a/n: LOL SO CRINGEY THIS IS SO MALAYSIAN THERE’S A HIGH CHANCE NOBODY WOULD GET IT AND ALSO I AM PROCRASTINATING AGAIN
mee rojak and char kuey teow are noodle dishes! google to find out how it looks like. come to malaysia to know how it tastes like
“Mee rojak sudah habis, dik.”
She didn’t even mention what she wanted for lunch, but the food vendor knew her usual order. She felt envious of whoever at the front line since they got to place their orders, and possibly snatch the last plate of her favourite noodle dish. Glancing at her watch, she frowned at the two hands which were almost indicating twelve noon.
Mee rojak usually wouldn’t sell out this fast.
The packed food court was a familiar sight to her on that Saturday afternoon. She went to the other stall, ordering the alternative which she was starting to get tired of (she had eaten char kuey teow twice this week). Quickly she found an empty table and bless! It’s clean.
“Mind if I sit here?”
She looked up from her phone, seeing a boy around the the same age. Hair shaved at the sides, clad in a pastel plain t-shirt, and is that…flippers? He’s definitely not from around here.
“Um.” He sounded skeptical. “Is that a yes?”
Immediately she recoiled. “Oh, yeah sure.” She
laughed gave a small chuckle partly because she she was embarrassed of what she did. “You can sit here.”
The table they sat by was not the ordinary round ones situated in the middle of the area. It was the small rectangular one just enough for two (or perhaps three if you can magically manage to not block the way) propped by the halfway tiled wall of the building.
Like proper millennials they were, their hands were on their gadgets -and like the proper things millennials face, one’s gadget had ran out of juice. It was easy to notice. Phone involuntary making a not-so-loud-but-obvious ‘thunk’ was indicator number one. The words “you got powerbank” forming in a question-like structure was indicator number two.
She handed the portable battery charger to the boy across her.
“Sorry,” he apologised. “My friend is having mine right now, and Waze takes up a lot of battery.”
His last sentence confirmed her assumption that he was not from around here. She smiled assuring him that it was alright
and not smiling would make her appear as rude.
The familiar food vendor arrived to their table, serving the plate of aromatic, heavenly mee rojak which was sadly not hers. It suddenly just occurred to her that this boy in front of her was the one able to place his last order -no wait- orders.
More mee rojak in plastic packages flooded the small table of theirs. She looked at the boy across her in disbelief. How dare did he do such a thing, ordering so many packets of mee rojak like that. She might or might not have seen the vendor giving her an apologetic smile as he distributed the change to the boy.
“Is this good?” he asked her after keeping his change. “It was recommended on TripAdvisor.”
“TripAdvisor?” She turned to the stall, looking at the bright green sticker plastered beside the pricing menu. Unconsciously she sighed, making him a little worried for this stranger.
She turned to face him again, wishing the plate was hers. “It is good. It has always been.” She then eyed at him, wanting to see his expression when he takes his first bite.
“It’s supposed to be.”
She didn’t mean the hint of annoyance in her tone of speech. It was just -that plate or one of those packets of mee rojak could be hers. Nonetheless, God forbid her to have her desired food to be on her taste buds that day. Her char kuey teow arrived seconds later. The overly-familiar brown sight was starting to make her feel sick.
It was a funny sight to see the both of them dealing with their meals. His face was getting redder by the minute, and hers was going green. Never in her life she had eaten three plates of char kuey teow in that same whole week and never in his life he tried food this spicy. They made it nevertheless
if we close one eye and ignore the little bits of leftovers which they could not consume.
“At least my friends can handle the spice,” he said, wiping his sweat with his shirt sleeve.
“That’s nice.” She tried to spit out the words politely. “Where are they?”
“They went to eat something spicier; laksa. We’re going to have this tapau-ed mee rojak for tea.”
She nodded. She was pretty used to the typical eat-all-day tourist scheme. There was no surprise that Malacca is one of the top food destinations in Malaysia.
His phone resurrected all of a sudden, vibrating on the plastic surface. She took it as her call to leave. After one more smile and a small wave signalling goodbye, she got up and walked out. The rice noodles churned in her stomach, giving her every reason to regret ordering char kuey teow for Saturday’s lunch.
“Hey, hold up.” She felt a brush on her shoulder. It was the boy from somewhere; shaved sides, pastel plain T-shirt, flippers, and currently with packets of mee rojak hanging from one hand. His other hand returned her the grey portable charger, and surprisingly, something better.
“You don’t want this?” she asked. Her face lit up without her knowledge as she felt warmth radiating from the plastic packaging.
“I’m not a fan of spicy food anyway,” he brushed it off. “Thank you for lending me your powerbank.”
She flashed another smile, a genuine one this time. “And thank you for the mee rojak.”
“It was nice meeting you.”
“Me too.” She laughed at the hidden pun. “It was nice meeting you too.”