LOVE FOR BEGINNERS

Letters by Kenny Mah

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臘味飯

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February 25, 2013


Hey you,


We got lost, didn’t we, heading to our friend’s new apartment? Blame Google Maps. When we reached the door, she was ready with a huge smile. Never mind the char kway teow and Penang chee cheong fun we bought were nearly cold now, it’s the company that matters, right?

“Your apartment is beautiful,” we said, and it was true.

A profusion of cheerful colours — aquamarine, scarlet, raspberry — made the mainly white walls and wooden flooring pop. Tiny wooden stools, resplendent with quirky illustrations hand-painted by her own hand. Bottles of artisanal beer from Japan tucked away in one corner. A ceiling light that transformed, Decepticon-style, into a designer fan. (Frightening, really.)

We bought her tea from Paris, floral in fragrance. She didn’t have a teapot and so used a French press instead. Whatever works. She reheated some lap mei fan because she was generous. Who knew leftover claypot rice with Chinese waxed meats could sound so good? (We were probably hungry. And greedy, too.)

“This is amazing,” I said, “better than the fancy one we had at the restaurant last month.”

“I’m glad you approve,” our friend smiled.

“Where did you get this from?”

“Get? It’s not takeaway — I made this myself.”

“You did? I didn’t know you could even cook.”

I got a smack on the arm for that. It was worth it. A faked grimace of pain and our hostess promised she would cook this for us the next time we visited her.

A dish this tasty, you can bet it will be soon. Anything for you, my little lover of lap mei fan, you.


Yours always and always,
K.




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