Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The mamak stall

Mamak-stall

To find the most colourful characters one does not need to venture further than the local kopitiam (Coffeeshop). All walks of life often congregate in places atypical as the one in the photo to indulge themselves, leaving such prejudices as race, religion and differences out as everyone enjoys a cup of kopi-o kau kau (thickly brewed black coffee). The old often sits and read the daily morning papers enjoying a fare of nasi lemak, rice cooked in coconut milk and dressed in thick sambal (chilli paste) and spattered with sprinklings of kacang (nuts) and ikan bilis (anchovies). Others would be dining down on roti canai (a cenai dough bread made by repeatedly kneeding the dough into paper thin flat slices and done over a hot skillet) served with curry; families would be eating out together, kids ooing as the server stretches his arms apart and 'pulls' milk tea from one pot to another to prepare 'teh tarik'; men from all races would be talking of current events and loudly speculating on the latest round of English football results or politics; womenfolk just back from the market would be swapping gossips over beverages; a teenager might be listening to his i-pod as he reads the latest fashion magazines. True there are more trendier spots to be in, the latest generation of coffee houses are fully air conditioned, served top class food, hygenic eateries and even offer you free wireless internet access but nothing can beat the atmosphere at an old fashion mamak stall, with their greasy tables, rickety wooden chairs, dim lighting, dank air and loud talking servers where orders are shouted across the floor, that is if you can stand the occasional rat moving across the place. These are still true Malaysian institutions and will continue on as such for quite a while.

5 comments:

kuoksum said...

yeah? just make sure you order more then 3 item at one go in KK

Kervin said...

I thought the opposite is true, after more than that they tend forget your order and you'll get something else.

s'mee said...

Kervin, I feel as though I am missing something! You write so well, Southern California is definately missing all the wonderful things you describe. Thanks.

Kervin said...

s'mee: I'm sure southern california has itself something special to offer visitors, if given a chance I would've like to have a tour of the Americas, even hit the beaches of California one day :D

s'mee said...

California is awesome, but I feel most of it is taken for granted and thus "abused". The beaches are terrific and they vary tremendously. I live in the Mojave Desert, very barron and dry; but I can ski in about 35 minutes or surf in two hours. That is the best thing about living here. The proximity to just about whatever turns you on, it's all here. However, that whole "melting pot" of America can be a drag. Sometimes everyone forgets where they originally came from and we get all mushy in that pot! There are very cool ethnic neighborhoods in the large cities, but in the small towns, everyone is the same with a different wrapper of skin. Keep writing - you have me hooked!