Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teh Susu

So I am here. Home in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Coming home is always a little strange... even jarring at first, particularly after one and a half years of being over 9000 miles away. This morning, I was in a hawker centre with my father and the lady yelled across the restaurant asking what I would have to drink. I was craving the quintessential tea with milk, but my mind was drawing an absolute blank as to how to order it with hawker stall finesse. You know, to NOT sound like a tourist. I glanced at my father in slight panic, and said, "Uhm... the tea drink with a bit of milk and sugar?"

"Teh susu!"

"Oh, right."

How embarrassing for someone who carries a bright red Malaysian passport and has been raised speaking English, Malay and Indonesian!

I have been thoroughly enjoying the food that I miss 11 months out of the 12. Fish ball noodle soup, rojak, pork floss, char siu, pork ball noodles, sayur asam, Nestum curry prawns, freshly made sambal belacan, and DURIAN DURIAN DURIAAAN. I have missed durian so much! You can find durian smoothies in Chicago (I recommend Dong Ky's by Broadway Market), but nothing beats the sweet intoxicating yellow pulp of fresh durian... particularly when its thorny embrace has been pried open mere seconds before. O durian, my fruit drug, how I adore thee!

Speaking of fruit, I cannot believe how much more fruit I eat at home. Fruit as a snack. Fruit as lunch. Fruit after breakfast. Fruit after lunch. Fruit after dinner. I feel spoilt rotten by the kaleidoscopia of Southeast Asian tropical fruit, and my local Dominick's in Chicago just does not quite compare. Apples and oranges are so boring, really.

Oh, but this morning I had my two wisdom teeth removed. I had mashed jackfruit with milk for lunch. Hi, my name is Jasmine, and I will be eating like a toddler for the next few days.

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