There was one other reason drawing me to KL last weekend.
Even though seeing my old friend was the major motivation, i was also seriously craving for one hawker stall that i stumbled on sometime back and had been frequenting every time i had the chance since then. In my indecision of skipping school vs staying back to study for finals, it tipped me over in favour of skipping school.
Stomach rules, every - single - time.
Yong Tau Fu! (picture lifted from here)
Anyway, we were supposed to meet up with 2 other friends in KL for supper, and I insisted that we were only going to have supper near Petaling Street opposite this Hai-O shop, savouring super-delectable yong tau fu, despite the lack of parking space around the area and the constant traffic jam that plagued the streets. No matter how much they protested, i remained adamant that we would not dine anywhere else.
Reluctantly they gave in to my demand, and we arrived at Petaling Street.
I got down the car, and immediately felt a little unease creeping up my chest. I couldn't find tables strewn over the five-foot path that i knew so well. There was also some signs of construction going on there.
I was wondering if the stall had to relocate further down the street to make way for the construction when i saw similar plastic tables further down. I wasted no time to check out the place, but was a little flabbergasted to find that apart from the plastic tables the place bore little resemblance to what i remembered.
I read the signboard of the shop which read 'So and so' claypot bee tai bak, stir-fried roasted pork ...
'Ah... Just another eatery. No yong tau fu here...'
Before i could finish reading the signboard, a middle age waiter approached us.
'Eh uncle where has the yong tau fu stall further down the street gone to?' I asked immediately.
He looked at me with an expression that on hindsight reeked of being pissed off, and told me flatly that there was never a yong tau fu stall there.
His answer had taken me so aback that i did not know how to respond.
I know it was now the 7th lunar month, and probably lots of ghosts prowl the streets now, but i clearly remembered i ate yong tau fu there for 3 times. And the cook wasn't particularly pale, long-haired, clad in white flowing robes or hovering above ground...
Before i could scare myself more of having dined at a supposedly non-existent yong tau fu stall, he alluded, 'we sell yong tau fu here also.'
'We sold yong tau fu FIRST, since more than 20 years ago...' He just couldn't resist saying that.
Then i knew immediately he was lying about the non-existence of the other stall.
I got a little bit pissed that he lied so blatantly. Why the need to go so low? Can't he just tell me the other stall was closed for the day, torn down, or something. The truth isn't going to damage his business at all, is it?
Not knowing what to do, and where else to go, we sat down anyway for our supper.
Then i looked at the signboard again, it said 'So and so' claypot bee tai bak, stir-fried roasted pork and YONG TAU FU...
If only i had known they were rivals, i wouldn't have asked him so bluntly about his competitor's whereabout.
The middle age guy was behaving rather aloof the entire night, while taking order, while serving, and while taking my payment.
I just hoped he didn't spit in my yong tau fu.
It didn't taste too bad la even if he did. Haha.