39 CH39: Another FooDEE trip 1

    "A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into."

    -  George Orwell


    Arriving at the international airport of Penang, Delilah and Ai Meili looked around them in awe. It was a bit small, compared to their own airport but it seems bustling with people. They had just picked up their luggage from the luggage carousel and were now looking lost at the arrival hall. Delilah grabbed her phone from her pocket and started to change her sim card to the local sim card. She went to buy credits for her phone and gestured to Ai Meili to do the same.

    Luckily, Delilah had installed a transportation app so it will be easier for them to call for a taxi. Unfortunately, her luck doesn't seem to be there when after 15-20 minutes, there was no one who would want to pick up their transport request. She assumed that the driver thought their hotel was too far from the airport or that there aren't any taxi drivers nearby, other than the airport taxi.

    Delilah sighed and suggested to Ai Meili that they should just use the airport taxi. Fortunately, the fare wasn't that expensive and they already changed their currency to the local currency. A couple of minutes later, they found themselves in a taxi, heading their way to their hotel. It took them more than 30 minutes to reach the hotel. And the two women were exhausted after transferring flights and waking up early. They managed to get a short nap, on their way to the hotel. The taxi driver was in his mid-forties, a bit stout with a small moustache. He looked a bit strict as he doesn't seems to smile a lot. But he was probably the type who doesn't smile but have a big heart. Because even if he does not talk a lot, he was helpful, in a way that he gave the two women some recommended places to eat.

    Once they arrived at their hotel, the two women went to the reception to check-in. They got their keys and went straight for their rooms. Inside their room, Ai Meili immediately put her bags near the window, silently booking her place to sleep. Hence, Delilah took the other bed, placing her bags on top of it. She quickly unpacked her bags and changed into a more comfortable shirt. She then began to switch her backpack for a hobo bag. She placed her phone, purse and other necessities. She doesn't like to carry big and bulky bags whenever she goes to explore some places.

    She turned to Ai Meili, who had also changed into a more comfortable shirt. Delilah stretched up her arms in the air and said, "Shall we go?"

    Ai Meili nodded.

    In the lobby, the two women walked straight to the exit, where Ai Meili had taken out a tourist map she had received from the receptionist earlier. Ai Meili began to study the map, whereas Delilah had taken her phone and clicked on the 'Map' app.

    "Wait, where are we heading off to, first?" Delilah asked suddenly.

    Ai Meili frowned. "Let's eat first?"

    "What do you want to eat?"

    "I don't know. What about you?"

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    "I don't know either. Up to you."

    "I don't mind anything, though. So, we can just eat about anything."

    "What do you feel like eating?"

    The two of them fell silent, finally realizing that this conversation was not going anywhere. They sighed in unison.

    "Then, why don't we go to the nearest mall and check it out?" Ai Meili suggested. "We can go window-shopping and if we're hungry, we can just pick a restaurant there."

    Delilah frowned. "Don't you mean, 'when we are hungry'?" she corrected. "I mean, we definitely will be hungry. No doubt there. At least, I am."

    Ai Meili rolled her eyes. "Sure, sure. When we are hungry," she repeated, not wanting argue with her anymore.

    The nearest mall was actually just across the road. It would take them less than eight minutes to walk there, crossing the road. It was like any typical mall, with huge signboards in front, showcasing the names of the shops inside. The wall was yellowish-cream in color with five floors. At the entrance, there were potted plants that were arranged in lines, decorating the place.

    Once inside, both Delilah and Ai Meili looked around. For them, the mall seems less imposing. The mall was probably the same like theirs back home. Although, there were some shops that were different from theirs. Like, there were some that they recognized and some that they do not.

    So, the two women began their first day window shopping. Because they actually had come quite late, around 5 PM in the afternoon, they did not expect to start their sightseeing activities straight away. For an hour an a half hour, they had walked around and nothing has captured their interests.

    Feeling that she was getting tired of walking and that she wanted to find a place to eat, Delilah suggested that they should have their dinner. Ai Meili agreed. The two of them walked over to the mall directory and clicked on the food sections.

    There were many restaurants and cafes to choose from. There were hotpot, sushi, Malay restaurants, BBQ and so forth. Thinking that they do not want to eat heavy food, they opted for a slightly medium food. Meaning that the food wouldn't be too heavy to knock them out.

    In the end, they had chosen one of the restaurants that served Penang Laksa. Knowing that this was one of the dishes that Delilah wanted to try out when she was in this state, they agreed on this. Coincidentally, the restaurant itself was also one of the places that Delilah wanted to go. Surprisingly, it was located at this very mall. She had no idea.

    They were greeted with 'hello' and 'welcome' as they walked inside the restaurant. They were then brought to an empty table for two, which was near the window. The two of them ordered Penang Laksa, though, Delilah ordered the Penang Asam Laksa, while Ai Meili ordered the original Laksa.

    They chatted about their plans for tomorrow while they waited for their food to arrive. After a few minutes, their food came and came with it was a powerful fishy stench. The waitress placed their food in front of them. And both reached for a small soup spoon and chopsticks.

    Steam rose up from the bowl as Delilah picked the thick noodles up with her chopsticks. The broth itself was red in colour with green vegetables, thin slices of cut red onions, sliced thin cucumber and fish flakes on top of it. As she mixed them altogether, steam still rose up and she could smell the fishy scent. As she bite into the soft and thick noodles, it had absorbed the broth of the laksa, making it sour and salty. She then sipped on the broth, which felt like there were numerous kinds of tastes bursting inside her mouth. It has all the combination of sour, spicy, sweet, salty and umami. The spices used were fresh and the fish flakes used were heavenly. It was soft to eat, letting out its fishy taste. To some, it might be strong but to Delilah, it was perfect.

    "How's yours?" Delilah asked Ai Meili.

    Ai Meili dapped her mouth with a napkin before gesturing to Delilah to have a taste of her food. "Too sour."

    Delilah scooped some broth from Ai Meili's bowl and took a sip. It was inDEEd sour but it was still good. She took more than two scoops of the broth from Ai Meili before she was satisfied. Then she continued to finish off her food. Ai Meili chuckled as she watched Delilah eats with happiness.

    Delilah frowned at her. "What's so funny?"

    Ai Meili just shook her head, still smiling.

    "We, humans, were meant to eat. That's what our bodies are for, so shush!"

    Ai Meili rolled her eyes. "Whatever you say, cupcake. So, shall we continue to plan what to do for tomorrow?" she suggested.
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