53 CH53: National Day

    \"I hate people who are not serious about meals.

    It is so shallow of them.\"

    - Oscar Wilde


    It was 6AM in the morning and the sun has yet to rise up in the horizon. The morning mist was still covering the country with its hazy wind. There was still a bit of moisture in the air due to the rain from the previous night. But it did not stop the cars from coming into the city at such an early hour.

    One of the cars that were stuck in the traffic on their way to the city was Delilah's. That morning, Miya and Delilah had woken up at 5AM in the morning. It was the National Day of their country. So, all the offices including shops and government offices were closed.

    Buses and cars strove to get into the city. The traffic policemen were also in their positions, working hard to control the traffic. There were also some people who walked by the street, assuming that they either lived nearby or had their cars parked at a different place.

    Luckily, the previous night, Miya had bought lots of pastries from a bakery and she brought them along that morning for them to munch in the car. She knew Delilah would get grouchy, feeling hangry [1]. And the fact that she was the one who 'persuaded' Delilah to accompany her to the parade, she thought it was best that she spoiled her for now. Not only did she bring some pastries, Miya also made her hot 'teh tarik' [2] in a tumbler.

    Hence, Delilah could not help but to accompany her sister.

    The two of them were in the car with Delilah driving and Miya leading the conversation.

    It took them nearly an hour when they finally found a parking space. Although it was illegal since she was parking her car on the side, it seems alright. Because it was the traffic policeman who guided them to the spot. They probably ran out of parking spots so they could only give any space that seems to not hinder other drivers.

    After Delilah had parked the car, the two women carefully checked the car, to ensure that it was securely locked. Delilah also kept reminding Miya whether she had brought along her important stuff and to not leave them in the car.

    Once they were done, they walked to the city park where the parade was held.

    Along the way, the two women talked while taking pictures, sharing them into their chat groups. Delilah even sneaked in to play PokemonGo [3], swiping for the stops.

    When they finally reached the city park, the place was already swamped with many people. Many of them were dressed lightly since the weather was getting hotter. There were some children who were hoisted up on their fathers' shoulders, for them to catch a glimpse of the parade. Although the place was packed, Delilah and Miya still managed to squeeze in through the crowd and get nearer to the front. There were also people who sat on the pavement as they waited for the parade to start. Excited chatters and laughter echoed throughout the area, making the atmosphere more lively and happening. Despite the heat, it does not dampen the mood of the people who await the arrival of the monarch, the other royal families and the parade.

    Shortly after, there were policemen who came to the crowd, asking them to be careful and to not stand close to the road. Apparently, the King and the rest of the royal families were about to arrive. And a few minutes later, a gold plated limousine with a gold royal emblem at the front of the car came slowly driving past the crowds.

    Children began to shout hello, waving madly, trying to get the attention of the monarch. There were others who managed to take pictures, videos and even selfies with the running car. The King at that time was inside the car and it could be seen that he was inside together with his Queen, waving at his subjects. Delilah, too, managed to take a photo of him and the Queen.

    Once the car had long drive past them, together with its cohorts, heading towards the stage where the King will be sitting with the rest of the royal families, the crowd around Delilah, too, soon began to quiet down.

    Another few minutes later, a horn blared somewhere, announcing the start of the parade. Soon after, hundreds of people began marching onto the road, with their beautiful and colourful traditional clothes. Some also wore their amazing cultural clothes, showcasing the uniqueness of the designs and the image. There was also a marching band where they played the national anthem of the country, which sounded surprisingly great and pleasing.

    Everyone around Delilah soon got more hyped up, clapping around and cheering for the marching people. Delilah too joined in the fun, cheering as she took a video.

    The parade was amazing where not only the government officers were involved but also the students, private companies and non-profit organizations joined in. There was music, cheers and many lively sounds making the parade more happening and fun.

    Miya smiled at Delilah and asked cheekily, \"No regrets?\"

    Delilah turned to her sister and smiled back. \"Surprisingly, it's worth it.\"

    The parade took more than two hours and the crowds slowly decreased once the parade was over. Next was the food stalls. It would seem that once the parade was over, the crowds had moved to the food stalls that were set up just nearby. And after buying some of the local snacks such as steamed chickpeas and fritters, the two women decided that they needed a place to eat, sit and chat.

    Hence, they decided to stop by one of the restaurants in the city centre. The restaurant was famous for its popular dish called the 'Fish head curry'. Yes, basically, they served the fish head part. Most fish head dishes catered to two or more people so the two sisters decided to share the fish head curry and ordered one plate of rice each.

    Their food came while they were talking and exchanging pictures with one another. The fish head curry looked delicious and the cook was not stingy with the sauce as the dish was nearly overflowed with the curry sauce.

    The waiter placed each plate of rice in front of the two women and placed a serving spoon on the big serving bowl of the curry.

    Delilah grabbed the serving spoon first, after the waiter had left the table. She poured an enormous amount of sauce on her rice, making her rice look like orange-coloured thick porridge with spices. The smell of the curry was strong but it did not have that fishy smell, which the two women liked. As she scooped the fish together with her rice into her mouth, Delilah could taste the hearty yet soury with a bit of sweetness of the curry sauce. She loved how the sauce drenched her rice, giving it an added flavour. It was a bit spicy due to the chilis that were used in the sauce but it did not decrease the tangy taste of the curry.

    The two women silently ate their meal, not even talking to each other as they savoured and enjoyed their food. Sometimes, when one wants to enjoy their food, one has to keep quiet and just take DEElight in the feed.


    [1] hangry = hungry + angry

    [2] literal translation: 'Pulled tea'. It's a famous milk beverage that is commonly found in restaurants, outdoor stalls and kopitiams in South East Asia.

    [3] a mobile game
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