When my Dad came
to visit me in Singapore,
He couldn't believe,
The way the crème de la crème lived.
Some kids played musical instruments,
Too often and too loudly.
Some neighbour knocked on the door.
Some called the police.
Tun, Tun, Tun,
Too much mortar and pestle pounding.
Called the security
To no avail.
One early morning,
they stormed downstairs,
Whilst the angry voices were exchanged.
Some fathom went tun tun tun.
Oh how sad,
neighbours can't live in peace.
That was why,
we chose not to live in a high rise building.
In South East Asia homes, almost every home has a set of mortar and pestle to crush, grind, and mix solid substances (trituration). The pestle is a heavy bat-shaped object, the end of which is used for crushing and grinding. The mortar is a bowl, typically made of hard wood, marble, clay, or stone. The substance to be ground is placed in the mortar and ground, crushed or mixed with the pestle.
My mum used them a lot in pounding her shallots, garlic and ginger and chillis. In quarter acre houses, the "TUN TUN TUN" don't sound irritating, but in High Rise Apartments in Singapore, the sound can be transmitted and is often a source of neighbouring quarrels.
I was given a small set by my Sri Lankan friend, but because I do not use it a lot, I didn't not bring it to New Zealand. Which is a pity, as I see it used in many cooking shows.
This one belongs to my brother Charles in Australia. Now, the famous chefs all over the world use them.