I stopped by a coffee shop the other day for a plate of fried kway teow (flat rice noodles) and opted to go without a drink as the kopi-o-peng (iced black coffee) had gone up to RM1.50 from the former price of RM1.30. The price of the noodles had increased too – RM3.00, formerly RM2.80. Well, some places were already charging that even before the prices started escalating. Kampua noodles, for instance, were between RM2.20-2.50, depending on where you go.
Well, I do not have a bone to pick with the new prices of noodles around town considering that the prices of virtually anything have gone up – petrol, cooking oil, flour, sugar. A loaf of bread has gone up 20 sen too and thankfully, I do not eat bread that much. But there are some places around where the things are somewhat more affordable. This food stall at Bandong (next to the surau), for instance, sells this much of mee goreng (fried noodles) for only RM2.00…
…and you can fork out an extra 50 sen for that bit of extra sambal that you can see in the photograph. I actually asked for two packets and that kind Malay man (from Perak, near Ipoh) gave me three for RM1.00.
I found that it tasted all right except that it was cold and would probably tasted nicer if I had heated it up a bit. It went very well with the sambal though…
Given a choice, however, I would go for the little RM1.00 packets of fried mee or mihun at my regular kuih-muih stall in the vicinity. You will get less, of course, but if you buy two packets, there would be a lot to finish. I find the ones there much tastier in comparison.
My missus would buy noodles at the market and go through all that hassle of frying them herself…but they are ready-packed, each bag weighing 1 kilo and there is absolutely too much for two unless we want to have nothing but noodles for a week. I think I would still prefer to buy or eat outside once in a while…but I’m definitely not going to order the drinks.
The increase of 30 sen agreed upon among the members of the coffee shop association in the town is indeed a bitter pill to swallow. Imagine a 20-30 sen increase for a glass of kopi-o-peng which is mostly water and ice with a little bit of coffee and sugar when the latter had only gone up 20 sen a kilo! Money does not come that easy…and I certainly have no intention of wasting it like that. Period.