Cashing in…

It has been way over a week now into the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan and believe it or not, I have not been to the food bazaar at all. I used to look forward to this time of the year…long ago when there were only around half a dozen or so stalls and everything I bought tasted so good. I think I did not go at all last year either as it has been blown out of proportion and any Tom, Dick or Harry would set up a stall to sell some stuff, never mind what…and the last time I went, I was rather disappointed by all the things that I bought.

My missus went to the main one in town near the Sibu Town Square and came home with this pa’is nasi udang or rice and prawns (no sign of any at all) wrapped in banana leaf and cooked over an open fire…

Pa'is nasi udang

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 1. It was quite tasteless and I had to drown it with gravy and eat. We might as well be having plain white rice instead.

She also bought the bubur pedas

Bubur pedas

…and what you see is what you get! I managed to find two microscopic shrimps inside, a tiny cube of carrot and a few leaves of cangkuk manis. It tasted quite  good, that much I would say – just that there was almost nothing inside.

The ikan bakar (grilled fish) that she bought…

Ikan bakar

…was nice but this little piece cost RM15.00. You can see for yourself how big that calamansi lime looks in proportion to the fish.

We can cook a meat dish any day for RM10.00 and spend RM3.00 on a vegetable dish…and have enough for two for two meals and still have RM2.00 change. This, we finished in one sitting…so go figure out whether it was worth it or not. I was so dumbstruck by it all that I did not even bother to ask how much she paid for the other two items.

But from my point of view, it would be perfectly all right if the things are a bit more expensive and I would not mind buying so they can make a bit of money to celebrate the Hari Raya Aidilifitri festival when the month of Syawal comes around but I would expect the quality to be a lot better than this. My missus said that satay is sold at 50 sen a stick and 5 for RM2.00 when we just had some the other day at 3 sticks for RM1.00, plus we do not even know whether these are any good or not.

Like those food fairs at the church or some welfare organisation, some of the things are really very expensive but it is perfectly all right if it is really special and very nice – cooked by some renowned individual noted for his or her culinary skills but I get very disgusted when I see them selling things that one can buy at the pasar malam (night market) at several times the price. Just because people are willing to lend a hand does not mean that you can cash in on their goodwill and charity. Tsk! Tsk!

Well, there are still a few weeks to go so I may just drop by one of the Ramadhan bazaars around – probably the one at Bandong to see if it is any better…