The typical idyllic scene in an older part of Suburbia – a kedai kopi (coffee shop or in reality just a stall) beneath a Malaysian ‘buah cherry’ tree. The customers sit al fresco enjoying their coffee or tea, some nasi lemak, roti canai or kueh, and their favourite hobby, causal conversation.
Except this time two men weren’t having casual conversation …..
J: Oy, tambi, latte satu.
N: Eh boss … they don’t do latte here. They just have the traditional teh, kopi, ovaltine and horlicks. And may I advise not to call the elderly man tambi … it’s a bit derogatory … best to address him as aneh (elder brother) or mamak (uncle).
J: I … I, the most powerful man in this country ... call him uncle? You must be dreaming. Why the hell do you bring me here if I can’t get a latte or a decent cappuccino with skim milk?
N: For privacy lah, we need some space from spies to work out our next step, now he has dragged you openly into his campaign of attack.
J: Look, I am going to make a no-comment statement. But I want you to attack that bastard.
N: Yes, boss. What do you want me to say?
J: Play on his ego – tell him if he doesn’t like our group, to f**king leave then. Provoke him into resigning his membership. Yeah, tell him if he’s an anak jantan, to leave our group. Blast Apah – he couldn’t even marshal enough support to deal that man a humiliating expulsion.
N: Great strategy, you’re good, Yah, I tell him to PORRah. Afterall he’s a mamak.
J: Don’t use the word PORRah, Apah doesn’t like to ever hear that, tahukah!
N: Oh right boss, sorry, I forgot. I’ll play on that anak jantan stuff, and tell him as an 81-year old has-been he ought to be ashamed of harassing a 31 year old handsome bloke …..
J: Don’t overdo it, leave out the ‘handsome’ bit.
N: Yes boss.
J: Now get me a profiterole with whatever nasty coffee they have.
N: Hello, mamak, Nescafe dua, kueh pandan dua. Terimakasih
J: Kueh pandan? Bad show, old chap, you know I don’t take the local stuff.
N: Sorry boss, that’s all the sort of cakes they have.
J: Cancel that order then, I might as well leave now.
N: Where are you off to?
J: Singapore. I have an engagement. I’ll have my latte and croissant there.
J leaves immediately in his shiny limousine. N sits there for a while sipping the two cups of nescafe, and thought to himself: "What a f**king tough life. Once I had ot kiss the hands of that old man, now I have to kiss the ar$e of this bloody brat ... aiyoh, cari makan."