I remember growing up with working parents. I was sent to my grandmother’s house in the morning and then stayed at her house until afternoon before going to school. Just before leaving her house, my cousins and I were so eager waiting for a gentlemen who we named after the elastic horn that he would make the sound as he approaches. We called him Ah-Boo. This guy carried tons of goodies from chips, candies, breads and ice-cream on his motorcycle. My favorite snacks were fish flavored chips (Muruku Ikan), twisties snack and durian-flavored ice-cream in a slice of bread. It felt like positive treats that motivated us to go to school from the hot afternoon weather in Malaysia.
During my visit to Malaysia recently, I heard the same honk sound in my parents’ home at about 5pm almost every day. However, every time when I ran out to call the seller, he would make a turn before my parents’ house and leave with his motorcycle. One day, I was leaving the house for an urgent meeting and I saw this seller in my neighborhood, I don’t have a chance to get out the car and buy from him but I was able to capture a picture of the seller with a very happy little customer. Nowadays, there are just a few snack sellers on motorcycle. I really hope they could stay forever despite the economic development of many cities which could neglect smaller business like this one.
I was walking in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur one day to get some afternoon snacks on an extremely hot day. As I was walking very fast to the other end of the street to some shade I saw a traditional ice-cream seller on a motorcycle. Although I had so many snacks in my hands, I couldn’t resist but to get the ice-cream that I have not eaten for centuries! Forgetting the hot sun and going to the shade to stay cool, I crossed the street and ordered myself a couple scoops of ice-cream in a hot-dog bun. The bun was larger than what I had before, but the ice-cream tasted the exact same as in my childhood. The owner generously scooped out yam-flavor, durian-flavor, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice-cream into the bun. As I took my first bite into the ice-cream with the bun, the recognizable flavor brought me back to my childhood memory – of my grandmother’s house that I used to go to before school. Those are memories that I cherish, about staying with my grandmother who patiently took care of 10 grandchildren at the same time, and she always had a foot long plastic wrapped wire in her pocket to scare us if we were misbehaving:)
Thanks to Chad M. for sharing the delicious looking picture of Malaysian ice-cream: Chad M.- My Life in Kuala Lumpur