April 22, 2010

Cursing Soup For The Soul : A City Dwellers in A Small Town of Kuala Pilah

One morning,about 3 month ago,I was just finishing my task at the Religious Office in Kuala Pilah.As I have already taken a half day leave that day and not planning on rushing back to Cyberjaya,I sat down at a food court in front of the Government Complex.Just to remind you,this is not a modern and contemporary food court that can be found in Alamanda or Mid Valley,this is just a row of small Malay food stalls that sells a variety of breakfast that is hardly found nowadays in big cities.

It was not too crowded but most of the table are full.There were a group of policemen who was staring at me,maybe I look like an outsider to them and there are some other groups of families sitting having their breakfast.I pick a spot and quickly a smiling Malay uncle shouting (in a nice way),asking me what do I need for a drink."Teh tarik satu pakcik!Roti kosong satu!" I shouted a bit as there is a gap between us.

As I was singing in my head waiting for my teh tarik to arrive,one of the stall owner's there was sitting and chatting with her husband.Can't really hear what they are saying. There's nothing else to do,so I sat there and observe peoples.Out of nowhere there was one Nyonya who comes to the food court and takes some nasi lemak.Then she took a spoon and just sat there,eating her nasi lemak."Abang,minum biasa!",she said to the stall owner.

"Haa...nasib kau baik hari ni,kalau lambat sikit habis nasik lemak ni.."said the lady.The nyonya sat there giggling loudly.

"Hoi,semalam kau tengok ke Juara Lagu?" asked the nyonya,making me startled."Aku tak suka langsung lagu-lagu yang menang.Tak sedap la!" Maybe she didnt like the song as the generational gap between her's and the winner from the Juara Lagu is absolutely huge.

"Boleh la,aku pun tak berapa gemar lagu-lagu yang masuk.Ramai budak-budak muda," the stall lady response.

And they go on and on chatting about Juara Lagu.

What is fascinating about the story here (for me at least) is that it is pretty uncommon for us to see those kind of situation in Kuala Lumpur or any big cities.When we have lunch,we make it quick as we are chasing time.We eat only where our race permits us.It is quite uncommon for me to see Chinese having their breakfast at a Malay owned food stalls.Not extinct,just uncommon.

But in a small town where everyone rely on somebody else and knows each other names,our race barrier is still thin.When me and my wife went to the fish market,we always bought our fish from an Indian lady who is quite friendly as she know my wife and mother in law quite well.She ask a lot of things about our families,how is my mother in law doing?Is she still ok? Is she well?How close are the bond of people living in a small town?My wife knows that in Kuala Pilah there are 3 "mentally challenged" person moving around the town.She know them by name,their home and she know the exact location of where they are loitering around. It's that close

Those kind of interaction are lost when we go living in a big city where everybody is just minding their own stuff. We live in a less human interaction environment where everything is automated.We will never know and care about who pack our fish in the market because we have been visiting hypermarket for quite some time.I am sure that talking about Juara Lagu with a Chinese colleague in the office will be the weirdest conversation ever for me,unless he or she is really into Mawi or someone else.

Even Malaysian football team have become a race oriented team,in these case,Malay.Remember about Lim Teong Kim?The only Malaysian player that have played in German Top Division League?Or the late R.Arumugam,the legendary Selangor goalkeeper.Where are the non-Malay player in the national team?

Is it because of racial tension or is it because of racial tension created by politician?As we grow more modern and more complex,we,Malaysian are forgetting,that we, are Malaysian.The government can come out with all the concepts and slogans that they want to,but they will fail.Why? Because they are racist bastard.Doing something they don't really believes is a sign of weak government prolonging their control of the throne.

I sat there with a lot of things coming into my mind.How is Malaysia before 1980? Is the environment of small town is a true reflection that people and race based politician in Malaysia once know how to co-exist? Why did the Malay in small rural town can live and co-operate with the Chinese and the Indians but when we migrate to the city we forget that we are a multi cultural based nation?As our mind and country become more develop,why is the barrier between races become thicker?

I finished my nasi lemak and my second teh tarik.Looked at my watch and it shows 10:30."Pakcik,kira berapa," I asked the stall owner.Politely he smiled and count with his imagination,"nasi lemak 70 sen,teh tarik dua,seringgit enam puluh sen.Semua sekali RM2.30"

I hate living in the city.
Expensive breakfast!

12 ulasan:

musicas berkata...

pergh,RM2.30 is not that expensive.Expensive is RM4++ for a nasi lemak+sambal ikan bilis & half of hard boiled egg at KL , *true story; when i went to KL with my family and had breakfast at 1 of the restaurant; cant remember the restaurant name

Lina Rahim berkata...

I used to chat with one of the Melanau guy in plane (from Miri to KL), he is the investor of ING, and he said to me, "We here (means Sabah and Sarawak) used to live with hundreds of ethnic groups for hundred years, and when we heard about 1 Malaysia, we make some fun of it.."

mr. hafis berkata...


tak faham ka? haha

karl berkata...


peh bro, kuala pilah murah lg upenya..huhu..bestnya duk situ :)

Tanpa Nama berkata...

like this entry.. nice one..

Dashing Days berkata...

yes..i love small town like diz..suke makan cendol kat bus stand pilah huuu

musicas berkata...

ohoho,silap baca..haha,baru pham last ayat tuh..still,harga makanan kt town2 mmg cekik darah..RM5 mmg tak ckup nk makan bagi 1 meal

'izzat berkata...

eh. pakcik tu lupa kira roti kosong dia atau lupa hantar.



kō⋅rŏxx berkata...

Macam baca tulisan Adibah Amin pulak rasa. Kecuali part "racist bastard" tu. Hehe.

'izzat?: Roti kosong kot 70 sen tu.

Mantot berkata...

memori aku terkonfius masa aku tulis tu.aku dok mixed up nasi lemak dengan roti canai,aku tak sure aku makan mana satu.

Tanpa Nama berkata...

kenapa entry ni grammar ko out giler tot?

EyCa ZaKaRiA berkata...

dok pilah mmg murah maa...aku selaku org pilah m'iakan ckp mantot tuh..heheeeh