At 4.15 in the morning, the bus came to a halt. Inside and out, the lights grew brighter amidst the snores. The awoken faces looked tired and seemed wishing for the bus to continue moving. Gentle vibration and full blast of the air-conditioning system. What pleasure, for most of the passengers who took the midnight bus back to Kuala Lumpur after a hard day’s work in Johor Bahru or Singapore.
Nyonya Laksa (RM5)
A delectable bowl of light, curried broth with ingredients such as tau pok (fried beancurd skin), prawns, and cockles. Julienned cucumber for the crunch and refreshing taste. The subtle flavour of the rice vermicelli came as a nice complement.
"Bukit Jalil, Bukit Jalil. Turun, turun semua (All alight)!" the driver announced.
Egg and flour skin wrapping a substantial amount of softened turnips, ground peanuts, beansprouts and laced with a spread of chilli. Moisture control would have added to the scrumptiousness of the roll.
I was at the temporary bus terminal (for south-bound buses) the authority had stationed at one of the carparks at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. To ease congestion at Puduraya (the main bus terminal) as the Aidil-Fitri holiday was drawing near, apparently. Hoping to catch the earliest LRT to town, I sat in a well-lit tent, filled with tables, chairs and festive songs; reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles while waiting for time to pass. It was rather cold that morning. Around me, there were parents hugging their little children, couples sharing shoulders and students staring enthusiastically into their laptops. All eagerly awaiting their buses to bring them back to their respective hometowns for the long holiday.
Wrapped in banana leaf, a paste of blended spices (including turmeric, lemongrass and chilli) covering a piece of well grilled fish which differed from the usual fish paste version. Tad too sweet for the palate, the paste.
Not long after, a RapidKL bus stopped in front of me. I was actually sitting near a bus-stop! For the convenience of the travelers, the authority had offered a 24-hours shuttle service between Puduraya and Bukit Jalil. As I paid my fare of RM3.00, my mind slipped into an auto-cruise mode, knowing that I’ll be back in the city within minutes. And that I don’t have to wait for the LRT no more.
Pai Tee (RM4.50)
Cups of crunchy, fried batter filled with shreds of softened turnip, cucumber and omelette. Fried shallots topping for the extra crunch and aroma. A drizzle of cold chilli sauce for a juxtaposition of taste and Fahrenheit.
I couldn’t recall where and when I slept. Or did I even sleep at all? The transitions had yielded my ability to rationalize. All I remembered was being awakened by the annoying tone of the alarm. My surrounding was very much different, including a clear, blue sky. Gone was the cold, gloomy night.
Sour Cream Coffee Walnut Cake
FatBoyBakes’ light, flavoursome (as always) creation with a nice touch of cinnamon that will make a good dessert, anytime.
Arriving early at Baba Low's, I flipped through the papers, sniggering at some headlines that reminded me of Cirque De Soleil’s Quidam. Thank goodness for Section 2’s comics, I told myself.
Towards the sports section, the s'wonderful friends arrived, one by one, bringing with them smiling faces and happy times ahead.
And as the sun shone on this side of the world, the shadow of the dreadful hours earlier faded into oblivion.
486 Baba Low's
Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
*Wi-Fi's available at Baba Low's.