I was about 10 minutes late for my class this morning. My Lehrerin, Frau L does not take it well to people being late. She blasted us many times before that Germans value punctuality and if you cannot keep to the timing, you have already ‘spoiled’ your image to the Germans. Oh well, sometimes or rather most of the time, no one can predict Malaysian traffic, can you ? The whole class have since memorised the magic sentence,
‘ Entschuldigung Frau L, ich bin spat‘
…and we roll that sentence out like native speakers. Only that sentence. It’s called survival. Somehow saying sorry about being late made her continue her lesson without drawing everybody’s attention upon the late comer, who is already flustered as it is.
It is a hot day today. The husband fetched me after class and we were caught in a bit of traffic en route home. We saw some trucks by the roadside. On one truck it says Rojak Kader. The famous chendol truck. Many cars have already begun to make their pit stop for Mamak Kader’s chendol and rojak. 2 meters away from Mamak Kader, is the Pakcik selling fresh young coconut, chilled in his styrofoam boxes full of ice.
We decided to stop by the roadside as well. We got a packet of Rojak, a bowl of chendol and two chilled young coconuts and sat under the huge rain tree about 5 metres away from the food trucks. And we ate watching the traffic from the main road inched by, passing the two trucks from where we bought our lunch.
Some occupants of the passing cars peered out of their windows looking at us eat. Their cars big and luxurious. Did they wish they could join us ? Or were they pitying us for having those, there for our lunch? In any case, today I found out something that most people don’t know about.
You know, in the hot sweltering heat and bad traffic, icy cold chendol and chilled air kelapa muda from roadside trucks taste like a piece of heaven.