Saturday, August 23, 2008

JB Saturdays

It doesn't help that I only dropped off at five in the morning. Mum staggers to my door barely four hours later and starts her early morning chatter:

"Jenny, you wanna go Pasar Tani? Or you wanna go for breakfast? OK come, let's go for breakfast. Hurry up girl!"

So I wake up and shake sleep from my hair and throw on some crumpled clothes. Mum eyes me askance. "You didn't iron that." Then she shrugs philosophically. At least I'm up and that's saying something.

Chubs, who has been shaken out of sleep is also grumpy. I come down to greet the two doggies. I don't understand why Elliot is looking so worried (I realise later that he thinks I'm leaving already - poor Elliot, his life is so full of uncertainty, we come, we go, and he remains tied up).

Anyway we arrive at Kerala Restaurant too late for the appam. Uncle Joe is sitting at his accustomed place at the cash register looking placid. He smiles and nods. We order roti canai instead. And mutton curry. The mutton curry arrives sans mutton. Apparently they don't have the ones that have been chopped up small small. Bru Coffees all round. Mum glances at her watch and mentally calculates what time we can call Jackie to wish her. It's her birthday. I'm hoping that she has received all the cards by now.

Then it's off to Pasar Tani. Chubs stops near the rickety stairs. He's gonna stay in the car and read his PG Wodehouse. I am going to follow Mum and be the pack horse. I look around trying to take note of this pageant around me. Two people quote higher prices than what is written on the cards and Mum bristles up in conscious reproof. The vegetable ladies are grumpy. The fruit guys are jovial. One old fruit guy offers me a slice of jackfruit. It is very very sweet and soon my fingers are sticky with juice.

"Alamak, mak mertua lalu belakang tak nampak." (roughly translated: your mother-in-law has just passed behind you, you didn't see her)

I stare at the man in surprise. "Sorry?"

Apparently it is a pepatah Melayu (Malay saying). I'm not sure if the saying has to do with eating jackfruit, or sweet fruit, or sticky fruit and forebear to ask. I am allergic to mothers-in-law, imaginary or otherwise.

Being a lazy child, not interested in lugging around a lot of heavy plastic bags I make frequent trips to the car where Chubs is relaxing, seat back, reading his Wodehouse and listening to the radio (some things never change).

Finally, all the marketing is done and Mums has arrived at her plants stall. This signals the end of or Pasar Tani trip. Her mouth opens slightly and her eyes zone out into her junkie look. (some things really never change)

Then I think, OK we're off home. But it is not to be. Mum doesn't get a chance to run her errands often, what with Chubs busy with peak period at the office and all (altho I did tell her I'd be back for a week this time, which means we could spread them out), so she wants to go to the Post Office to pay a bill. And stop along the way to buy bread. Lack of sleep is starting to get to me and I feel myself getting grumpy.

But Mums says - go get your refund (the car petrol hike refund thingy) and I say, aiya dowanlar...and Chubs says, you'd better, after all, they reduced petrol prices today, so they may take this off. So I go, pay the bill and get my refund (it takes all of five minutes, for which I am pleasantly surprised) and then finally, finally we make our way home.

Time to shower and sleep. Except that I need to get on the net to check my Facebook and email. Mum looks at me and shakes her head: "You are addicted, aren't you?"

I nod, eyes riveted on the screen.

For sure.

2 comments:

Chermaine said...

it's always comforting to go back to things which does not seem to change with the passing of time.

Jenn said...

Yeah, tell me about it!

It's afternoon and just had breakfast.

Mum raises her eyebrows, looks askance, then shrugs philosophically thinking that Jenny will be Jenny.

(Some things really, really never change!) :)