when in penang, suessy screws any existing diet

may 21st
we’re heading to penang for the weekend to attend the engagement of my cousin, azmie, on saturday. mum and i are pretty excited to arrive at the isle as early as possible so we planned to have breakfast at section 14 after dropping my brother at school. there’s a kedai lontong mak yah, where you may have to lined up for almost an hour and the lontong could finish as fast as the first three hours it opens — your rezeki really counts. i love to order the lontong sotong where i specifically ask for no sambal, extra kuah kacang and only the janggut part of the sotong. the guy is pretty generous with the janggut because mum said not everyone likes it. turns out, mum and i got up late after late night making the chocolate hazelnut cookies as one of the engagement offerings. we shared halves of mcdonald’s big n’ tasty. i had mine with a cup of oldtown white coffee.

we left the haus around ten a.m. and as i drove up to north, i had half a bottle of coke and a bag of potato chips, original flavour. these days i have low tolerant for other flavours, the basic one is always the best. we stopped at r&r tapah where mum just wants to hang out there because it’s a weekday and there’s no traffic at its parking lot. mum had keladi masak asam and some green veggies on top of white rice. i wasn’t hungry and i have no idea what to eat but just because we were sitting in front of a nasi ayam stall, i had one of those — roasted. it was too salty since they poured soy sauce on the plate before putting on the rice. i only ate half of it.

we arrived penang around one p.m. but because mum badly wanted to buy something for afiq, azmie’s two-year-old nephew, we stopped at a shopping mall first hence arriving at the actual location — azmies haus — at three p.m.. when we arrived, the smell of my aunt’s delicious curry lingers. then again, i’m not a fan of curry. we settled around the haus and we were served late-lunch-almost-hi-tea. we brought with us some raw ikan keli and roe of ikan sembilang for the haushold. immediately, my aunt put some of the roe into her curry as she reheats it. mum had the fish curry with rice. i had some of the roe because i’m a big fan but mostly i was indulging with my aunt’s sweet and sour garoupa. she puts in lots of onion slices which i really like and i feel it is as good as any veggies.

later we had this decadent dessert of cold bubur pulut hitam with evaporated milk. i don’t fancy bubur pulut hitam much but anything’s good with evaporated milk, eh? i had two bowls. and then, i helped myself to homemade shrimp currypuffs. my aunt made them — chicken, beef, shrimp — and sell them frozen. at the time, my aunt was making a batch of the beef currypuffs for an order. i topped some of the minced meat on top of my currypuffs. she’s making it in smaller size these days, i never bother to know why but i like them better.

we had a small birthday party for my aunt who turned sixty-two. azmie’s brother, alane came over with his wife, alina and their son, afiq, towed with present and a blackforest cake.

nescafé with sugar is served around the clock.

mum and my aunt went to alane’s haus for last minute preparation while azmie and i went to pick up my brother at the bus station — he came down after he took his history test at school. we stopped at a mamak restaurant, and the boys had rice, curry and fried chicken for my brother, tandoori chicken for azmie. i said i won’t take any dinner, but i was inkling for kue tiow goreng with fried chicken. it was not a good one, i only finished the chicken.

my cousins keep pointing out my biceps. they said i am fat now — its their very first comment after six months — but then they realized it’s only my biceps and that i am still slim. not much comfort, though, the weight scale at sime darby medical centre don’t lie.

may 22nd
alane’s haus is the pit stop for the whole entourage to gather before heading to the engagement. i got up and found my mum arranging the newly fried currypuffs in a box to bring it there. i asked one from her because it smells so good, still warm and its puff is crispy.

for breakfast, my aunt made briyani vermicelli with lots of cabbage and carrot slices. my brother and i don’t fancy it that much, we had some and our mum finished it off. we feasted on the nescafé and the homemade currypuffs.

we went to alane’s haus at 11 a.m. bringing the ironed baju kurungs and shirts, new heels, the frozen currypuffs my pregnant cousin who we are meeting there ordered, two pineapples to make jelatah and the currypuffs in a box. alane ordered somewhat curry-ish looking ayam masak merah, dalca, really red daging masak merah and nasi hujan panas for lunch. alane’s wife, alina, my aunt and mum made jelatah. i was the first to dived in.

we left for the engagement at three p.m.. the weather was really hot and the haus is linda’s granny, azmie’s fianceé-to-be, at one of those malay villages in jelutong. the streets are really narrow, the kind only one-car-at-a-time-don’t-think-about-another-car-coming-from-the-opposite-direction. it was an eleven-car-entourage and at first we wanted to all parked at the surau but then the walk to the haus will not only drenched our clothes but melted the chocolate spirals on my mother’s cookies in five seconds flat. when we finally arrived, we discovered that the haus’ yard is big enough for a decent parking space. the theme was pink down to all linda’s brothers wearing pale pink polo tees. after the introduction, the discussion, official announcement of the wedding date, my aunt putting on the ring on linda’s finger, hi-tea is served. there were pulut kuning, roti jala, kari daging, more currypuffs, kuih bengkang and kuih lompang. i was still full so i only had the kuih lompang which were nicely chilled, not sweet and striking in its shocking pink and sunshine yellow colour with white salted grated coconut on top. they served ice cold syrup drinks and coffee at just the right hotness temperature. it was a good black coffee indeed.

we returned to the alane’s haus after the engagement. i unsuccessfully helped my mum finished her nasi hujan panas, chicken and beef. i just realized that someone brought in sambal ikan kering when alina told me it was nice but i don’t feel like having them. afiq and i helped ourselves to mango jellies — they’re one of the engagement offerings from linda’s side. there was also a moist chocolate cake layered with toffee, i had a small slice. just like at my aunt’s haus, nescafé with sugar is served around the clock, along with tea, black coffee and nescafé with milk and sugar.

may 23rd
breakfast is one my aunt’s famous dishes — sunny side eggs with slices of onions and tomatoes cooked with ghee butter. but first, i had some fried rice with sambal sardin of which she fried the sardines first before cooking it with the gravy which most people said it is a lot nicer. then, i had the egg with the eminent roti benggali. mum said when she was a kid growing up with eleven siblings, they dislike it so much and gardenia bread is considered a luxury. these days my uncle and his son fight for it over soup, especially for the crust slices.

for lunch before we head home, my aunt made fish head curry, kobis masak lemak putih and reheated the leftover sambal ikan kering. i’m everything for the white gravy against the brilliant red so i finally tried the sambal with the cabbage. still, i didn’t eat much because i was still full with breakfast.

we left penang around 3.30 p.m. and arrived kelana jaya at 7.20 p.m.. we stopped at a café for dinner. both mum and my brother had the char kue tiow and i honestly don’t know what to order because i don’t know what i feel like eating since i’m neither full nor hungry. eventually i ordered clear chicken soup with rice but they got my order very late i cancelled it and ordered the char kue tiow to go. when i got home, the gravy is just nicely soaked into the rice noodles. i separated the shrimps from its skin and gave the meat bit by bit to my cat, moeli. i ate the warm noodles with relish and realized that its soy sauce is really, really, really delicious — it was a delicious char kue tiow indeed.

i made a mug of nescafé with sugar and milk and drank a bottle of mineral water. tomorrow, i feel like having pizza for lunch, and my mum and i again planned to go the lontong haus after dropping my brother at school.

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