Showing posts from January, 2018

Quirks in Food and People: Big or small

A 10-year-old girl with a tiny figure walks in with her dad who has a frame that was clearly five times her own - and a rounded belly to match. The little girl orders a LARGE milkshake topped to the brim with whipped cream and a plate of burger with fries, American-sized. On the contrary, the dad orders a modest can of ginger beer and a plate of three mini burgers, only a mere 2-inch diameter each. I was curious as to why the father even allowed the little girl to order such huge portions, knowing full well that it would be too much for her to handle. He even warned her that she may not be able to finish it all. Nonetheless, he did nothing to stop her and my curiosity only grew deeper. So when the order was keyed into the system and the food brought out, the inevitable was put into plain sunlight. Sure, she may have finished the milkshake (of which she seemed to love very much), but the burger and fries proved too much for her. Sitting with a smirk on his face to the left of her, t

Quirks in Food and People: "Nak suam?"

After ordering my food at a neighbourhood Italian restaurant, I sat back and started reading the newspaper I just bought at the 7-Eleven shop opposite the restaurant. A bunch of office workers were talking at the table next to me, and I just happened to overhear their conversation with the Western-looking waiter as they were ordering their lunch. All went fine and dandy until one lady said, “I’ll have the ice lemon tea, nak suam ”. “Nak suam?” , asked the confused waiter, and the three ladies burst out laughing. “Sorry, I mean with no ice”, replied the lady who unconsciously mixed a bit of Malay into her English sentence. No wonder the waiter was confused. He probably wasn’t well versed in the local language (if at all) and probably thought he heard wrongly when she said, “ nak suam ”. As a country made up of a lot of cultures, and hence a long list of languages that come with it, it sure is strange how Malaysians have adapted over the years by mixing the languages to,