A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
I never had a doll when I was a child. My father, having lived in severe conditions in his youth, never knew what a doll was and consequently never realised its importance in a little girl’s life. Instead, he gave me things which he craved for in his childhood. He built a library for me and my brothers, and every time he received his paycheck we made a visit to the bookshop and purchased hundreds of ringgit worth of books. Enid Blyton when I was five, engineering and mathematical solutions when I was ten, and chess endgame analyses when I was twelve. I discovered Agatha Christie when I was fourteen and found the entire collection of her writings, silverfish et al, in my school library where I spent hours on end crouched amidst the bookshelves, relishing in the musty scent that became my comfort then and in the years after.
When I received an invitation from YTL Hotels to spend a long weekend at its property, the Cameron Highlands Resort, and to participate in its activities, themed A Curious Twist In Christmas Tradition, my heretofore repressed Poirot-ish instincts were stirred. After decades of studious research (fiction only) in the art of committing (and solving) the perfect murder, I knew that my moment had arrived. We were to play a grown up role-playing game, a murder mystery game to be precise, where every guest had a part to play and the ultimate goal was to identify the murderer. And while we were running around the astoundingly beautiful property looking for clues and dead bodies, the kitchen staff and wait staff slaved laboriously to ensure that we did not go hungry or thirsty. The game went well into the night, and sadly with every passing minute, I transitioned from Poirot to Piggy. All things Christie and Marple vanished with the appearance of each sumptuous dish. I wish I could tell you the moral of the story, the point of being well informed about the intricacies of committing a murder, but I’m afraid that the only benefit I have derived from all that reading is an active imagination and little sleep.
Thank you, YTL Hotels, for allowing me to indulge in a spot of amateur acting (sans porn and with a totally contrived French accent) and for the hours of fun and camaraderie, but more importantly, for showing me that paradise exists in Cameron Highlands. The weather was less than perfect; unbearably hot one day and wet the next, but I sought cover within the walls of the resort, and while the visitors at the market were sloshing through puddles in their cheap japanese slippers smelling of mud, sweat and vegetables, I was wearing my cheap japanese slippers in the resort beside the koi pond, my tush firmly planted on a rattan chair, my left hand grasping a flute of champagne and my right, some freshly plucked strawberries with chocolate and cream.
The air is different here; the quiet pitter patter of the rain on the koi pond and the tinkling of Christmas decorations from the gentle breeze brings about a renewed sense of spirit and purpose and an assurance that everything will be alright.
Photo credit: Final seven pictures – Chelsia Ng (Thanks for letting me use them!)
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.