My husband and I have spent the last three weeks in Malaysia, the country where we both spent the first 20 years of our lives. The purpose of this trip was to catch up with all the relatives and close friends whom we had not been in contact with for a while. However, the most important part of the trip was to visit my elderly parents in Penang. The four cities on our itinerary were: Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Kuala Kurau and Penang. Before we left, we had planned the number of days to spend in each city and who we would catch up with, and which restaurant/food outlet to visit etc.

I have to admit my hubby – Patrick made most of these arrangements; I just enjoyed the journey. Our first stop was Kuala Lumpur – Bukit Bintang, the shopping district of Kuala Lumpur. The journey started smoothly and after checking into our hotel, we immediately hit the street and headed to Lot 10 Hu Tong to enjoy our first hawker meals.

My favourite has always been Har Mee – prawn noodle soup. I was so excited, observing the preparation of the dish, savouring every taste and smell, and feeling the texture of the ingredients – all the childhood memories started flowing back.

While waiting for the noodles to be prepared, I was busy chatting away with the store owner/worker.. How long had they been working there, where they came from, how long do they take to travel to work?… etc etc. Finally the noodle – ahhh, what an experience… every mouthful brought back memories of my childhood favourite, the texture of the noodle, the taste of the soup, the utensils the shop keeper were using… After satisfying our hunger, we continued with shopping – visiting the shopping complexes, feeling and experiencing the atmosphere of the shops, the excitements of the streets and the heat of KL.

Savouring every moment: the familiarity of the language, the humidity of the weather, the taste of the food, the conversation of the people on the street, the smell of the fumes from the buses and cars, the excitement on the street… All the small things that connect us to our our roots. An early night and planning what’s for breakfast for the next day… our first day connecting to our roots.

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