Innovative ribbon cutter at Pasar Tamu Bintulu redefines traditional technique (Travelogue Day 9)

The wooden ribbon splitter found at Pasar Tamu Bintulu on March 18, 2024.

by D’Drift Team

SRI AMAN, March 19: Are you tired of cutting plastic or polypropylene (PP) ribbons by hand for crafts? If so, the D’Drift Team’s discovery of a novelty ribbon splitter made of wood at Pasar Tamu Bintulu might be just what you need.

We were very much fascinated as this splitter simplifies intricate handiwork by effortlessly cutting PP ribbons into smaller strips via a straightforward operation.

All one has to do is insert the ribbon’s tip into the upper slot, and the splitter conveniently cuts it into smaller strips, enabling detailed craftsmanship.

“The smaller it (the strips) is, the more detailed your handicraft can be,” the shy Iban lady that sold this item told us yesterday (March 18).

According to the seller, the item is crafted by a friend, and she assists in its sales. She also personally favours the splitter, highlighting its exceptional utility in cutting strips into smaller, precisely measured pieces in addition to its safety compared to the conventional method of using knives.

“This item can make more precise cuts, which is far better and safer compared to cutting the ribbons with knives” she explained, preferring to remain anonymous.

For those looking to simplify their handicraft endeavours, this item is available in four variants: two-splitter, three-splitter, four-splitter, and five-splitter, each priced at a reasonable RM25.

Seasonal bilimbi that makes your cheeks swell

In Sarawak, seasonal produce is common, but the rarity of this particular product is evident not only from its seasonal availability but also from being found at just one stall by the market.

The bilimbi, known locally as ‘belimbing tunjok’ (finger starfruit) or ‘belimbing buluh’ (bamboo starfruit), is a seasonal fruit related to the starfruit family.

This item caught our attention as its sight alone back in Kuching is quite rare, prompting us to make a purchase as it makes for a delicious dish when cooked with ‘belacan’ (shrimp paste).

“You can cook it in many ways and also eat it on its own, but it is really sour,” said Budia, the elderly lady overseeing the bilimbi stall.

A generous basket of bilimbi sold for RM5 at Pasar Tamu Bintulu.

Out of curiosity, the D’Drift team tried the fresh bilimbi, which promptly induced cringing and made our mouths water due to its extreme sourness. We suppose we will just stick to cooking it.

While browsing at the market, we made the decision to search for ‘bubuk’ (small shrimp) given its current seasonal availability, however, to our dismay, we discovered that it had all been sold out earlier in the morning.

We proceeded to the harbour with the hope of encountering fishermen with their ‘bubuk’ haul, yet we found that the smaller boats that are designated to catch ‘bubuk’ had already set off, and all we could witness was a basket of black pomfret being transported from a boat to the nearby wet market.

Fishermen transporting their catch of black pomfret to a nearby wet market.

Regrettably, our visit to the market drew to a close, marking the ninth day of our D’Drift annual expedition, with only a single day remaining until we reach the culmination of our journey, as the team steadily approaches Kuching; our cherished homes appearing ever closer on the horizon. — DayakDaily