On my last night Wednesday, March 5, 2008, here in Washington, D.C., my newfound friends from the Embassy of Malaysia took me to dinner at Penang (Restaurant) in Bethesda, Maryland. It was Kak N’s idea. And she was joined by Kak Mun and Kak Siti as well as Suhaimi and Amir, who drove me there, in the chill of the wintry evening, from my hotel.
Over splendid dishes of specially-ordered “upright” fried snapper, pasembur, giant popia, belacan-fried watercress (looked like kangkong), soy sauce-fried sotong, Penang home made tofu, mee goreng mamak, rice and other dishes which I could not remember, we talked about a great many things – the upcoming March 8, 2008 Malaysian 12th General Election, voting away from home, etc, etc, and about certain exotic fruits from our childhood.
We talked about katak puru (a name well known in Kelantan and Terengganu, known as nam-nam elsewhere in Malaysia), kemunting and sentul.
Many of us at the dinner had difficulties recollecting or imagining how the fruits look like from the names we mentioned.
Thus I volunteered to shed some light (images below, extracted from the internet, resized for presentation here, and clickable for bigger view)
Katak puru (Nam-nam)
Yours truly would be leaving Washington DC for home in a few hours time, via Newark and Stockholm Arlanda, to arrive in Malaysia to exercise my citizen rights just an hour before voting starts on Saturday, March 8, 2008…
To Kak N, Kak Mun, Kak Siti, Amir and Suhaimi – Jazakallahu khairan kathira, May Allah grant all of you much better rewards in return, here or in the hereafter, for the kindness and unexpected friendship and hospitality you accorded me here.