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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

What makan (eating) is to most Malaysian

I love eating and i definitely love snacking. When i was working, i always have something on my table be it peanuts, sweets or other stuff. Yes, i like buying food and would practically "force" all my colleagues to eat them. If someone decline, the other person would tell him/her off by saying, "Just take 1. You know shes not gonna stop until you eat it". Haha. Im so persistant and they know that about me.
Outside the office around 3pm there will be makcik (aunty) selling varieties of delicacies from goreng pisang, (fried bananas) to keropok lekor (fish cracker) to ais cendul. (Those of you who dont know what cendul is, uv got to google it yourself. hehe.. ) Living away from home is definitely not easy when you're so used (and damn spoiled!) to all those goodies. Thank god i can stil find plaintain here where i would make my own fried banana but sadly, having eat them all by myself. You see, back home (that's Malaysia, in case you dont know already) eating time is like a feast. You dont have to have a special occasion to eat with your friends or colleagues. What id usually do is collect between RM1 to RM2 from the ppl in my department (incl the bosses) and go down to buy something from the makcik. Our tea-lady then would put them on a plate for us all to eat with our evening coffee or tea. And that's basically on a daily basis so you can imagine when we really do have a feast in the office. Be it birthday parties or farewell parties or hari raya (Eid Mubarak)or just-because feasts. What is just-because-feasts? Well, sometimes, when someone feels good and just wanna buy a round of lunch, he/she would order some food for everybody in the office. There would be loads of food in the pantry and everybody would gather during lunchtime to savour them. If you happened to have a friend visiting you in the office during that time then he/she would be invited too. That's the typical Malaysian hospitality to you and thts only in 1 of the companies that iv worked for in KL. (Kuala Lumpur).
I brought that habit with me when i moved to the US. Everytime my in-laws came over, I always let them know that Il be cooking either lunch or dinner. Even on the last day before we moved to CA, i stil made lunch for everybody despite most of our cooking utensils already packed and sealed in boxes. My mil kept telling me that i didn have to do it but im a true Malaysian at heart. Il never let our guests leave with an empty stomach.
If you somehow find yourself in a Malaysian home or be among Malaysian, dont be surprised if after breakfast they'r already talking about what to eat for lunch and dinner. Hubby is already used to me asking him what he wants for lunch after he'd just finished his cekodok.
Have i "shared" the meaning of makan to you? Well, maybe i have and maybe i havent but there's no better way to experience it than either going to Malaysia yourself or attending any Malaysian gathering in your area. ;)

3 comments:

Ms J said...

you are so kelakar...feeding your hubby cekodok! must try, must try with MrJ here! haha.

oi makcik, i make me soooo darn hungry for some real malaysian food now!!

(i'll ring you tomorrow ok?)

Minami said...

Funny!

PrincessJournals said...

msj, u shud try giving mrj cekodok. my hubby loves it but he pronouce it as cekodos. (plural!)

minami, glad u like it. ;)