Oat clusters with added honey and sunflower seeds, some natural yoghurt with flaxseed sprinkled on top, a rather small New Zealand-grown apple with nice light green patterns on the skin, some grape juice.
Note the fake wooden flooring at the background (linoleum aje ya beb… RM80 from PJ Old Town), covering the rotting parquet flooring. I can’t afford timber strips and I won’t invest that much anyway for such a temporary settlement, featuring a window with a most uneventful and boring view: of the other terraced unit (imagine peeling peach-toned Dunlop weatherproof paint, weeds growing out from the cracks in the pavement, and lalang near the longkang).
Occasionally in the mornings, the Indonesian maid could be heard singing to herself… Indonesian pop songs about sex, I’d like to imagine; it was as though she was channeling Mariah Carey. Sometimes the tunes resembled Tahitian rain songs.
I peeped at her before — she was washing something… utterly boring activity to be done at the tiny backyards of these urban Malaysian terrace homes (she wasn’t refurbishing a garden gnome, for example), but she was grinning, the only times she gets to be expressive perhaps — so daunting to keep saying “Ya, Mam” or “Ya, Mam, nearly ready” (etc) for the rest of the day. I tell you, I have very unforgiving relatives that treat their maids macam babi. I don’t blame them for wanting to resort to black magic.
Once I saw her talking to some telephone wire technicians that were perched up the pole like sloths… Indonesian accents… miang la tu.