15 CH15: Festival in town

    "You don't need a silver fork to eat good foods"

    - Paul Prudhomme


    It was a busy Monday morning. Stacks of files were piled up on Delilah's desk as she worked hard on her computer. She had spent the morning, meeting up with potential trainers and doing some reports. While in the early afternoon, she had spent doing the filing and updating the databases in the system.

    There were a lot of deadlines coming up next week but Delilah decided to finish at least a few of her tasks so that she could enjoy her weekend.

    This weekend, her family excluding her father, who only wanted to stay at home, decided to go to a festival in town. It was to commemorate the birthday of the King here in the country. So, there were many food stalls set up at the festival, which starts from 5 o'clock in the afternoon and ends at 10 o'clock in the evening. The festival will end at the end of the month.

    Delilah had been so excited to go there ever since she had found out that some of her favourite food vendors were opening up their stalls there. She also wanted to try as many foods as she can.

    A couple of hours later, Delilah had just finished up the last of her work, just as the clock strikes four-thirty in the afternoon. She quickly shut down her computer, packed her things and went out of the office, waving goodbye to her colleagues.

    Driving back home, she finally arrived there thirty minutes later. Delilah quickly ran up to her room, and took a quick shower. She grabbed her clean clothes and wore it.

    Delilah wore a light blue t-shirt with ripped jeans. She opted for a comfortable and casual outfit because she knows that it would get crowded and hot at the festival.

    Standing in front of her round vanity mirror, she dabbed on some lip-balm and combed her hair. She tied up her hair in a medium ponytail and went out of her room

    Delilah briskly walked into the kitchen to grab a glass of water while waiting for her other siblings.

    As she sat at the kitchen table, scrolling down the pages on her social media in her phone, her brother, Munier walked into the kitchen. He looked fresh out of the shower, his cheeks still red from the warm bathe. He grabbed a glass of water for himself and sat across Delilah.

    He gulped down his drink and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He leaned back against his chair and laid his arm across the back of the other chair next to him. "Where's Miya? Is she coming?" he asked.

    Delilah nodded as she munched on some peanuts that were inside a food container in front of her.

    "What about Bryson?" he asked.

    Bryson was another one of their siblings. He was the older brother of both Delilah and Munier. But he was also one of the younger brothers of Miya. So, basically, Miya was the firstborn in the family, followed by Bryson, Delilah and Munier, as the youngest.

    Bryson was two years older than Delilah and five years older than Munier. He was a slightly tall man, but a few centimetres shorter than Munier. And unlike Munier, he has a big round eyes and was a lanky guy. Bryson also has a sun-kissed skin, less fairer skin than Munier since he always jogged outside nearly everyday after work.

    Among the siblings, Bryson was the only one who lived in another town, about thirty minutes from where the other siblings lived. This was because he had chosen to stay with their aunts at their late grandparents' house, as it was more closer to his workplace, compare to here.

    Munching on the peanuts, Delilah just shrugged as she continued reading off the social media posts in her phone.

    Munier, annoyed at Delilah's lack of communication, grabbed the food container and put it further away from her reach.

    Delilah, without looking up, reached out for the food container, her eyes still glued on her phone. When her hand touched nothing but air, she looked up and frowned when she saw it being placed far from her. "WOI!" she cried out, frowning at her brother.

    Munier just shrugged.

    Just then, Bryson came in, a small towel in one hand, drying his hair while another holding his pants up, still unfastened. He was also topless, hair still dripping of water. "What's up?"

    Delilah and Munier looked up and both groaned in unison. Delilah covered her eyes. "God-DEE-mmit," she cursed softly.

    Munier threw a cushion at Bryson.

    Bryson quickly ducked before the cushion hits him. He then went to the laundry room, which was next to the kitchen and grabbed a clean shirt from the laundry basket.

    He swiftly put it on and sat down next to Munier. Bryson reached out and grabbed the food container and opened it. He took a handful of peanuts and tossed each of them into his mouth. "Where's Miya?"

    Munier slapped him on the back and said, "Good question. I asked that earlier too."

    Bryson gave a little frown and looked up at the stairs. He then yelled, "MIYAAAA! ARE YOU FECKING DONE? WE'RE GOING TO LEAVE WITHOUT YOU!"

    Suddenly, rushed footsteps can be heard from upstairs.

    Miya, looking like she had just woken up from her sleep, her hair dishevelled and her clothes unkempt, pointed at each of her siblings." YOU. DO. NOT. LEAVE. WITHOUT. ME!"

    Delilah rolled her eyes and said, "Then, let's go!"

    Miya glared at Delilah. "I'm not going out in this. Give me a few minutes to get ready."

    The three siblings groaned in unison.

    Half an hour later, Miya walked down the stairs, looking all pretty in her soft yellow turtleneck blouse and a soft brown palazzo pants. She had fixed her shoulder-length hair with a swept side bangs.

    Delilah narrowed her eyes at her and asked, "Why are you dressing up so pretty? We're only going to a festival in town."

    Miya rolled her eyes and drawled out, "I'm always dressed pretty."

    Delilah shrugged, giving her a look that says, suit yourself.

    The four of them then went out of the house and got into Miya's four-wheel drive with Bryson as the driver.

    Miya, Delilah and Munier chatted with one another while Bryson concentrated on his driving, listening in their conversation. He also added in his two cents, voicing out his comments.

    It took them nearly an hour to go to the festival and another thirty minutes to look for a parking spot that was near to the area.

    When they finally found one, they took another couple of minutes to walk to the festival.

    The bright lights from the street lamps and fairy lights on the tents greeted them as they entered the area. There were four tents arranged in rows, with stalls setting up inside the tents.

    Around the area, there were also medic station, police stand, firefighter stand and a few portable toilets.

    The festival looked lively with fairy lights decked on top of the tents. It was also packed with people going here and there, chattering and laughing. The atmosphere seemed fun with children holding up balloons with a big smile on their faces.

    However, because it was too crowded, the four siblings had to walk in line, to avoid bumping into other people. There was not much wind in the air so it got a bit humid. Delilah and the others had gotten a bit sweaty by the time they finally reached an open area.

    Miya wiped her forehead with her handkerchief. "Ugh. I think I need another shower after this."

    Just then, Delilah saw a sign which says "Live Cook!" She walked up to the stall and read the menu. She then looked at the cook and watched him cooking. He was cooking 'char kway teow' and it smelled delicious.

    Delilah decided that she wanted to order one. She turned around to her siblings and told them to wait while she ordered.

    They nodded and waited a few steps away, away from the heat of the stove.

    Delilah turned to the cook and told him her order.

    The cook nodded, giving her a big smile and a thumbs up before turning back to the stove.

    Delilah had ordered a chicken fried char kway teow.

    She then watched the man preparing to cook her order.

    Beside the stove, at another table, the man grabbed an uncooked chicken from one of the big bowls. He tore the chicken leg from its thigh, peeling the skin apart from the meat. The juices leaked out from between the tender meat and skin, dripping onto a plate, making a small pool. The man ripped the meat into smaller pieces, falling apart in his hands. The flesh of the chicken glistened from the juices. He cleaved the chicken thigh into two, slicing them into smaller portions.

    He then set it aside and turn on his stove. He poured a bit of cooking oil and some garlic and onions into a large wok. He stir-fried them for a couple of minutes before putting the noodles in.

    The man then began to cook, stirring them every now and then before addingsome sauces in. Next, he added the chickens and continue cooking.

    Once done, he laid down a brown paper, specific for food wrapping and pour the contents of the wok on top of it. He diligently wrapped the hot food and placed it inside a plastic bag.

    Delilah gave him her payment and received the plastic bag with a thank you.

    She then walked over to her siblings and they continued looking around, searching for foods to buy.

    Delilah had some money left so she was able to buy more foods. She had decided, earlier on, that she would only spend $10 for this festival. She does not want to go overboard with her spending.

    Even though, it had gotten quite late, the festival was still going strong. There was also a live performance at the middle of the festival area. It was inDEEd, a fun night.

    As they continued walking, Munier called out to them to stop as he pointed at one of the food stalls. The stall was selling some homemade burgers, as well as 'roti john'. Munier had always loved to eat 'roti john' so he decided to buy one.

    He stepped up near the stall and ordered one with additional cheese.

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    After it was done cooking and Munier had already paid for his food, they continue walking again.

    An hour later, the four siblings' hands were full of plastic bags with foods inside. They had bought one of the local delicacy, which was 'tongkeng' as in chicken tail, steamed chickpeas, fish balls and crabs balls, banana fritters, grilled chicken wings and more.

    They decided to eat at the eating area in the festival. They quickly looked for an empty table and sat down.

    As they sat down, they enjoyed a nice meal between themselves, sharing their foods. They used their hands to eat the foods. Luckily, Miya had brought her wet wipes so it was easier to clean their hands after eating.

    While they were eating, they also met up with some friends who bumped into them at the eating area.

    Once they were done, they quickly cleaned the table and threw their rubbish at the nearby dumpster.

    They then made their way out of the festival, a happy smile on their faces and a happy tummy. Yes, inDEEd, even at a festival, you can still enjoy some good foods. You don't have to be born with a silver spoon. But rather, blessed with a good tolerance for any foods.
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