Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"If the cucumbers are free, why should we eat satay?"

It's a tradition in my family (or perhaps in many other Malay families) that the first salary of one's first job is to be spent on a special meal for our nearest and dearest.

My mother was the first woman in her family to go to university, and after she graduated she got a job in television broadcasting. With her first month's wages she brought some of her brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces to eat satay.
'Aku teringat yang Mustakim tanya, "Berapa harganya?" Aku kata, bergantung pada berapa cucuk yang kita makan. Tapi aku kata, timunnya free. [Mus]takim kata, "Yuk, makan timun aje." Kelakar habis dia masa tu.'
[I recall Mustakim (the only brother) asking, "How much does [the satay] cost?" I told him, it depends on how many sticks we eat. But, I said, the cucumbers are for free. He then said, "Let's eat only cucumbers then." He was really very funny then.]

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