POEM: Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng).


We were talking about food last night and a memory came back to me – for the umpteenth time.

Narrow and dark and most of all hot. If I ended up at a back table, 3 or 4 metres inside, the sweat would pour from forehead and my hair would be wet enough to comb again in just 20 seconds. And the prickly heat itchiness would invade. Better to get a table at front, and visit only at night. So narrow, maybe 2 or 3 metres, and even narrower at the front – maybe one metre or 1.5 metres. It was narrower at the front because half the width was taken up with the kitchen. Sitting at the front one was almost being on the footpath. Sabang Street, in central Jakarta, in 1969 was a fun street. It was almost all restaurants, cafes and other eateries, with a row of…

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