The other evening, my husband and I took the kids to check out a pasar malam, which is Malay for “night markets”. It was a huge event at Curtin University, hosted by the International Students Committee for Multicultural Week.
The place was packed! I didn’t realise there were so many international students in Perth!
There were more than 40 stalls, all selling pasam malam favourites – satays, fishballs on a stick, nasi lemak, curry and roti, endless varieties of noodles and rice. As well as favourite Asian style drinks like chendol, rose milk, coconut juice and soya bean milk. I was in Asian food heaven!
Walking through the crowd, there were queues and queues and queues for all the stalls. It was unbelievable. It was like there was this frantic hunger in the air. The smells seemed to have turned everyone crazy, struck by a hysterical need to HAVE FOOD.
I think the most popular stall for the evening sold “Seafood on a Stick!”. I wiggled my way to the front of the stall, stood up on a block and took some snaps of the sizzling seafood. All the while, I was going a little crazy myself, with my mouth watering and an overwhelming temptation to reach out and nab a stick.
I thought my kids would be interested to see such a funny spectacle – a huge crowd of people gathering just for the love of food. But my kids got quite grumpy. They were surrounded by the smell of food, and all they could see were legs and shoes.
In the end, we didn’t buy any food, because the queues were so long. I admire people who have the patience to queue. That’s dedication to your food!
For me, having two grumpy and hungry children dangling off my arms, was enough for me to turn to my husband and say, “Let’s just grab some pizza on the way home.”