KUALA LUMPUR — If there were anyone that couldn’t be happier that Ramadan is here, it would be foodstuff. As Muslims observing the holy fasting month would abstain from eating during the day, leaving roughly only half of the population not fasting, it means that food would be getting eaten less often, and get more time for themselves.
“I’m excited, really,” said Nasi Ayam, when met at the Mid Valley Megamall branch of The Chicken Rice Shop yesterday. “This would be my first fasting month, and judging by what I heard from my food-friends around the restaurant floor, it’ll be a relatively quiet month. I mean, my brothers and I have prepared ourselves for the daily buka puasa rush, but at least we’ll have the daytime to relax and catch up on things. Mee Sup over there told me she plans to sleep all day,” he said, pointing towards the noodle dish resting by the stove.
“Personally, I’m looking forward to finishing the three Dan Brown novels I just bought.”
A quick survey around the food court on the mall’s 3rd floor revealed an equally excited mood. The Chicken and Beef Teppanyaki Combo Meal said that he had been looking forward to the fasting month for a long time.
“Everyone’s been working very hard all year round,” said the sizzling dish, as a hungry shopper considers him while scanning through the colourful menu. “Malaysians are a hard-eating lot. From sunrise till sunset, they eat like there’s no tomorrow. With all the choices of delicious and mouth-watering dishes available, I’m not surprised. I mean, look around you,” he asked, gesturing toward all the food stalls offering both local and international fare.
The sentiment is also shared by the drinks.
“It’s a well deserved rest, I must say,” quipped Ice Lemon Tea, as Iced Barley and the Fountain Fizzy Drinks nodded in agreement. “It has been utterly exhausting, being drunk 24-7. While it’s quite understandable, seeing how hot and humid the country is, the amount of drinks people consume per day still surprises me. It’s no wonder Klang Valley is facing the threat of a water crisis!” he joked, ice cubes swirling all over as he shook, laughing.
Meanwhile, the Ikan Masak Lemak Cili Api, a veteran amongst the dishes there, offered a cautionary view. “I would encourage all my food friends to enjoy the rest while we can,” she said solemnly. “While there will be fewer people eating during the day, and some of our workload will be undertaken by the seasonal guys like Ketupat, Lemang and Rendang, all of us must not forget that we’ll have to gear up for the Big Push,” she remarked, referring to the foodfest people affectionately call Hari Raya Aidilfitri. “From experience, I can say that those people who have somehow managed to refrain from eating a lot for a whole month, will be stuffing their mouths like starving war refugees for the next month.”
Again, the disclaimer: Obviously, this story isn’t true, and has nothing to do with anyone, dead or alive. Unless, of course, your food talks to you.