"Men kick friendship around like a football, but it doesn't seem to crack. Women treat it like glass and it goes to pieces."Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Not frightfully relevant, but I thought it's a nice quote to share.
I made a deal with my ex-roommate, class representative and all-round champion nice guy, Inn Shan, that if he gets me some of Teluk Intan's famous heong peng/peah, I'd get him some pickled nutmeg from Penang in return. It's a deal sworn in blood and brotherly clasped arms; a promise made between Real Men in a thunderstorm amidst seasprays from violent waves slamming on an epic cliff face. It's more manly than an outdoor barbecue - more manly than even than a hundred seppukus! Seppukus with handlebar moustaches no less!
And I totally dropped the ball on my end.
Yeah, I forgot to bring pickled nutmeg back from Penang like I said I would, and poor Inn Shan who was looking forward to some cool, sour, crispy, minty nutmeg pickles would have to wrestle with the dark, deep depths of disappointment and despair that can only come from a person being denied a snack he's been expecting to consume. I feel your pain, Inn Shan. I had a similar experience when I four when I dropped an ice-cream cone on the roadside and I was told that it was all my fault and that I didn't deserve a replacement cone. Tragic day, it was - I shed many a single tears.
Sorry, mate. I will make it up to you come August when I return to Penang.
I fell in love with two of Teluk Intan's most well known eats (their heong peng and their very special mutant chee cheong fun) when I made a short dinner stopover there back in 2007 after a Penang road trip with Inn Shan and Sze Yin - and I still pine for them on most nights after I have run out of most other things to pine for (I usually pine for yet another album by Regina Spektor, a fully-electric Mini Cooper and the death of organised religions worldwide). I would also have loved me several
This time, he got me Ta Sin Guan Tin confectionery's heong peng instead of Hup Aik's, but I must say it's as just delicious as the latter. I assert this as a matter of personal opinion, of course.
For my non-Chinese, non Malaysian readers (I know I have some, don't lie), heong peng literally means fragrant biscuits or pastries. They are incredibly flaky, have sprinkles of aromatic sesame seeds on top and are filled with with a gooey, ambrosial, sweet-savoury filling born of the sexy union between malt sugar and shallots. Don't you just feel like sinking your teeth into that picture above now? I've no idea if these fucking delicious baked stuff are kosher, halal, or whatever word it is that Hindus use to say "contains no cow" but lucky me, I suffer from no dietary restrictions whatsoever.
Someday, I got to try some of Ipoh's heong peng too since that town's version is supposedly much more famous. Any Ipoh native feeling generous here?
My diet plans are crumbling around me faster than my life's happiness. See, I just started the final year of med school and after a brief disorientation session by the faculty this morning, my future seems like this dark and joyless place to me.
But at least I'll have pastries.
All gooey inside,
k0k s3n w4i