Translated by KATHY TAN
Guang Ming Daily
PENANG: Early in the morning near the Air Itam market in Penang, a pair of grannies is selling curry noodle beside the stream. Most of the people in Penang know very well about them selling curry noodle squatting at the stall.
The stall is owned by sisters Lim Kui Siang, 78, and Lim Kui Lai, 76, living in nearby Kampung Pisang. The two sisters started to help their mother run the curry noodle business since the were very young, and have since taken over the stall after their mother's death.
According to Kui Siang, her mother started the curry noodle business during the Japanese occupation and their noodle still tastes the same today as 60 years ago. Over the years, the Lim sisters have been waking up at about four in the morning to prepare the ingredients, boil the soup and carry everything to the stall on a shoulder pole.
In order to savour the mouth-watering curry noodle, customers have to wait patiently for their food. Sometimes, they may even have to serve the food themselves.
Even though the stall is simple and crude, it couldn't stop the customers craving for the sisters' delicious offering. Some 12 to 15kg of meehoon is required on any ordinary day, twice as much during the weekends and public holidays. The stall is open for business whole year round except three days of CNY break.
A well dressed lady customer was seen walking towards the stall to order her food. She found a tray at the stall and placed three bowls of noodle on it and walked away. After a while, she came back with the empty bowls and gently put them beside the dishes waiting to be washed before she said goodbye to the grannies.
There was another Indian man holding a bowl of curry noodle and started to eat his food the moment he found a vacant seat next to the stall. After finishing his food, he turned his body around and waited patiently for the grannies to fill his bowl with an additional serving of meehoon.
After finishing his second serving, the customer sat quietly looking at the grannies for her to collect his money.
Both the grannies are getting old and having difficulty to move around, so they have to employ someone to help deliver the prepared ingredients to the stall on bicycle and help out at the stall.
The traffic at Air Itam is often congested and a vacant parking lot is hard to come by unless you come in a motorcycle or park your car at the Kek Lok Si foothill and walk to the stall.
Modern people pampered with all the comforts life has to offer may find it hard to tolerate the poor environment of taking their breakfast on the roadside. That said, it is not a bad idea for some people to try the grannies' curry noodle on a sunny morning.