Comfort Food from Hometown

I’m a crappy traveler when it comes to my own home country of Malaysia. I can probably count the number of places in Malaysia that I have been to and spent at least a night (minus KL and Selangor, where I grow up is not considered of course) with all my fingers. Let’s count:

  1. Melaka – my Mom’s hometown
  2. Johor Bahru – multiple times on working trips
  3. Ipoh – attending a few wedding dinners
  4. Genting Highlands – friends outing
  5. Taiping – my dad’s hometown
  6. Penang – I work here now
  7. Kuching – attending a friend’s wedding dinner

You see, only 6 places, all of them towns and cities, and all but one of them was because I go there for the leisurely purpose of travel and vacation.

I have never been to the east coast of the Peninsula, and I have never been to anywhere else on the Borneo side apart from Kuching.

I’m trying to justify why I sucks big time in exploring my own country. As a student and teenager, I spent all my free time helping my dad with his school bags business, so I guess that was kind of justifiable. Then when I started working and in Penang, I spend all my planned vacation time back home to be with my family and friends, in recent years more family than friends. I already have limited vacation leaves, and it felt wrong to not spend them at home with my parents.

And then there are occasions such as today. My parents are going to JB for some stuff and they had to leave early in the morning. My siblings have their own stuff to do. So I quickly made plans to leave for Penang early in the morning too. I wanted to break this lame “crappy home country traveling” duck. I was particularly interested in the Teluk Intan chee cheong fun that Mun blogged about, and the Sitiawan kompiah that Claire blogged about.

The plan was to exit the North-South highway at Bidor, head to Teluk Intan for a foodie stop, then drive along the coastal small roads to reach Sitiawan for another foodie stop, then continue to on to Pantai Remis for another stop because I saw in AEC channel last night, there’s an ahpek boat making master there, and then rejoin the highway at Taiping.

That was the plan. Well, it was a well thought out plan, if I do say so myself. But that was all it was, a plan. The reality? When I woke up in the morning, I had a sudden craving of chee cheong fun. Not the Teluk Intan one, but the KL one. With all those fried bean curd skin, fried dumplings and pork balls. With the most amazing sauce of curry + sweet sauce (I don’t know the actual English word) + chili sauce.

Hmm… it’s alright to have chee cheong fun for breakfast AND lunch, isn’t it? I can have KL chee cheong fun for breakfast, then Teluk Intan chee cheong fun for lunch, can’t I? With that idea in mind, I dropped by at the food court near my house for breakfast before departing.

Chee Cheong Fun
A plate full of amazing things for RM 8

My oh my, it is getting expensive, isn’t it? But then it was more than what I used to have: 2 ccf, 2 pork balls, 1 fish ball, 1 okra, 1 fried bean curd skin, 1 fried triangular tofu and 1 fried dumpling. More importantly, it tasted exactly as I remember, which is super delicious.

As I was leaving the food court extremely satisfied, I walked pass the pastries stall. Then another craving hit me. I miss these sweet noms too!

Without thinking, I quickly blurted out: “Auntie, 蛋挞一个 dan tart yat gor, 咖央角一个 kayang kok yat gor! (one egg tart, one kaya puff!)”

These 2 little buddies would be my snack while driving.

Egg Tart
RM 1.80 – Penang, this is called egg tart, with the flowery edges, fahams??
Kaya Puff
RM 2 – Crispy on the outside, maximum kaya filling on the inside!

Seriously, look at that kaya puff. The skin is just a thin layer of crispy goodness. Once you bite through that crispy layer, your mouth will immediately go through an explosion of warmth and sweetness and all sorts of wonderful feelings! Don’t leave me any comments about how terribly sweet it is. THAT IS THE POINT OF A KAYA PUFF! If you don’t like it, go eat something else!

[For the international readers, kaya is coconut jam. It is made of coconut milk, eggs, pandan leaves and sugar. You can read more about it here. Kaya is the Malay word for this delicious jam. Strangely, for the Chinese/Cantonese speaking people, we call it kayang, I have no idea why 😀 ]


Content with my breakfast and snacks haul, I started driving.

I stopped at Behrang R&R for a quick pee. Then I kept driving.

I stopped at Simpang Pulai R&R for another quick pee and some coffee. Then I kept driving.

Then I stopped at Taiping R&R for another round of quick pee. I drink a lot of water nowadays, so constant pee-ing is unavoidable.

And then it hit me.

“EH? TAIPING? WTF?! I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO EXIT FROM BIDOR?!”

Planned route
Sighs…

I am so accustomed to the monotonous driving on the North-South highway that I don’t notice as the road and exits fly by. I totally forgot about having to exit somewhere, my body and mind have been programmed with: Start point: KL, Destination point: Penang. It did not help that I was not hungry. I always stuff myself with KL food before leaving, and then forget about my on-the-way foodie plans when driving because I was too full and sleepy to think about it.

To make matters worse, I did not feel all that bad about it. As I was driving out of Taiping R&R, I was only thinking about things like, “It’s okay lah, I’m full anyway, good that I missed it and did not need to over eat.” and “Next time, I will try to remember“, except I have been next time-ing all the time!

This is not the first time it happened, it is just one of many times. In the past, I made plans to exit at Tanjung Malim for the famous Pau (buns), Bidor for the duck noodles, Ipoh for the salt baked chicken. Every time the plans were thwarted by my own lack of enthusiasm concentration to exit the highway at the right place.

I repeat, I suck as a home country traveler 🙁 .

 

14 Comments

  1. u went to so little places in Malaysia? less than 10? no offence…but u must have left out a few I guess…how bout Cameron highlands? Bukit Tinggi? Langkawi island?
    missing out all the “wonderful planned spots”?? well, u will still have the chance of ‘passing by’ the interesting places while on ur next trip back to KL. Different case for me, a truly KL with no kampong other than Klang Valley itself..no chance of even ‘passing by’.

    • Bukit Tinggi, never yet. I don’t wanna count the places that I went before as a baby and remembers nothing about. Langkawi, Cameron Highlands and Fraser’s Hill all fall under this category 😐

        • Hahaha, don’t have the mojo to go there for no apparent reason 😀 . I will probably go on a drive along the east coast one of these days though 😉

  2. I think it is the “autopilot” or “homing device” being switched on that you forgot you had to exit elsewhere. I like CCF a lot too. I haven’t been to many places either. Let’s see – Penang, Teluk Intan, Johor Bahru, KL. That’s it!

    • You are so right! This is especially true when I drive alone. I will be able to turn my audio player to a very high volume and immerse in my own musical autopilot world 😀

  3. Hahaha, like Princess Ribbon says, your post is really funny – full of humour. Have you considered being a stand up comic? I am sure you could write lots of funny anecdotes.

    I heard the Ah Lek Teluk Intan CCF only opens at 5pm (not so sure about this) but if it is true, you may find it closed today when you stopped by during lunch time though other brands of Teluk Intan CCF may be opened for business. Mamarazzi has eaten the other brand at Teluk Intan.

    Good that you are safely back to Penang now. WIshing you a Happy Malaysia Day in Penang!

    • Hahaha good, further justification for me to “overshot”. I only know from your blog, I won’t be able to find the other brand, haven’t read all of Mamarazzi’s blog yet 😀 .
      I am only funny when I write. If you meet the real me, you will find that I am usually an introvert. Stand up comic? I can’t draw well enough for comics 😐 .
      The reason I am back in Penang today is because I am working tomorrow 🙁 . But Happy Malaysia Day to you all too 😀

        • Hmm, don’t think so, I’m shy when it comes to performing. But then I guess most of the performers claim that they used to be shy too 🙂

  4. Haha funny la you.. Let me start from the bottom.. Wah pee-ed how many times also wana report ahh? But I like! Very detailed post.. So you are going back to Pg today huh.. Eh call me jakun.. Same here, let me think, I’ve been to: Melaka (for a short trip), JB (for training), Pg (for team building).. That’s all.. Eh PD, Genting, Bentong kira ahh?

    • For me, got overnight then kira lah. If no overnight then not considered a proper trip 😀 . Aiks I missed out Genting.
      I scared you said I old man ma, stop so many times. Need to preemptively clarify it first 😛

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