Tuesday, November 11, 2008
121108 | Sweetness Dough
It has been the third day. I'm still stuck to start on this project assignment my boss gave me. A bath just now refreshes the body but my mind still circles the dark for a light bulb. I felt like lying on the mattress while positioning the 3’rd chakra. My ass is just too lazy tonight to stretch. As I sip my can of caffeine, something on the news amused me.
The price of Roti canai and The Tarik going down 10 cents? Ha ha
Two pieces Roti Canai (a favorite Malaysian Mamak pastry) equals the calories of a plate of Nasi Lemak. When I was a kid, it cost 40 cents a piece and today they sell it for RM 1. 20.
Roti Canai once, was the one main daily meal, most of the days for us, the residents on the luxurious 4th floor flat house. It was’nt really a house, its more to a hang out. There were only six of us who paid for the rent but the amount of people who occupied this space sometimes exceeded to 20 people per night. It’s amazing how everybody squeezed in to inhale the extra burns of tar and nicotine. The doors were always opened and everybody slept everywhere in the house. Some of us were studying in a college nearby, some were working class citizens and there were a couple of guys who believed that working is a capitalist culture in producing slaves. All of us were not inheritance to any rich daddy and mommy. We all did what we could do, just to enjoy our lives while staying and existing every today and tomorrow.
Roti Canai was one of our main source for carbohydrate and sometimes it was the only meal we ate in a day. We would collect money, walk to the nearest mamak restaurant and get 10 pieces of the exquisite Roti Canai with extra Dahl gravy to share. Most of us would sip the dahl gravy till the last drop. In times I was really broke, I would just hibernate and sleep just to ignore my humming stomach waiting for a hero housemate to successfully bring back food or roti canai.
Some of the days, we would land our butts straight to the same table at this particular mamak restaurant, after classes or work in the evening. Whining about the day every each of us went through while enjoying the first feed of the day. We would bargain sometimes for the price to pay if we didn’t have the exact amount of money. At certain times, I would use this tactic I learnt by observing this she-male who was a regular at this mamak restaurant. She would go out to the public phone near the cashier, put in a couple of coins, scarcely called and talk to somebody for a couple of minutes, then just walk right out of the restaurant. I did the same thing most of the time I didn’t have enough money.
My close friend, A.S and I, who were broken students would be the only people who dare to act like hyenas. If we didn’t eat for days we would just hang out at this mamak restaurant and order plain water or tea, watching whatever aired on the big screen television. We never bothered about soccer. We craved for the lions share. Our eyes were cautiously on the other customer’s table in the restaurant. Once these customers got up to leave, we dash to grab what they left on the table. If we were lucky that day, we would get something else than roti canai. Half of a murtabak ayam, Roti Na’an or maybe a drumstick of a tandoori chicken. It does sound pathethic, but when you have full classes in a week where you cant have a part time job, you don’t get allowance from your single parent and your to ashame to ask again and again from your other friends, you just cant choose to starve another day. Survival becomes your main intention.
Once during the Merdeka eve, we didn’t know where to go cause we didn’t have any money. So I remember 9 of us sitting at the mamak restaurant, ordered 3 glasses of Teh-O (tea without milk) and plain water for the rest. Our fat friend and I didn’t ate for 2 days and most of the rest had’nt ate anything that day. My fat friend here couldn’t stand to starve for another day. He negotiated with one of the waiters. The waiters thought that he was joking, so he went straight to the kitchen, picked up an apron and went to the washing basin to wash dishes. The cashier who was the head of the workers at the restaurant, stopped him to continue washing the dishes. So the cashier then gave us 18 pieces of roti canai, leftovers from the night shift.
Today, Roti Canai’s price has dropped 10 cents. That sure is a laugh cause the price raised more than 40 cents five years before.
I have'nt had a roti canai for months. It's not because of the price but because part of me has enough dough, margerine and oil of Roti Canai.Herm. Maybe tomorrow.