Never again.

After my French class, I needed to eat something to temporarily stop myself from starving. I usually eat every 3-4 hours and the last time I had eaten was 6pm that day. It was 9pm when class ended. There weren’t many shops open that night in the bustling suburbs of Subang Jaya. Busy with shisha smokers and college students loitering at the internet cafe or God forbid, Gongcha. Upon exiting the school, I pondered on the places I could go to to grab a bite.

To my right, a makeshift ‘mamak’ shop which only appears after dawn and on my left an old school Chinese coffee shop. Mamak shops serve Indian flatbread which we called the simplest one ‘Roti Canai’ (say it with me, ROE-TEE-CHA-NIGH) and other variations of the humble Roti Canai. They also serve fried instant noodles and fried rice. I never really enjoyed anything but eating flatbreads in a mamak because of the unbalanced servings of carbohydrate, protein and fibre. For example, fried rice = rice rice rice rice oh look a small piece of meat! Maggi mee goreng (dry instant noodles with fried egg on top, if you like) = noodles noodles noodles noodles egg.

Do you understand where I am going with this? Good!

In a typical Chinese coffee shop, there would be stalls scattered around the sides of the dining area. In a stall, a vendor only has a limited space to store their ingredients, cook their food, keep their cash and plate their dishes before serving it to a customer sitting something where in the dining area. White tiles on the floor would normally be grimy, shouts of drink orders would be heard and a television set or two placed high above the people at the corners of the dining area.

I chose economy rice because it is usually the best deal you can get. Food is cheaper and quantity, never a problem. Take as much as you want and you’ll pay half as much as that guy in Subway is paying for his six inch sandwich! Value for money! However, having thought they cooked another batch of food for customers at night, I fell into the trap of food poisoning. It lasted for a week. Why? The food was laid out there since the morning and you dare eat it for dinner? Shaun, you fool.

Never again will I eat economy rice.


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