It is 20 minutes to midnight and I just had a packet of perut ikan. It is a family tradition. My mom used to cook huge pots of perut ikan with the daun kadok, daun kunyit, daun sekentut (smells like fart) and all sorts of herbs she plucked around our kampung in the 1970s.
So, we would feast on perut ikan for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper. Perut ikan is fish guts preserved in brine. It stinks, very, very stinky. Once my mom didn’t get the glass jar cleaned properly (need to use very hot water to boil to disinfect) and maggots grew in them.
Nowadays not many people sells perut ikan. It is not easy to slice those herbs finely. Plus perut ikan is not easily preserved. You need to know some fishmongers well enough to store those fish guts for you.
Anyway…I bought the packet of perut ikan this morning from one old lady who was carrying the basket all over Rifle Range hawker place. I sort of pity her walking from table to table. Saw her earlier when LGE was walking around.
After he had left, I had breakfast with two reporters. This old lady came by asking if I want to buy some. I don’t know why but I immediately recalled my mother-in-law. She used to sell stuffs at the market like this. Except that she doesn’t go from table to table. Instead she sat at the grounds at Jelutong market selling siput remis.
So, the little Miss Saviour who thinks she can saves the world bought a packet. The old lady is one smart woman. She pushed to me a packet of achar. I took it though I hate acar.
She gladly plonked her basket on the table and started chatting with me. Me being the ever reliable catman’s video woman digs in. I asked her, “Ah Poh, lu u kah ling kuan ying shake hands bor?” (Auntie, did you shake hands with Lim Guan Eng?) I knew she did cos catman shook all the people’s hands at the market.
She doesn’t know who I am, of course. So, she told me in Hokkien, “His hands very big, very soft.”
I probed further. I asked her if she had taken the RM100. She said she haven’t but ling kuan ying told her April 23rd can get money.
And that’s where I regretted I opened my big mouth….
She asked me, “You leh? You enough age? (lu u kau huey ah boey?)” Wuah….I almost choked my mee sua to death. The two reporters who were with me aren’t sure what we were talking as one is not fluent in Hokkien and the other was busy telling the non-Hokkien one something.
Aiyorr…can die like that. Like kena slapped like that.
So, I grinned…No lah…I not yet qualified. WTF? I am only 46, another 14 years, okkkkkkk???? That means she thinks I am 60 years old. You think my ego can blue black or not?
Well, I found out she is 75 years old but she looks like 60 plus. So, ok lah, maybe she is tired from all those walking and no one buys her perut ikan. Somemore I consoled self, maybe she has cataract and can’t see so well. Or she doesn’t know what else to say to this nice 5xmom so she created small talks.
I refused to admit that I looked a mess. Serves me right. I didn’t put on any make-up. I had spent the last one hour thirty minutes running after ling kuan ying. I had also spent the last 20 minutes under the rain because that ling kuan ying walked from block to block of Rifle Range flats to check on maintenance. Rubbish, broken lifts, wet grounds and more.
Being the photographer who doubled up as videographer who tripled up as reporter, I had to constantly look out for scenes interesting enough for my video, photos good enough for our state publications and details that I need to write.
So, yeah, this 60 years old 5xmom just walloped the perut ikan with a lot of vengeance. Damn blue black still. But her perut ikan is nice. I just hope that tomorrow I don’t reproduce them in liquid.
Excuse me, I need to slather on my SKII now and go to sleep.