The school bell goes off to signal the start of the twenty-minute recess period.
All the pupils get up from their seats, and with the permission of the teacher
make their way to the school canteen.
The school canteen has many stalls
offering a variety of foods. One can choose Malay, Chinese, Indian or even
Western food. The stall holders are friendly folk and the food is inexpensive.
I quickly walk to the school canteen and head for my favorite nasi lemak
stall. The stall is run by an elderly Malay woman whom we affectionately call
Mak Haji. She is assisted by her son and daughter. Mak Haji also sells fried
chicken, fried prawns, fried fish and anchovies, hard-boiled eggs and baked
potatoes to go with her delicious nasi lemak.
After buying my meal, I walk over to the drinks stall and buy a tall glass of
mixed fruits juice. The drinks stall belongs to Mr. Chan, a thin Chinese in his
mid-thirties. He runs the shop alone but he is a very fast worker. His hands
seem to move at lightening speed as he serves his customers.
Then, I scan the dining area for an empty seat and having found one, I rush
to be seated. I finish the sumptuous meal in a matter of minutes and gulp down
the refreshing juice. Having thus filled my stomach, I rise with the empty plate
and glass in my hands. There are others waiting to have their meal and I have to
make space for them.
All too soon, the school bell rings again to mark the end of recess time. All
the pupils head back tot he classroom for the continuation of the day's lessons.