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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Nasrin kate, "Doo-ree-yan Parrtyy!"

Eversince moving down to the post graduate room, I've been 'getting cozy' with this Iranian, Nasrin. She's a 33-year-old lecturer in her country and has come to further her studies here in Malaysia.

I admit, I started getting to know her from Yun. At first, I was a bit afraid of these foreigners.. not really afraid la.. more like a bit shy, which btw is how I am with ANY strangers. Somehow, Yun needed help in translating some words for Nasrin so naturally, she'd come to me for help ("Translator aku", kata Yun! Hehe..), thus making me acquainted with Nasrin too.

At first, we were only on the 'Hi-here-Hi-there' basis but it all started with my craving for tosei masala from kedai Nuar. Since I was really 'hungry' for my dose of this special tosei, I asked Yun to accompany me to kedai Nuar for a serving of this delicious dish. Yun, being the friendly her asked Nasrin to join us and so we went for a late night snack.

Nasrin proved to be great company when it comes to food. She's all willing to try out any 'strange' (in her eyes la..) food that we talk about and that night, she tried my favourite tosei masala. Though she found it a bit hot to her taste (when I didn't feel that it was the least spicy), she enjoyed it thoroughly, claiming that tosei is one of the staple food in Iran, which they call with a different name. The sour taste of tosei is the same as her apentahnamabendatu but the added ingredients that went between the sheets of the tosei were what enticed her tastebuds.

After that, there was no stopping us. We taught her how to eat nasik lauk at Pak Ngah, while Yun introduced her to Yun's favourite Nescafe O Ais Tarik. We let her experience the taste of Ikan Keli bakar and Char Koay Teow and she was ever so willing to try everything we wanted to give her. Our 'air nyiur' is now her favourite drink as she says that Iran does not have any coconut trees. A bit funny when you think of how we've all grown up surrounded by these trees.

This morning, I took her to Kulim to savour some nasik ayam. We went to Nasik Ayam Periuk Besar with Remy, Pojie, Rini and Farah. I was delighted when she really enjoyed the lunch (she chose the nasik ayam dot my, as the rest of us, while Yun decided to get the nasik ayam panggang and Pojie, the nasik ayam madu) there. Berbaloi la drive dekat 50km tuh hehe..

On the way back, we decided to give Nasrin the taste of our King of Fruits, so we stopped halfway through the journey back to buy some durians and told her we were having a Kenduri Durian specially for her.

Our durian party started at 10.30pm since I had a class from 8.00 to 10.00pm. She came all dressed up in pink (Remy pekena dia suh pakai lawa²) and gathered around at the side of our school. Remy was the self-appointed durian 'kupas'er while all of us waited in anticipation. I was wondering, when will Nasrin complain about the smell of durian, but she never said a word.

Imagine my suprise when she excitedly told us that the durians were delicious! Hah! Never thought I'd live to hear a foreigner say that to me, but I did. In fact, she said the smell wasn't even bad and proceeded to eat, at my estimation, a whole durian! She kept waiting for more durians to be opened up because she wanted to taste them all, especially when we told her, not all durians taste the same!

Made me feel a bit ashamed when I remember that it took me 17 years to finally eat durians. Tu pun sebab kene pakse, kalau tak, I might have never wanted to taste the 'smelly' fruit, whose aroma is now one of my favourites (but not when you've had durians in your car, and the smells seems to wanna stay in your car for weeks--> this smell, I stil hate!). Quite ironic when you consider the fact that both sets of my grandparents have HUGE orchards and Abah himself has a few pieces of land for these tropical fruit he loves to plant around!

When I told Nasrin about my dislike for durians before, she laughed as she said she couldn't imagine anyone hating durians.. and that's some thing I'm proud to hear from her since she admits to being quite picky before surrendering to our attempts to teach her about our local food (and fruits!). Now, she can't even eat anything that is not spicy enough!

Well, Nasrin really enjoyed her 'durian experience' but to tell you the truth, I think the rest of us enjoyed it more! There are no words that could explain the proud feeling you get when people love something about Malaysia, where in this case, is the food.

Hmmm.. wonder where can I get some good Rendang Tok with lemang jagung?

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