Thursday, August 04, 2005


PokKu- Malaysian will become a very non law abiding citizen when they are behind the steering wheels! Why? Nobody knows why? There are lots of reasons. . When they stop at the traffic light...they think it is the “terrific” light. They feel terrific and imagine standing at the pole position as in the Formula. One race. So, they rev their engine up jump start the car to be ahead of others and they feel happy to have the head start. However, this habit was acquired by the Malaysian before the introduction of Formula One in Sepang and before they know pemandu Michael “pembuat kasut. So we cannot blame the Formula One. There are some differences the driver’s non-verbal communication in Malaysia as compared to UK. In UK, when you’re face to face with another car at a junction without traffic light and you put on the head light, it means that you give way to the other car to pass through. However, in Malaysia if you put your head light, it means the opposite i.e. you want your way and you are not giving an inch to the other car. Or alternatively, it means that there is a police speed trap in front. So, you should slow down and save RM 300 fine. This is the only friendly gesture from one Malaysian driver to another. It is more often practiced among the lorry drivers to warn their comrade to save their “duit ayam’. In the self service petrol kiosk in UK, you fill your tank with petrol first and pay later at the counter. But in Malaysia, you have to pay first and then fill your tank because if you allow them to fill the tank first, some will conveniently forget to pay. When another car cut a long queue, you start swearing at him for doing that. On the other hand, when you cut the queue and the other driver was swearing, you say that he should give chance and be more tolerant. Of course, you cannot hear his swearing but usually he will give a hand gesture – thumb down, middle finger up or the whole arm up or show you his base ball bat or metal car lock. When a driver is angry at another driver, it is the American who usually sticks out the middle finger. Malaysian are more demonstrative, they will show the left hand holding the whole right arm or alternatively, they will clap by using one open palm onto a clasped (the shape of the hand /fingers are like the one two som- one flat fro paper and one clasp for stone) . It really shows the difference in the mentality and physical size between the American and the Malaysian, namely yours as big as the middle finger vs. mine as big as the arm. (Hang punya kecil se besar jari hantu vs aku punya besar lengan!!).


PokKu- Recently, I took a flight on Malaysian Airlines to an oversea destination. Two hours before arriving ( which is 4 am in the morning), the stewardess ( a Malay girl ) asked me what I wanted for my breakfast.( sahur is more appropriate). Well , I told her “saya mahu emping with serawa Susu.” She looked blank. ( may be she heard something like Ayah Ping of Trengganu) . Ok then,”kalau tak ada itu, saya mahu berteh jagung dengan serawa susu “. She looked blank again. Then I added”saya mahu kerpok lekor daging dan teh tarik”. Again, she looked blank. Well, finally, I told her in impeccable English “ I want either rice muesli or corn flakes with milk , chicken sausage and the pulled tea.” Only then, she understood me. Imagine, our stewardess of Malay origin don’t know the Malay names of those food for breakfast. What a pity!! I am sure they were trained in English in the food selection since it is part the policy to teach in English for Mathematics and Science (including food science) but they should also know the Malay names as well.
On interesting thing we observe among Malaysians is that they will inevitably ask for” teh tarik” even though they are flying 13,000 feet high in the air , or in the submarine 13,000 feet under the sea. I hope MAS can install a “teh tarik “machine on board all MAS plane. After all, it is not so difficult to do it and it is not as expensive as the cappuccino machine. Modern the tarik can be made by putting the “milked tea” in a simple blending machine for one minute- hey presto, there’s your teh tarik.
I love colourful rice. I ate nasi kerabu which is blue in colour. I love nasi berani which is yellow and red in color ( brave rice which is made of dead rice – beras mati as opposed to coward rice - nasi penakut which is made of beras jemoh). I once ate South American dish the Spanish “spinach rice” – which is green in colour . Many like yellow beras pulut which is called the glutinous rice but the Japanese/ Korean are more practical , they call it “sticky rice” which is easy to pronounce and describe it more appropriately. and the hill padi planted in Malaysia is known as “Paddy Humour”. By the way , Condoleezza Rice has two close male relatives in Malaysia and Indonesia , namely, Amin Rice and Rice Yatim respectively !!!


PokKu: There are many version of rice in Malay words. When it is still with the husk, it is called padi. When it is planted on the hill, it is known as paddy humour. When it is peeled / dehusked , it is called beras. Don’t be mistaken for the husband of your sister- in- law who is your biras When it is broken into small pieces and marginalized , it is called melukut. (melukut di tepi gantang). Whatever is still left over is in the husk is called antah. If you really don’t know what it is, you just say entah. When it is cooked, it turned into nasi. Don’t be mistaken with the latest Malay transliteration of the United Nation to become Nasi Bersatu whose Secretary general is Mr. Six Coffee( Kopi Enam).
When it is left for a long time, it becomes nasi basi. When you you feed the nasi to the chicken, it is called Chicken Rice. When it is recycled, it is called nasi goring or the Chinese called it Flied Lice. When it is cooked with a lot of water, it becomes bubur ( porridge). When the rice is steamed, it becomes steamed rice. However, the Malay steamed rice is done differently and for different purpose. It is called nasi wap, nasi tangas or as PokKu explained it as nasi kangkang. It is placed under a woman to "suana" sweat it and the drops of sweat from the underworld is said to have the magic power to control the man who eats the rice. Any man who have eaten it will surely jalan sikit kenkang.
The East Coasters pronounced it as berah, the Niners State pronounced it as boreh (thus, the saying buat abeh boreh jee…). When you eat the cooked antah of the beras, you will become birah /biroh (horny). You also will become birah when you see the “beras siar” peeling off what it is suppose to cover. Beras (spelt as Bras) have many shape and sizes, such as quarter, half; full cup shape and sizes of A, B, C and for Dolly Patton., it is is Half Cup DD.
They say that …You are what you eat. If you eat long grain rice – It will be long. If you eat bhasmati rice (beras mati), it will die very fast, that is referring to the “dead shoot disease.” If you eat the broken rice, it will get broken up and disintegrated as in the case of contracting VD. It is a pantang among Malay man to drink water while eating rice. If you habitually do it, it will be easily soften. It will be a very micro, soft and difficult to wear (pakai) like the Microsoft ware which may not be very satisfying. It is interesting to know that the special massage by the man from Pasir Pekan can customize it to specific target. If he knows how to do that I am sure he will also know how to lock it (kunci) as well. If it were to be pointed towards wrong target, it just refuses to rise (rice). Well, I think I also can do that to deactivate the burung…but it has to be an old parrot that is Burung Kakek Tua. ( Kakek Tua = Old Grandfather in Indoensian language) Let’s sing together the old Aneke Gronloh song… ...”Burung kakek tua... patuk dijendela… nenek sudah tua….kesatnya nak masuk gua “