lot and she will always be living in our loving memory!
6 October 2007
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for your flag? Here you can get it:
Dear Family and
Another year is coming to an end, I realise that we have not been
able to keep in touch with you as often as we would like to. Here
we would like to keep you updated with what's going on in our life
this year. Daily routine, another busy year…. :! I'm back to work
again since March this year, employed by a Swiss company called Swissport
Ground Handling. Those of you who are still in airlines business should
have heard of it. Swissport used to be a sister company of Swissair.
Swissport's functions are quite the same as SATS; airlines are our
customers and our company handles check-in, departures, arrivals and
baggage services for different airlines. So, what do I do? I'm assigned
to the security team and we are in charge of certain security matters
for Delta Air Lines. American carriers have a different security procedures
compared to other airlines. Yes,,,I am back to sort of shift hours.
The good or bad point is I work only in the early morning. My duty
starts at 6am and ends at about 10.30am. I am free the whole day after
work, but I have to go to bed early because I must wake up at 4am.
Besides that, I do have to work on weekends and public holidays. What
does Joe think??? Well, after years of me on holiday and we always
drove away spontaneously without early planning, he is not very amuse
with - now our life needs a bit of planning ahead! : Never mind, Joe
is not too old to learn, although he is from another generation ,,ha,
I believe he will learn to get used to the situation! We have not
been back home (Malaysia) together for holiday this year. Ever since
we got married, Malaysia seems to be our only holiday destination
for some years. Now we are trying to fly back home once in two years,
so that we could go somewhere else for holiday. This year we have
been to Zakynthos for a 7-day-trip in August. Zakynthos is a small
Greek island on the west, which is not far away from the mainland
and could be reached by ferry from Athens. We had a wonder, relaxing
and doing-nothing holiday. All we did was lazing on the beach, had
good food and good wine! In the beginning of October I flew back to
Malaysia alone for 2 weeks to renew my passport. Well, I could have
get it done here in Berlin or fly over to London. It was quite a last
minute decision as I found out at work that I could travel as staff
on Swiss Airlines to Singapore. So, I went back to Malaysia via Singapore,
got my passport renewed, spent some quality time with my family and
had loads of good food of course. I would like to apologise to all
of you for not being able to contact or visit you while I was in KL.
I had some problems with the passport application. It took more then
a week before I finally got it. I have been running up and down trying
to get immigration to speed up the process. Phew, I received my passport
a day before my departure back to Germany! When will be our next trip
back to Malaysia? We are planning to come home for durian season.
If everything goes well as planed, we would like to fly back some
time in June. The next trip we will be taking two friends (a couple)
with us. We hope to be able to take 3 weeks holiday and spend at least
1 week in Singapore. So, hope to see you soon! Here we would like
to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Love, ShawFen & Joe
4th Sep 2006
Dear Friends, It has been a while since we last get together. Our
last gathering took place at Rosengarten China Restaurant in Düsseldorf.
That was on the 29th April early this spring. Joan Lim found us through
the website and we've managed to bring two groups of Southeast Asians
together at that gathering. The Ruhrgebiet gang and the Düsseldorf
gang met, we had good food and made new friends of course. After our
meeting we actually would like to meet up some time in summer to have
a BBQ outing. Unfortunately, I was busy since March this year with
my new job. Also since then I have been working often during weekends.
Whenever I had my weekends free, there was always something to do,
someone to visit, someone from Malaysia came to visit or a wedding
to attend. Summer is the best time to get away for many of us. So
as a result, many people were not available to meet in August especially
those with schooling children. Anyway, we are in September now and
we are going to meet soon! There will be a gathering coming soon on
the 23rd September, hope those of you who are interested would come
and join us. For information please click the EVENT site. Looking
forward to seeing and catching up with all of you soon! ShawFen 4
20th February 2006
Another year has
gone by; we are in the year 2006. I could still remember when we first
put up the information for Belacan Club in 2003, there were only three
members in the Name List for more than half a year. Two out of the
three members are my friends, it is great to see now we have grown
and continue to have new members.
After many gatherings
in these three years, inclusive of some (or often) spontaneous meetings
at our homes, we are getting more personal with one another and getting
to know one another better. It is also a nice fact that the husbands
are also enjoying or in another word could stand one another well.
What comes under EVENT, will be a gathering that would happen once
in two to three months.
Among us, there
are fulltime mothers, part-time staffs, fulltime employed, job seekers
and students from different nationalities. For those of us who are
living in Ruhrgebiets, we do meet up very often. We have taken this
opportunity to learn cooking local specialities from one another,
of course this will lead to a yummy lunch or dinner after that!
On the 28th January
2006 a perfect Saturday for us to meet up to celebrate the Lunar New
Year eve. We have chosen Dschunke Chinese Restaurant in Düsseldorf
for a reunion lunch. Besides the normal bunch of us from Ruhrgebiets
came for the gathering, we had again the Pironti Family and also meeting
our new members the Jakobs Family for the first time. Both families
are from Darmstadt. You may like to have a look at the photos!
As to Farewell
2005, we had a gathering planned on the 10th Dec 2005 in Del Sol Café
Bochum. Probably due to the cold and wet winter not many people from
far responded. We had finally cancelled, and reinstated back the meeting
for dinner because of the overwhelming response from the Ruhrgebiets
bunch. : Joan (from the Philippines), our new member came for the
first time with her hubby, Norbert, and it is nice that they enjoyed
hanging out with us and will come and join us in the future. For this
gathering, I did not manage to take any photo.
20th February 2006
Our last gathering
was on the 6th August 2005, it was also our very first outdoor get-together.
I normally tried to fix a date 3 weeks prior to the Rendezvous, so
our friends living faraway would have enough time to plan for the
trip if they would consider joining us. Since we are having such a
great summer, many of us were real excited about having an outdoor
After living in Gelsenkirchen for 5 years, though we are experiencing
many great warm and sunny summer days this year, I still don't think
we should take a risk making BBQ in a park without shelter. It is
not so easy to find a suitable place for us due to summer school holidays.
Many good places are fully booked. However thanks to a friend who
recommended Freizeitpark Schloss Beck in Bottrop (www.schloss-beck.de).
It is a children amusement park, where entrée fee is inclusive of
games and park facilities. With a few Euros, we could rent a BBQ pit
The week on Wednesday before our Saturday BBQ comes the weather forecast
- BAD WEATHER with rains and strong wind! (Sigh) What shall we do?
Should we just cancel the event and stay at home!? After much consideration,
knowing everyone (including myself) is looking forward for once something
different than restaurant food and confined to indoor. OK, we will
meet…no matter what!
On Saturday morning Joe and I arrive here at about 9.30am, pick up
the grill and find a pit with nice view next to the lake at the end
of the park. We started the fire while waiting for others, meanwhile
enjoy our branch. At about 11am, people start coming in and at about
1pm all 12 of us are here. We have a nice time grilling, chatting
and eating as usual. Since we are doing BBQ potluck, we get to taste
our friends' special marinade meats and fishes, for example Jin Jin's
sate and Sunny's Korean BBQ pork. At about 3pm, it starts drizzling
but we are well covered under the tent. After 4pm the rain gets heavier
and heavier, when we realize that the tent could hardly stand the
strong wind anymore we quickly pack our things and load ourselves
into the cars. We are suppose to return the grill by 5pm, from this
point of view, the rain comes just in time....perfect!
It is so difficult to predict the mood of the weather, just one weekend
before and one weekend after our BBQ Saturday we have such a nice
weather, dried and sunny. Anyway, I am really glad that we have managed
and did enjoy ourselves despite the lousy weather which came only
later that afternoon.
If you are interested to join us, do look out for the next event or
drop me a mail. We should be meeting up again end of November in Ruhrgebiet.
27th June 2005
On the 11th June we have managed to meet for the first time in 2005.
The long break has made many wondered if we are still exiting. Well,
we are still active, just that we did not manage to come together
for a bigger gathering.
It was again a very nice afternoon get-together, even though not all
could attend. WeeNee was busy with her children that weekend, Michelle
could not get off from work, Lucy was invited to a good friend's birthday,
Nydia was busy moving apartment, Ganesh fell sick last minute and
Shireen and Frank had to attend grandma's birthday. Nevertheless,
it was really great that Mery managed to come and join us for a few
hours, although she has to rush back to work after that. Jess and
Peter came all the way back from Berlin for the gathering, brought
along the mother in-law (Peter's mom). Dewi and Patricia came to join
us for the first time. We hope to see you again. We had two more new
faces this time, Hannah and Boon Jin. Both students and they came
all the way from Oldenburg (4 hours with the train) just for the gathering.
We are honoured and really pleased to have you here.
It began at 12noon, first everyone tried to fill up their stomachs
with food. Then the action begins, moving around tables, switching
places, chatting around and getting to know the new people among us.
Fabbrica Italiana is quite a good place for such gathering, even without
reservation, I believe it is still possible to meet there in a bigger
group spontaneously, without having seating problem. This restaurant
is very big and spacious inside, so it is quite an ideal place for
us to meet there in future. We could move from one seat to another
quite easily and there is also enough standing place for those who
wish not to sit down. Furthermore, the food is quite good and reasonable
There were 17 of us at the gathering and our lunch lasted till about
3pm. It sounds like a very early ending compared to our previous get-togethers.
Well, it did not end there! A few had to leave early and left. The
rest of us went to have a "Part 2" at Starbucks Coffee. We continued
to chat and have some nice memories of Malaysia and Singapore at Starbucks
Coffee. Many Europeans do not understand why we love Starbucks Coffee
and got all excited when going for Starbucks Coffee. Well, in Southeast
Asia (especially Malaysia and Singapore), places like Coffee Beans
and Starbucks Coffee are one of the young people hangouts. These are
the places where we used to meet up with friends and chat. Having
coffee at Starbucks is like being at home again.
Our next gathering will be on the 6th August. We will take this warm-day
opportunity to make either a BBQ or Picnic Afternoon. If you are interested
to join us, do look out for more information under EVENT.
Photos of gatherings can be viewed under PHOTO.
May 11 2005
It seems we have just welcomed the New Year (2005) and celebrated
Chinese New Year not too long ago...looking at the calendar, we are
in the 5th month of the year. Time really flies!
I would also like to apologise for not being able to update this site
for a while. I know many of you have asked, "hey,,,,what happened?
Are we still here?!"
Many of you are asking what happen to the Belacan Club gathering?
Well, we have met up in a smaller group regularly in Bochum and Gelsenkirchen.
For those who are staying in Ruhrgebiet, a spontaneous coffee afternoon
and a last minute planned picnic is possible since many times our
activities are based on the weather.
Anyway, the next gathering has been planned and it will be on the
11th June 2005. Please find more information under EVENT.
Our last gathering was also the last meeting in 2004. It took place
at Bali Rendezvous in Centro Oberhausen. It was about one week before
Christmas, so not many of us, just about 10 people. The lunch at Bali
Rendezvous was a very unpleasant time for all of us, as some of you
might have heard about the story. As usual, I normally would try to
be there earlier than others, 10 minutes after we (Joe and I) sat
down, we were approached by the waiter in the restaurant, told that
we were late and had to give up our table since the rest were not
there. After calling the rest knowing that heavy traffic and some
were having difficulty in finding a parking. We were of course trying
to convince the restaurant manager that people don't come late on
purpose. We were basically approached every 10 minutes, being told
off, told we could not keep the table because we were late. I was
very tempted to leave, but Joe was adamant not to leave and refused
to give up our table since we were not told during reservation - not
to be late! At that time the restaurant was almost full but not badly
crowded. Half an hour later more than half of us had arrived and I
was relieved that not just the two of us were occupying and fighting
for the long table for 10 people. Nevertheless we were still being
approached and told that we were late every 10 minutes and asked to
give up the other two small tables which were reserved for another
4 guests. (Our table were joined by these small tables for two). In
order to get some peace I agreed to give up only one table. It was
unbelievable how such service could happen in an Asian restaurant.
We were basically being "halau".
Since when one has to be punctual for makan and how often are you
being stopped at the entrance of the restaurant if you are late for
the reservation, refused entry and being told off rudely "Sie sind
spät!" I presume my table would be given away and receive an apology.
Probably the person we would be making a drama is me not the restaurant
Throughout the lunch we were being stared by the workers because we
took so long eating our lunch. Not only that they were really rude
when serving us. It would be unfair to them if we just sat and chat
without ordering anything. As long as we were in the restaurant we
did order drinks and desserts, no one actually were sitting there
without having something to eat or drink. We were feeling very uncomfortable
the whole time, but we hold on as long as possible till we had enough
of the stares and rudeness, we decided to leave the restaurant.
It was very interesting when come to payment. It is a norm in Germany
whether it is a small group of two or big group of 10. You will be
asked if you wish to pay the bill together or separately. For the
first time we were refused a separate bill, the waiter insisted that
one person should settle the bill. Of course we insisted to pay either
separately or no pay. Very unhappily he sat down and did some mathematic
works on another piece of paper. It was also our first time to give
no tips after eating in a restaurant. As I walked out of the restaurant
I could not help it and told myself "see how long you can survive
in Centro and I don't wish to see you here long". Partly I was mad
to have to pay for the expensive food with such a bad service, regretting
giving them business. Another side I was happy that we did not give
in to them, as they wished we should give up the table and leave.
Joe came home that evening and wrote a negative comment to a consumer
site and to the restaurant website. He discovered later we were not
the only one received such a bad service in Bali Rendezvous, similar
critiques were written by other diners as well.
Three weeks ago Joe and I went to Centro for ice-cream and found out
Bali Rendezvous was closed for good. It was bad to think I had cursed
them, but the truth is Bali Rendezvous does not deserve to stand on
the eating Promenade in Centro Oberhausen. I was happy it is not there
For our coming gathering, we will be meeting up in Fabbrica Italiana,
an Italian restaurant in Essen. I have some requests to organize the
gathering on Sundays, which is not possible because we have members
from far up north Cuxhaven and Frankfurt areas. They come to attend
almost every gathering so far. Some drive back home after the gathering
and some stay overnight in Gelsenkirchen. Because of this reason,
a gathering on Sunday is not so convenient for them. Besides, I have
also request to organize the gathering in Köln and Frankfurt. Again,
it is difficult for me because I don't live in Frankfurt. There are
a few things for me to consider before I can decide which restaurant
to meet. For example, parking space, whether the restaurant is children
friendly or easy access for wheelchair guest. So, I hope you would
understand that the future gatherings will be in Ruhrgebiet.
Our goal is still the same, to have more and more members on the list
and hopefully all of us could find friends around where we live and
form a smaller group that we could organize a regular gathering to
Hope to see all of you on the 11th June and catch up with one another
ShawFen 11 MAY 2005
26 June 2004
On the 29th MAY, Saturday Belacan Club members came together to meet
again for the second time. You will see a lot of new faces this time
because we have increase of members in the last half a year.
Unfortunately, our friends from the Netherlands who attended our first
gathering could not join us this time because of family commitments.
Hopefully we will get to see one another again in our next Baju Kurung
/ Baju Kebaya Night in July or August.
There were about 20 of us attended the Spring Get-Together; 17 adults,
2 children and one baby. Most of us live in Ruhrgebiet (Bochum, Wattenscheid
and Gelsenkirchen) except LayLay who drove all the way from Darmstadt.
As usual before Saturday some were asking if they could come a bit
later or if it was ok to leave the meeting earlier. When we finally
met, no one seemed to want to leave earlier. First we went around
getting to know one another just a bit and then got our stomachs filled.
After that, we could see everyone starting to move around the table,
switching places or just standing to chat and getting to know one
another. Then follow by photo session, exchange of addresses and emails,
it was full of action. It is great that Pagoda Restaurant is spacious
enough for us to do that. Time flies before one knew it 4 hours was
over and we had to leave the restaurant. This time we managed to pack
up and leave the restaurant before kena halau. We could see no one
was interested to say goodbye. It is definitely nice that we could
have some times to meet once in three months, to spend a Saturday
when we could have some Asian food, meet our fellow country people
and speak our Malaysian English or Singlish. I believe many of us
Dear Friends and Visitors of Belacan Club,
We are in the fifth month of the year and everyone is looking forward
to the good weather and more sunshine. Especially for those who just
came in Winter, when all trees were botak, the sky was always dark
and the weather was cold and wet. Today you look out of the window
and see flowers blossom and green leaves on the trees, you tell yourself
it is so wonderful and beautiful here! Someone emailed me recently
to introduce herself, told me she arrived in ‘beautiful’ Bochum in
January. Mmmh,,I wonder if she could really see the beauty of Bochum
We had our very
first get together in January 2004, it was a success and most of us
had a good time getting to know one another. We are now ready to meet
again for the second time, information under EVENT. The reason why
I chose Pagoda Restaurant in Oberhausen is due to the location, convenient
for those who live in Ruhrgebiet and the Netherlands. Secondly, Pagodo
Restaurant opened for lunch on Saturday.
I want to thank
all friends from Hamburg and Munich, who have been keeping up with
our progress and giving us all the moral support and courage. Many
of you are concern in when we will register as an official cultural
club. At the moment we don’t have any plan to do that, but we will
definitely consider this in the future when we have more human power
and enough volunteers. We have more than 20 listed members in Germany
and the Netherlands, the website has served its purpose as a meeting
point for members. At the meantime, we will remain as an online community
that would come together to meet in Ruhrgebiet once in about 3 to
Besides, we are
renovating our Recipes Site, we intend to collect more recipes both
Asian and European specialities from our members. In this way we could
share a bit of our eating culture with those who do not know about
our foods and at the same time tell our stories to our friends by
showing them the new kind of food we have adopted in our daily diet.
If you are curious
about us, do come and join us this coming Saturday, the 29th MAY.
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
ShawFen Frohsz 21.05.2004
31 Jan 2004
CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION
One year ago we were talking about the idea of the Belacan Club, words
have been spreading around and we have been found by those who were
interested in getting to know us through Internet.
On the 24th January 2004, exactly one year later we have managed to
come together and took the opportunities of Chinese New Year celebration
to meet for the first time. The gathering took place in Pagoda Buffet
Restaurant in Oberhausen (Ruhrgebiet). The lunch started at noon,
guests arrived between 1200 to 1pm. Pagoda Restaurant offers different
varieties of Asian food, for example, fried noodle, fried rice, beef
in black bean sauce and curry. There were dishes without pork and
dishes for vegetarians. Although the food was non halal, it was possible
to find non-pork dishes for Muslim friends.
First we introduced ourselves, found a cosy corner to be seated and
the next thing we did was marching to the buffet bar to get food to
fill up our hungry stomachs. As always makan comes first, I guess
this is part of our Asian culture. : After makan I could see people
moving around the table to get to know one another. I must say it
didn't take us long to break the ice and started finding out about
one another and told our stories how we ended up in Europe.
Most of us who attended the lunch live in NRW and the Netherlands.
Musliha has gathered her Dutch gang living in Geleen and Eindhoven,
driven about 2 hours to come for the gathering. We were glad to have
all of them here, Suziana, Jacques and the kids, Musliha (brought
along David's regards), Rosie and Raymond, Masliah and hubby. Besides
that, it was an honour to have Michelle and Frank came all the way
from up north Cuxhaven. From NRW we have Shireen, Frank and Vanessa,
plus Joe and I. There were 17 of us inclusive of 3 kids. We are mixed
Singaporean/Dutch, Malaysian/Dutch, Singaporean/German and Malaysian/German
For those of you who intended to join but could not come because of
some other commitments, might be curious to find out which part of
Malaysia these fellow Malaysians came from?? We have orang KL, Kelantan,
Pahang, Sabah and last but not least our neighbour orang Singapura.
If you would like to be informed when we have the next gathering or
celebration, do drop me a mail at email@example.com