The favourite type of tea in Malaysia and Singapore is called ‘teh tarik’ or literary means ‘tea by pulling’. This is a type of extremely popular beverage here and to eat the ‘roti canai’ (flying pancake someone would like to call it) while drinking ‘teh tarik’ is of all time enjoyment in the morning before the starting of one’s daily activities. Now days, one can visit a 24 hour restaurant and enjoy a cup of ‘teh tarik’ any time one wants. But there is a type of ‘teh tarik’ that is best not to consume…
This story is told by my security guard pal Ali who just quitted his job because of another kind of ‘teh tarik’.
Now days, security guards normally work on 12-hour shifts, i.e. from 7pm to 7am or vice versa. For those who work on the 7am to 7pm shall face not many problems in going about with daily routines especially finding something to eat. But the case is not the same when a security guard works from 7pm to 7am; not only the guard needs to pay extra vigilant during his rounds, he also needs to find a way to fill his hunger. Normally a person will first purchase a pack of food to be consumed during break time.
This was just another occasion that Ali was sent to guard a construction site in Kamunting. The site was near an old Malay graveyard and it is about 10 minutes drive from the main road. Normally Ali would first purchase some food when he was on his way to work as the place was too isolated and the nearest hawker stalls are at least 15 minutes drive. It is virtually impossible to get any food even during daytime; let alone in the midst of the night. More so if it is a rainy night… well, you got the idea.
So happened that during one night shift, Ali’s son was sick and he was running about bringing his son to hospital and back until Ali has forgotten to buy himself food for the night. When Ali arrived at the construction site, it was already 7:30pm; his pal Raju already prepared to leave the site. After some pass down from Raju, Ali started to go for his usual rounds. The surrounding was in dead silent and not many activities were expected.
How time flied, it was soon way past midnight and Ali’s stomach started to make noise after the midnight round. He thought of going out for a quick snack as there weren’t any valuable things in the construction sites, but due to his sense of responsibility; Ali stayed on. While his mind still struggles to justify a way to sneak out, he heard a sound came from a bush:
“Teh tarik! The tarik!”
Ali thought he was in luck as some hawker may just start a new business in the vicinity. So, without hestitation, Ali shouted: “The tarik!” And there was a respond: “Ya! Jemput datang bang!” (Yes, brother! Would you come please?)
Well, what else? Ali walked straight into the darkness and the next thing he knew was that he was lying beside a grave with a mouthful of mud water! A few construction workers discovered Ali after the site supervisor initiated a man hunt. Since then Ali was wadded in hospital for 1 week…
I would say that this is the most lethal ‘teh tarik’ encounter I have ever known!
So… do you fancy having a special cup of ‘teh tarik’ too?