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Tomorrow is 6th August 2011. It is equivalent to the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese Lunar calendar. Wishing everyone a Happy Cowherd and Weaver Girl Festival !

In the late summer, on the seventh night of the seventh moon, in the Chinese lunar calendar, try to gaze up high into the night sky. You could see two very bright stars called Altair (Cowherd Star 牵牛星) and Vega (Weaver Girl Star 织女星), separated by the Milky Way. Near Altair were two smaller stars ………………………………………

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Cowherd and Weaver Girl

每年农历七月初七是传统节日“七夕节”,也叫“东方情人节”。

祝愿天下有情人都能有长长久久

七夕东方情人节快乐

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This sentimental black and white photo was taken in 1969, some 42 years ago.  It was taken at Rex Photo Studio on the occasion of my cousin, Chik Choy’s seventh birthday. His elder brother, Chik Cheong was standing in the middle. He was about 12 years old then. Of course I was the bright-eyed 5 years old small girl wearing a short floral dress matched with a little pair of white Mary Jane. I remembered my dress was in light yellow with some little white flowers! And there was a heart shape pocket too with white laces.

Sadly the photo studio was no longer around but the cake shop where my aunt bought the birthday cake was! It was formerly called the French Bakery and was located at the same row as Ipoh’s Jubilee Park along Cowan Street. This shop was near the famous Hung Kee Rice Shop. The address was 7 Cowan Street, Ipoh.

On my recent trip back to Ipoh, I walked past this bakery shop and was very surprised to find that it still looked exactly the same as in 1969, except that the name had changed to Noor Jahan Bakery. The business was now operated by the grandson of the founder of this shop. He was a very friendly and jovial person, sitting behind the counter and patiently waiting for customers. He was full of smiles and greetings for just anyone who passes by this humble little cake shop.

 

A look into this shop shows that nothing much had changed.  The shelves, the cakes and snacks were just as I remembered them as we used to walk past this shop in those days. Best of all, the very old and archaic cash register was still there. According to the owner of the shop it was still functional despite being more than 50 years old. The brand? NCR, of course.

 

My eyes roamed around to search for the cakes and I found them in a glass cabinet. They used to be displayed on open aired shelves near the shop’s entrance in those days but were now being kept in a glass cabinet. This was the only changes beside the name and person running the shop.

I could not believe my eyes when I saw the same type of birthday cake my aunt bought for her son’s birthday some 42 years ago is still available today. The design, the color and the content is still like the original. Imagine keeping true and faithful to the same product all these years and this really had me completely stunned. I am truly beyond words. I wonder who would buy such cakes anymore. They are so passe.

Nowadays, when you mentioned birthday cakes, types like Black Forrest, Tiramisu and many other fanciful varieties came to mind but at French Bakery @ Noor Jahan, you can actually buy the same birthday cake you once had when you were a child, for your children.

Not only that, you could still buy the green and pink colored creamy coconut candies we used to love as kids. These were cut into small cubes and so full of milk flavor. I bought some for my kids and they just loved it too.

I wonder what will Chik Choy or Chik Cheong thought when they found out about this or read this post. As for the rest of the readers, how would you feel when you found out that the birthday cake you once had some four decades ago is still available today? Would you believe it too?

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