in that 48 nights, quite possibly 28 nights were spent in none other than, Siang Malam. Siang Malam is one place like no other. the ambience and the experience of Siang Malam, you can get no where. sitting just an inch away from the traffic by the road side while sipping to a cup of kopi-o-peng and enjoying a plate or more of mouth-watering char kuey teow and chee cheong fan. sipping to a cup of kopi-o-peng whilst talking about what happened during the day, catching up on the town's hottest gossip, hear conversation from the next table, and of course, talking about kebahagiaan.
spending so much time in Siang Malam, i could not help but make friends with my kopi-o-peng maker. the stall in between the chee cheong fan and the wantanmee-currymee-kueyteowteng-and-more stall. that stall is run by herself and her mother and on weekends, her father comes to help. the father - the botak man. anyway, i do not mean to be rude, neither offensive but this kopi-o-peng maker, speaks like as if her nose is pinched real tight (is there a word to describe this?), therefore, sometimes its really difficult to understand her. or like how i call it in hokkien, ee-oo.
one night, Cheah came to overnight at my house, which is unchaperoned. so we got to spend our night talking until late into the night or wee hours in the morning, whichever. until the stall was all prepared for close. that night, the k-o-p maker came to talk to us, and that was how the ice crumble. well, usually i would go to Siang Malam with Ezen, but that night, Ezen was already back in Perth, so the kop-maker came to ask what happen to the other friend? and this was how it went :
kop-maker : lu kho chi khiok 'eng 'eui leh? (lu ko chi kiok peng eui leh?)
me : oh, ee ki tak cek liau.
kop-maker : o. ee hi 'ak ek eiau. hi ho lok 'ek 'ek? (oh. ee ki tak cek liau. ki toh lok tak cek?)
me : oh ciu.
kop-maker : o. poi eiau la? (oh. poi liau la?)
me : ah. si lo.
kop-maker : lu 'ang eh? bo 'ak 'ek meh? (lu lang leh? bo tak cek meh?)
me : uu. ah boi gok.
cheah : uu. tapi uu koh leh H1N1, so oh teng kam chi leh pai.
kop-maker : o. o. beh 'uai la, eh 'eh kah ane ua. lu toh lo 'ak 'ek? ek-el? (oh. oh. beh kaui la eh ceh kah ane ua. lu toh lok tak cek? kl?)
me : ...
cheah : ee mun ai poi liau. ee poi ki bi kok eh.
kop-maker : o. lu mun poei eh. lu eh? (oh. lu mun poi eh. lu leh?)
cheah : keat tah tak eh. wa bo poi.
so la dee do. XX
that was somewhat how the conversation went. after knowing the thin surface of us, we had to melt the ice, not only break it. this was how i got to know her name :
kop-maker : lu 'in nia eppy eh 'o? (lu chin nia happy eh ho?)
me : chu mi leh?
kop-maker : 'ua lu e-e cio eh. (kua lu ti ti cio eh.)
me : (smiles) so meh ni wa lai lu koh eh eh ki wa bo eh?
kop-maker : eeeh. eh la. lu emia ah mi? (eeeh. eh la. lu mia ha mi?)
me : err. ejane.
kop-maker : aieeoo. ah mo emia wa emeh 'io 'ong. (aiyo. ah moh mia wa beh hiao kong.)
me : oh. er, ee chen la. ee chen. lu..lu mia ha mi leh?
kop-maker : wa mia ami a? wa mia a oon o. (wa mia hami ah? wa mia ah hoon lo.)
me : oh. ah hoon a. so lu ai wa kio lu ah hoon ceh ceh asi ah ee asi aunty?
kop-maker : 'ien eh la. 'eo a oon 'ia 'ah chin ma. (mien eh la. kio ah hoon nia kah chin ma.)
thus, we knew each other's name. notice that in the two above conversations, after every sentence of kop-maker, there is a bracketted of the exact meaning but just clearer pronouciation, because in real, the unbracketted version is how she speaks. that was how she spoke to us. and by talking to her, i've learned the trait of laughing off something after i have no idea what she just said.
other then a new found friend, there was another funny/scary encounter at Siang Malam with Cheah, and also Jennifer. it was one real fine night with big appetite. and usually we sit out at the table closest to the road but leaving the chair closest to the road empty and we would occupy the other three, so no one's back would face on coming cars. and on this night, we decided to eat our hearts out. and sure enough we did...we had all our drinks on the side of the empty seat so we had space for our food. then one homeless junk (pretty well about town, you might notice a middle-aged man, who walks like robot) came real close to us and then walked away. i was stunned a bit. and i thought he was just gonna sit his ass on that chair.
after a few moments later.................
YES. just as i thought my thought would not only remain a thought my thought did not remain as a thought.
that homeless junk came by again and sat. took out his hand. grap on Jennifer's drink. took it near his mouth. had the straw in his mouth. and sucked on the melted ice and a hint of barley. yes. it was pure OMG. i tried to stay calm. at the same time not laugh that he hacked Jennifer's drink. i think we might had sat with him for a good 15 seconds. i looked at Cheah and she looked back. Jenn was probably looking at her drink. haha. we waved at the botak man for rescue, but to no avail.
on the 16th second, i got up and went to tell Ah Hoon, "err, uu lang ceh tua wa lang eh toh teng..err". she went and said to him, (in an altered version) "chau. ai chau mai chau. ah bo wa gia siou chui theng lu eh a". and became our heroin of that night.
in Siang Malam, we had fun. we laughed. and we spoke of kebahagiaan.