The school canteen

I’m still here at bub’s primary school orientation. The mum’s in the hall and I’m just strolling aimlessly around the school. I could just stand outside bub’s classroom, but that seems to distract her. So I thought it’s best I stay away, just so that she doesn’t have the crutch of looking around for me when she’s uncomfortable (stay strong, kiddo).

Of course wandering around takes up a lot of energy, naturally, I felt a little peckish. It’s a good thing that the school canteen is open, so I decided to check it out.

The school canteen is exactly how I remembered my old school canteen was. I recalled the old, rickety wooden benches, the cheap plasticky feel the canteen tables. The tables at this school even had some ruffled fabric stapled to sides (ooooh, fancy).

The line heading towards the food counter was reasonably short. But like old times, the line moved slowly. Instead of being made up kids, parents were lining up, reaching the front of the line, scoping out what was served, and then scooping out the food, as irritatingly slowly as possible. Exactly like old times, except instead of being annoying little kids, they’re all adults now.

At the end of the line was the ‘makcik kantin’ (canteen lady), and she’d ask, “what drink would you like?”, as monotonously as possible. Exactly like how I remembered it!

I asked for an iced milo, I don’t know why, I didn’t even feel like it, I just blurted it out instinctively. The makcik canteen trudged to the back, then came out with the drink. She told me how much it all was, I paid, took my change and walked away, awkwardly trying to hide my giddiness of having to relive recess times at school.

I suppose even though we’ve grown up, and perhaps have grown jaded over time, we some times enjoy reliving certain parts of our childhood. Where we didn’t have to worry so much about so many things.

For a brief while, I enjoyed myself a little. A sip of my milo made me feel a little sihat dan kuat, today.

My haul at the canteen! RM4 for everything. I’d be damned if I didn’t get my keropok lekor!

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