Bapak Luqman (the term I use whenever we have conflicting opinions) suffers from obsession to decorate our new house. The problem is we have a small budget but expensive desire. Last weekend was dedicated to searching for hob, hood and oven for the new kitchen. Mind you, these are foreign vocabularies for yours truly. I haven’t the faintest idea what these items are for except that they are meant to produce a meal. One thing I do know: the prices for these items are “sky-rocket high!”
So off we went – Luqman, Bapak Luqman and I – to the shop in Damansara Utama. Bapak Luqman strode ahead in confidence armed with his knowledge in house decor to meet the shop assistant, who could not speak Bahasa or English. I know for a fact that he was pissed off with my lackadaisical attitude on matters at hand. In my defense, I think, it is best to remain silent when you have scant knowledge in this department.
As my husband conversed in earnest with the shop assistant, I feigned craziness by chasing Luqman around the shop. Honestly, what is up with this child? He can’t walk, I tell you, he can only run. If you asked me, mothers don’t need to sign up for gym-membership. They exercise fine by chasing their children around the clock.
Back to this kitchen thing; the shop assistant, somehow, found it imperative to include me in picking up the right oven for us. She looked at me straight in the eyes before asking me sweetly, “kakak nak guna apa dengan oven nih, nak buat roast chicken ker, nak grill ke atau nak masak kek atau biskut jer? Itu timer you nak ke?“
[Translation: "What do you need to cook with this oven? Do you want to make roast chicken or grill something? Or do you just want to bake cake and cookies only? Do you want the timer?"]
My whole world came crashing down before me. Prior to this awkward moment, I never needed an oven in my modest life. Heck, the farthest I have gone since marriage and motherhood is to buy a decent set of plates for the family. I sometimes buy pieces of cutlery and glasses “out of sheer nothing to do” while in the shopping malls. And now, this sales person wants to know what I want to do with my oven? Oh dear…
I was speechless. Silence echoed in the shop. I swear to God I could see Bapak Luqman chuckling in amusement at my uneasiness. The nerve of this man! Shortly thereafter – perhaps out of pity – he saved me by picking the oven himself. Phew! That was rare being asked such a tricky question!
The whole episode dawns on me as my utmost flaw in life. I can’t cook. Period. I lack both interest and skill in the kitchen, so why bother? I cast a glance at my young son who was blowing bubbles from his mouth at me. I am beginning to feel real sorry for the little fellow; he sure wants his mom to cook something for him, if not now, in the future. I want him to be able to bring his friends over the house to enjoy good home-cooked meal. I also want him to brag to his friends about his mother’s culinary skill the way his father does.
There you go; I find my 2008’s resolution now – that is to learn how to cook a decent meal for Luqman and his father. Now if you excuse me, I am going to watch Asian Food Channel just like Bergen.
Oh, but I sure want that Fisher & Paykel refrigerator. It’s so gorgeous…