It's unusually quiet at the market this morning. I don't think I had been early, as it was already 7.30am. I could walk from one stall to another without having to mind my grocery bag nor watching my steps. No queues to line and no waiting for my change. It was a breeze. Still, I wonder. Fresh produce were abundance, so I dismissed that thought first and foremost for the small crowd today.
When I went back for the santan I had ordered earlier when I came, my curiosity became intense. I just had to ask Makcik Jah, (MJ) the stall owner. (psst...CS, samalah pulok nama MJ ni kan, kan...kan...!)
Me: Apsal sunyi jer pagi ni? Takde berorang...beli ikan kat AhSeng tadi pun tak berebut...
MJ: Nak sekolah gamaknya...orang tak mai beli ...
(yg ni you all kena baca dalam loghat Penang, tau!)
Oh no! Not that kind of answer I was looking for. What has school to re-open got to do with this? Biar betul MJ ni! And I thought to myself later, since when have I been so kay-poh? The matter was left unsloved...
So, anyway, a funny incident took place at an old man's store selling cooking utensils at this well-organized market. I have been passing this row of shops, but have never bought anything here. But when my eyes caught a round griddle/hot pan perfect for frying roti canai/capati, I talk myself into buying one. Again, being fickle-minded, I did not enter the shop straightaway, instead, I made a few pacing up and down the five-foot way, like a parading model (uhuk, uhuk...a very ugly one at that!!!)... deliberating inside me, 'to buy or not to buy'! I walked away thinking my good reliable non-stick pans are enough for me. But...as I reached my car, I made a detour...
Me: Pakcik, kuali leper ni boleh buat bakar ikan? (dalam hati: Lili, don't be stupid, please...)
PC : Elok sangat eh, anak oi! Cek nak ka? Hat ni pakcik buat kendiri... (in a very soft spoken tone him)
Me: (dalam hati: sabar Lili...don't laugh...don't laugh YET!) Ok, saya ambil yang ni! Berape? (this time with a snicker...any longer now, I'd snort! I had better be calm... hey, I'm not being rude, you know!)
PC: Ikut-ikut lapan beleh ringgit setengah...tapi ambik kat cek, lapan belas suda lah! Ni baguih ni..tak lekat... elok nak oii!
Me: (already had RM16 in my hand and trying hard not to laugh that I know I'm bursting inside!)
Pakcik, enam belas ringgit, ok tak?
PC: Tu ka? Tambah pi la seringgit lagi...anak kira orang yang mola beli ari ni.
The deal is done. (perghh, macam orang biznes ler pulok). RM17. The griddle was packed in plastic bag, I started to giggle and when I took it from the old man, he then asked in a very fatherly manner...
PC: Awat yang cek dok gelak? (this time PC pun gelak sama!)
I shook my head and left.
Well, the moment the old man talked, he reminded me so much of a character in P.Ramlee's movie, "Nasib Do Re Me". I recalled the scene where the gergasi (giant) cakap Kedah! :)) "Awat hangpa lari deraih sangat eh...aku ligan bukan apa, aku nak bagi balik barang hangpa...sat ni hangpa main mozik tak sedap..."
But of course, I did not tell the old man thatlah!
Saja pakcik...saja...saya seronok dapat kuali lepiak!
A note to myself:
Dah bertahun-tahun duk Penang...belajar-belajarlah cakap Penang... Bukan I tak nak cakap...bila I cakap depa kata bunyi macam Siam! ;p