26.5.14

Food

We had a baby almost six weeks ago and we still haven't gotten back to our normal food routines yet. We were blessed to have lots of meals given to us by friends for the first few weeks.  Some highlights include chicken enchiladas, meatballs, real Mexican fajitas (by a Mexican friend...yum!), lots of casseroles, and many others that I can't remember right now.  So we've been lucky that we haven't needed much in terms of food, but now that meals have tapered off we're once again left to our own devices.  I haven't been able to brave the market yet, and Reuben has been once, maybe twice in six weeks.  That's six weeks of hardly any fresh food.  Not a salad to be seen.  What that means is that we have been doing a lot of eating out.  Before baby we ate out a few times a week.  This is very rare for a Malaysian, because this country is alllll  about the food.  People eat out all the time.  That's just what people do here.  Our neighbour never cooks.  He probably doesn't even own a pot.  He goes out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  That's not uncommon here.  And with a bowl of noodles or a full plate of food ranging between $1-2, who can complain?  I've never crunched the numbers before, but I'm pretty sure it's cheaper for us to eat out than for us to cook at home, mostly because we tend to cook with things that are more expensive here.

At the market you'll see all the old men gathered around the tables drinking coffee, eating bowls of noodles and chatting about whatever old Malaysian men chat about.  Get-togethers are easy to arrange because the only question of the matter is, where are we going to eat?  The best bowl of noodles or the best of this-or-that is hotly debated here.  And people will drive hours to Penang just to eat.

One of the best things about Malaysia is that you get so many amazing ethnic foods.  Indian food.  Chinese food.  Malay food.  Thai food.  All of it is everywhere.  So when wonder about where our next meal is going to come from, we usually ask ourselves: what do we feel like, Indian or Chinese?  Malay is not my favourite, and Thai is hard to come by here, but there is a great restaurant just down the hill from where we live that we frequent.  We have our favourite food courts and "restaurants" (they're often just hole-in-the-wall places) that we go to.  We have some fantastic varieties of food within walking distance of where we live.  There is plenty of western food too, but we generally avoid that.  We have all the fast food chains like McDonalds, Burger King, and KFC (the one thing I really wish we had was Dairy Queen.  I miss Blizzards!)  We also have TGI Fridays, Chilis, Applebees, and even Dunkin' Donuts.  We rarely eat western food because it costs about 10x the amount of eating local food.  But with the local food being so fantastic, I don't feel like we're missing much.

What was I talking about?  So we have been eating out a lot.  By 'eating out' I mostly mean Reuben has been getting food to go which we eat at home.  We've only tried to eat out a handful of times, although I'm getting there :)

Indian food from a restaurant just down the hill from us.  It may not look that great in the picture, but it's mighty tasty.

Ever tried eating soup while holding or wearing a baby?  Not easy.

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