I am hemming and hawing over dinner
work has been draining
and as I peer into the icy depths of the freezer
mentally calculating the time, the steps, I announce
"I can't do it today, I just can't do it."
And it is a rare occasion indeed in this home when I don't find solace in the ritual of preparing a meal.
So now the predicament. Where and what?
Mexican I think, then sway towards Vietnamese
but it is the faintest leaning
somewhere in my mind I have Fish Tacos swimming
thats where the heart of my stomach is at.
So we drive, still uncertain (because my head has not come to terms with my stomach)
and as he takes the turn that leads us closer to Vietnamese
I exclaim, issuing and automatic U-turn into the other direction
We stand, unsure in front of Pedro's Place, the menu doesn't have Fish Tacos
But its unlikely that I will find that, or good Mexican in Kuala Lumpur town
"Well, lets do it" he says
and in we go.
The place looks unpromising, we stare at each other
then walk out
Beside Pedro's, a KFC.
He jokingly says "lets eat here", a half challenge, hungry and tired and my pickiness
knowing I abhor it
"Lets do it," I say
"I'll walk in if you go first," he says
And so I do.
As we approach the counter " Are you sure?"
I nod and proceed to order
Halfway through my Snack Plate, I give him my chicken
Say I can't do it
We finish the meal silently.
He says "Ok baby, lets go find you something to eat, because I don't want you up at 11 needing and proper meal"
And I have given no indication, yet this man knows me so well
We go to the super, I pick up a snapper fillet, a jar of caliente salsa
taco shells, sour cream
At home, the fish is seasoned,
a red onion swiftly chopped, lettuce rinsed, a tomato diced
the taco shells are popped into the oven to crisp
the fish onto the hot grill pan
10 minutes later we are piling the greens and hot cubes of moist fish into the corn receptacles
dolloping on the sour cream and salsa, the faintest squeeze of lemon
The first bite is enough to erase Colonel's secret recipe
It is fresh, crunchy, savoury, tangy
In it I see visions of opening my own little taqueria
out of an old ice cream van
Fish taco dreams a reality.