Photo: Flickr/ Jerry Davis

So I went out with a friend’s family to visit their father’s grave. The thing about cemeteries are that they give me a certain solemn feeling about it.

That if you happened to step on a twig, the dead would awake. So you’ll watch your every step, hoping not to disturb the deceased. That’s why people are respectful to such places. It’s the fear of defiling it.

But what somehow annoyed me a little during my visit just now was seeing a man, placing his left foot on the gravestone, looking somehow like ‘The Thinker’ sculpted by Auguste Rodin -except it wasn’t a leaf there-, with a lighted cigarette in his right hand. At first I thought maybe he needed the fire to light the candles, but then again, there’s no protocol in how you pay your respects to the deceased.

It also reminded me that graveyards are not a place to act all somber all the time. It does not mean you can’t talk, laugh or like the guy I saw just, enjoy smoking -though I wonder if he threw the bud on that grave or someone else’s-. So I often take a lit candle, and lit every candle I can lay my hands on. Gives me a sense of peace somehow amidst of the ghost stories you used to hear before bed.

Anyway, the journey continued to a mamak shop in town. A shop called PJ Corner, opposite Plaza Hotel and I ordered roti planta. My meal was special however, cause the first tear of that roti, my eyes caught a hair between the fried dough. Yup. A strand of hair. Kinda looks like it’s from the arm. Or mustache. Or beard. Or maybe nose hair. I felt special though. Though I can somehow read the cook’s thoughts “Which of those lucky ones got the taste of my hair. Too bad I only managed to pluck one from my ear.” I hate telepathy. So I stopped eating.

I don’t blame him though, it must have dropped when he was doing his karate on those innocent dough. But surely, that would be the first and the last time I go there. The place is horrid looking. Chairs were torn like there are cats’ claws in everyone’s buttocks. The tea taste like water seasoned with milk and left under the sun for a few days. Sadly, after the hair incident, the ‘dal’ paste tastes like hair for some odd reason. Yea. It was that bad.

So we went to have dinner elsewhere. A far cleaner and presentable place far from civilisation which serves Teh C Special in a mug as big Mick Jagger’s lips. Juicy. And came along another dish “Kueh Tiaw” fried with clams. Mouth watering but I skipped my share cause my mum throw the steaming claypot rice she cooked at home for dinner onto my unaware face. Splat. One tip, if you plan not to have dinner at home, it’s either you call your mum before she cooks, or you might as well spend the night in your friend’s place. Things can get a little messy, trust me.

Anyway, the meal we had at the prestigious PJ Corner cost the four of us RM22. I looked around, hoping to see gold plated spoons or marble tables. But then it strucked me, it was because of my “Roti Planta Bulu Special”.