Better I should know.
Better I should know.
Once in a while, you tend to go against your instincts. Simply because you do not trust that nagging feeling, and dismiss it as an unnecessary caution, to prove yourself wrong.
Today I dropped by the stall that I have not frequented for almost a year now because I was dissatisfied with its service and the food stuff they churned out. The shop was actually famed for its variety of burgers back then, but as time went by, I found that the burgers became more squashy and uh, disfigured to the point that they hardly looked like a nice warm burger at all. In any case, I was quite sick of their burgers eventually, after having regularly survived on it a year ago, and opted to have something else instead.
I thought heck, I would give them another chance. It probably would not hurt, and I thought no more of the alarm bells that were somehow beginning to ring in my head. I approached the stall.
“2 karipap (curry puff), 2 popiah.” I told the lady manning the counter, and looked on with hesitation as she proceeded to pack the correct amount of the food stuff into a small plastic bag.
“Berapa (how much)?” I then asked her, as she handed them over to me. She seemed to not hear me the first time. Probably she has got a bit of trouble with her hearing, for I had to repeat my question another three times.
“Oh!” mumbles something unintelligible, and puts another popiah into the plastic bag ”... 2 ringgit!” For a while there, I thought she had misheard me earlier on the amount of popiah I wanted. Then I gathered that she included another popiah for me so that she did not need to give me any change, as I gave her two 1 ringgit notes (the curry puffs and popiah are sold at 40 cents each). I decided to just take the extra, albeit having to pay a bit more, and returned immediately to my room.
That was when I took one look at a popiah, and found something stuck within its folded edges. I looked closely and could make out – damn it – three big ants fried to a brown crisp, a few thin legs sticking out awkwardly.
Anyhow, I did not get into a rage to return and wave the popiah in her face, nor did I resorted to secretly wishing for a streak of blue lightning to strike at that particular stall. I do not think that a refund even matters. I only know that I will not set foot in that stall anymore. Okay, so it was just a couple of ants. I think I can live through that. Better than finding something else in it. Let us not get our imaginations running wild now.
However, I cannot help but wonder if the ‘infected’ popiah was the third one the lady had included for me – and it happened all because she did not feel like giving me 40 cents as change. What would have happened, had we just stuck to the original purchase?
I am taking it as another lesson from disregarding my own instincts.
Other gastronomical misadventures that I have had on campus: here, and here.
On air now: Time, Sarah McLachlan