The war of bitter and sour words continues as Sa heals and I learn more at Ibal’s clinic. I am grateful Heart is still young to pick up the suppressed anger. But she is sensitive enough to know something is happening. She starts crying when we argue and I have to take her away to the balcony.
I thrive at Ibal’s clinic. I absorb in all the new terms, new definitions and lessons as if they are nourishing porridge and delicious oyster fritters. I will help out in minor surgery (the sewing of wounds) once I am ready, according to Ibal.
Suriah takes note of my eagerness to learn. When Ibal rests during lunch hour, she has me in the kitchen, showing me recipes from her family. Her englis is strongly accented and she prefers to use rampai to converse. Suriah is vegetarian and she lets me sample a tasty dish passed down from her Nenek.
“My grandmother’s dish,” Suriah spoons more rice onto my plate. We both giggle at the sound of Ibal’s gentle snoring coming from the clinic. I savour the fragrant mint and lemongrass.
Fermented shrimp paste.
Grated coconut (toasted).
Salt, sugar, black pepper (for taste).
Torch ginger flower.
Limau purut leaves.
1. Cooked rice must be at room temperature.
2. Mix all the ingredients together. Remember to chop all the herbs finely.
3. Serve immediately. Refreshing for a hot day.