Drinking is not an easy affair any longer. I am not referring to drinking neat or straight, of wines or spirits. God forbid. Not a single drop has ever gone down my throat. I am referring to drinking tea or coffee. Not just at the flashy joints like Starbucks or Coffee Beans at the KLCC, but even at the mamak joints.
You: “Mamak, err, teh satu!”
Waiter: “Teh tarik ke tarak?”
“Sejuk ke panas ke?”
“Teh Lipton ke, Boh ke, Darjeeling ke, hijau ke, Ceylon ke, Cina ke, Chamomile ke, Earl Grey ke, ……….. dan, dan, dan ….”
”Errrr ….. bagi teh biasa la!"
"Besar ke kecil?“
”Mau gula lebih ke, sikit gula ke?”
”Gula biasa ke sweetener ke?”
”White ke brown ke?”
"Halia mau ke?
”Susu mau ke?”
”Susu pekat ke, si ke, lembu ke?”
”Ah, lembu la!”
”Kepala mau ke?”
”Har? Apa kepala?”
”Err, err, …. ” (waiter could not explain since he is a new arrival from Nepal)
”Ah bagi air mineral saja la!”
After a while he comes back,
“Inci, air mineral finish, RO can?”
“OK, OK”, temper now flaring up,
“Mau ada gas ke, tak da gas?”
It never ends!
If you had then opted for tap water and tell him that it is too complicated to order and that you are having a throbbing headache, he would probably ask,
"Mau ubat ke? Ponstan, Aspirin, Triptan?"
"500 mg ke 1000 mg?
For all you know he was an MO in Kathmandu.
Wak Shamsi whom I had known for years is a coffee planter in Banting. When I met him last at the kurban, he was complaining of the declining output from his crops. Well not really declining, he explained, production had been good but harvest was poor. “How could that be?” I inquired, “Well, musang. Pancilik betul. Abih kopi ditelan. Tinggalnya aja taik, berderet-deret.” What more could I say, just “Sabar Wak, sabar.”
Actually what Wak does not know is that he could have been rich from the taik musang. Internationally this coffee is known as Kopi Luwak. Luwak being Indonesian for civet-cats. It is the world’s rarest gourmet coffee produced as the ripe beans are being passed through the digestive systems of the civet cats or musang. During the passing through, the beans got depulped and only the removed skins got digested. The depulped seeds that remained undigested became pickled overnight by the acid and the enzymes in the intestines, and then discharged in nice piles the next morning.
Kopi Luwak is a major export of Java, Sumatra and Celebes and today it fetches an average of USD75 (RM300) per quarter pound.
Just before Jumaat today, I excitedly called him to inform of the new opportunity that could make him rich. “Apa? Mau suruh aku jual taik? Haish, nanti orang bilang Wak dah gila. Malam-malam ajar ngaji, siang-siang jual taik!”
Well Wak, I was just proposing. But I am glad that he did not even hesitate to answer.
Shall I now tell you of my Filippino friend, Senor Key, a diabetic who claims that his health is now rapidly improving since he started having for breakfast fresh warm urine?