I was eating roasted mushrooms for lunch and talking to myself about candy. Since any true Malaysian talks about other food while eating, I do not allow the inconvenience of dining alone to prevent me from enthusiastically reinforcing my nationality (unforeseen side-effect of losing my IC). Of course, if I were truly patriotic, the appropriate topic at lunch would be to theorise on foods I could have for tea or dinner.
Anyway candy is connected to this scenario because I was thinking it would be a treat if Ayu, my part-time cleaner, came in today instead of tomorrow. You see, I have cooked at home on the two days before she arrives, and cleaned up very little of it. I also have some ambiguous stew of biodegradables in the bin — I also think this is why the melting pot analogy doesn’t work for nations.
The mess is probably a pile of emotional stress for my very neat housemate. I’ve seen her running away from the bin, squealing “AhhAhhhAhhhh!” as her kittens chase after her like it’s a new game. Sometimes it’s as if I’m living with a house elf, except instead of fixing shoes, she leaves a trail of mosquito repellant behind her in the kitchen to mask the full horrors of the decay in the bin. The housemate is an artist, so maybe emotional stress can drive her music and she can have an album to inspire those who feel no fervour for housework. I will take a picture of the bin for her album cover. Her first single will be the horrors of terrible waste bins, titled “AhhhAhhhhAhhhh!”
To be fair I pay Ayu for four hours in my apartment and she, like some CEOs, usually leaves way before. I am not the kind to clean my apartment before the cleaner arrives, because there is a reason I need to hire a part time house cleaner. Maybe we can call it effective time management to schedule cooking right before she arrives..? It’s not like I intentionally create work for her. It happens naturally because… Anyway let’s not focus on my flaws and go with: Ayu arriving early by a day would be like a child being given candy, from an adult family friend, with no ill intentions.
Seriously though, we all know the stereotype image of dangerous strangers with candy, but are there strangers who kidnap children in Malaysia by giving them candy? I always thought they would just grab the child and drive off. Kidnappers don’t need to be liked by their prey, surely.
Unless you’re popping dubious pills in a rave, the people who shove candy in your face are usually the adults you know. Those who feed you until you can’t move and then make pointed remarks about how fat you are. This adult is statistically likely to be an Asian mother. There are also the adults who are trying to clear the pantry of all the snacks they wouldn’t personally want to eat, by taichi-ing them to house guests. This is all better than the person who reluctantly feeds you, while making pointed remarks about how fat you are.
Basically, if you’re Asian, don’t be fat. It goes against the sense of Asian Duty to allow fat people to be happy. It is an effort only matched by bitter and damaged (and Asian — triple whammy!) gay men.
If you’re new to this Asian thing, don’t worry: basically, you’re expected to be both grateful and remorseful for candy. Just draw from the Catholics/Jews you know and try to focus on the “guilty” of guilty pleasure.
Then again, children are usually preyed on by someone they know, kan? So maybe just be suspicious of anyone with a huge stash of untouched candy in their house. Christmas is coming. You can test out that theory then. Or, do the children of the world a favour. Eat all the candy, just in case.