Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Monday, January 28, 2008
I wrote about taboos many years ago. 3 years ago to be exact. You still can read it here. Many friends and readers shared their thoughts on the subject. Just click the comments link. Even if Halsoscan gave a 0 reading, there are many comments there.

One taboo that I forgot to mention was eating from a cooking utensil - the periok (cooking pot) or the kuali (wok). I first broke this taboo many many years ago when Corus Hotel was still a spanking new Ming Court. I ordered char kway tiaw at the coffee house and it came in a mini wok (kuali). I guessed I was not cursed with pestilence and famine only because the wok was not used to cook anything. I, on the other hand was not used to see food served in woks, whatever their size.

Yesterday, many years after having inured cultural assassinations by marketing experts, I sat at Eden Cafe, Amcorp Mall and ordered char kway tiaw which I know is good. I have ordered it countless times before. This time it came in a small tin wok. I can almost hear my Terengganu classmates chanting : Ku Ali makang dalang kuali. I have to surrender to the fact that marketing gimmicks override my sensitivities. How many people nowadays observe the taboos? I do not know. What I know is that laws are like taboos too and many people pay scant regards to them. Inured. Many Malaysians (present company excepted, of course) regard laws with the same disdain they reserve for old taboos. Convenience (their own) overrides their respect for rules and regulations. Going against red lights, double or triple parking, obstructing traffic, throwing rubbish indiscriminately and other misdemeanors and felonies. On the other end, there are daylight robberies, corruptions etc. ad nauseum. People get inured or in Malay kematu because hardly anyone gets caught and punished for their transgression.

As I was chewing (with difficulties since I do not have enough teeth) my kway tiaw, I thought of the punishment for sitting on a pillow. You get a boil on your butt. Wouldn't it nice for lawbreakers to get many boils on their butt and maybe a few bumps on the head too even if they managed to elude the short arm of the law?

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