Chicken Rice “Soup”

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Chicken Rice “Soup”

It was a sultry June weekend. 2 nights and 2 days of running around giving commands, assisting tenderfoots (and that’s tenderfoots, not tenderfeet! I’ll pull the rest of my scanty hair out of my scalp, skin and all, if you ask me why and I don’t think you relish being showered in the blood of a teacher, no matter how kooky he or she is), ensuring safety, aiding ailing teenagers, patting backs and growling at perennial bum warmers who always seem to be on their rear ends watching the world go by. Sweating buckets, pacifying a famished belly, feeling like it would devour itself in the next instance, in vain and with every muscle cell in my body begging respite, Juneschoolholidayscoutcamp was always a test of one’s mettle.

The final inspection was done by 1600 hours Sunday and a few of the Patrol Leaders and myself decided to reward ourselves with soul food, Chicken Rice at Restoran Yum Kee, a long 20 minute trudge away. We got there, famished beyond starvation and so barking out our orders. Within seconds, a large bowl of “soup” arrived. We tasted it. What followed can only be described as a communal “Bleargggh!”. Plain hot water and if not for the specks of spring onion ringlets floating on the surface, we’d have washed our cutlery in it!

I decided the “soup” aka hot water would taste better if it had pepper in it. So I called the stall helper, a boy our age, over. “Ada pepper ka?” I asked, to be met by a blank stare. I gestured as if I was adding pepper to my soup and he promptly went off with a smile. Once he returned, he handed me a mini bottle of soya sauce. My pals smirked and looked at me. Bemused, I told him again while gesticulating wildly “Lada sulah! Pepper! Peppppppppeeerrrr!” The boy smiled again, turned and walked off. A few seconds later, he was back, all chest out and standing tall. With a sense of comprehension and no small amount of pride, he handed me a brand new roll of toilet paper! I sank onto the table, defeated, amidst guffaws and thunderous table thumping.

That, my friends, is why we need to learn English.

by supremier

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