Monday, August 8, 2005

Home-Made Riches

kaya raya!

Last Saturday, Mae and I had dinner at Paramount Garden with Jesse and Roma in tow. Mae and I were busy stuffing our faces with some nice Hokkien Bee Hoon when a lady approached our table and stood by my side, "Would you like to buy some home-made Kaya?"

I turned to look at her but before I could even say a word, she quickly wrapped up her sales pitch, "Okaythankyouverymuch!" and walked on to the next table. I was stumped! And from what I could see Mae, with strings of noodles hanging out of her open mouth, was equally flabbergasted. The poor woman. She must have been turned down so often that her response had become quite automatic. Either that or she just didn't like my face. By the time I regained my composure, she had walked on to the far end of the coffee shop. I waved her back.

"You did not wait for me to answer," I smiled as charmingly as I could to break down her defenses. "I'm so sorry," she apologised, "but some people don't like to be disturbed when they're having dinner." She was right, of course. People do tend to swat off salespeople, as though they were flies. And occasionally, you'll even find the extra-rude ones who just plainly ignore you as if you didn't exist. They're the ones who continue about with their business and don't even turn to look at you or tell you, "No."

Nobody deserves to be treated like that. Especially not anyone trying to earn an honest living.

We bought a small tub of her Kaya. As I paid her I told her, "You shouldn't have to apologise for trying to make a living." That night, Mae and I went home and ate Kaya. And as we did, we realised that the lady owed nobody any apology. For she made the finest Kaya we had eaten in years. Hopefully, she may find success in her venture.


  1. Wow, wat a sweet lesson :) Is that the same lady who sells those delicious kaya at Kheng Kee and surrounding stalls?

  2. I've seen her several times. Like you said, b4 you can reply her she's off!

  3. I love kaya. Always buy the gardenia's auntie rosie. I can eat it off the tub like that. Heh, heh!

  4. I have always wondered when someone would actually blog about her. She's been popping up frequently in our dinner conversation .. especially the "Okaythankyouverymuch!" part. :p

  5. Awwww you guys are going to Heaven just because of THIS one incident, you realise?
    I need to make kaya again, tee hee we gave my hubby's Sargeant (guai lou arrr) a cup of it and he loved my pandan kaya. Must say I often get annoyed at these salespeople, but they don't sell food here, they sell mostly toys or flowers (!?!) ... and the last incident was at a fast food place! Comon, at least go sell at a more high class place. But then again the waiters there wouldn't have let him in.

  6. Thanks James for the eye-opener. Once, hubby bought a trilingual picture dictionary from a man who approached him during dinner. The RM10 book turned out to be one of the kids' favourite. I would love to thank the man, if we happen to meet again!

  7. Ohhh I LOVE her kaya, too!! If you go to church on Saturdays and have dinner at Kheng Kee, you will see her making her quick rounds, too. YUMMY YUMMY!! :+: :+:

  8. From the comments here, I gather that it must be the same woman, Coolcat!
    Next time, make sure you stop her, Oli. Her Kaya is superb. :lol:
    Auntie Rosie? I don't think I've even seen that, Primrose.
    :lol: Looks like it wasn't just me, Bob. I was beginning to wonder if my face repelled her.
    Awww... that's nice of you to say Gwen. I like heaven. Is it easy to get Pandan there in the states?
    That's wonderful, Mama22Beas. Sometimes these guys sell the niftiest stuff. :)
    You have wonderful taste, MeloJo! :) I'm just surprised I never saw her before this. The next time I do bump into her, I'm gonna make sure I have enough Kaya to last a week. That last tub was all gone in a day.
    So, you gonna show us how to make some, Babe?

  9. The kaya is good.. but what do you call it in english? hmm
    I've bought it from her once or twice, it's definitely yummy and good without preservatives, but it has to be consumed .. err quickly, otherwise once you've stored it in the fridge after sometime, it loses its yummy factor.
    I wonder if she's a Christian and if anyone's taken the time to ask her.. or even reach out to her. We could write another Punctuation story...
    "Selling Riches" would be the title.. and please don't ask me to write it.... it'd be too corny.

  10. People who made a living selling stuff is better than those who come to you and ask for money without any particular reason.
    Good for you two...

  11. if it's from around PJ area then it might be the same lady i saw quite a number of times

  12. home made is always best. =)

  13. I have seen her before many times, I must have seemed rude at times, because I never got a chance to reply before she said "Thankyouverymuch" and walked away...

  14. How can she expect a reply when she comes around when you have your mouth full of noodles? I don't mind if she comes around when I'm not eating. It's just plain rude when you're enjoying your dinner and these sales people comes around bugging you.

  15. hey..i think she sells other home-made stuff other than kaya..i think her achar is quite nice as well...i.e. if it's the same lemon-tree est. la.....

  16. I thought the same too, that she must have been turned off rudely many times that she dashed off before my friends and I could decide whether to buy her kaya! We eventually decided to, and asked her to come around. Her Kaya is yummylicious!

  17. Hie james, i ve been reading ur blog occassionally, and i cant help, but admit that your writing is good... haha
    oh, and i remembered there is a time where u posted about this shop selling good stuf like bah kut teh in batu road/jalan raja laut..
    Do u mind pinpointing the location again? I so happens to live not far away, and somehow forgotten where it is.. haha..

  18. Actually because I live in California, it's pretty easy to get pandan. When I lived in middle America, no such luck!

  19. PaulOs, I don't even know for sure what language "Kaya" is!
    Good point, Patrick!
    Hmm... KY, I'm surprised that so many of you have encountered this woman. :lol:
    You're right, 9. Makes me wanna go and whip up a batch of the stuff now!
    You and everybody else, Yian. :)
    Well, Peng, there can never really be a good time for these walking salespeople. If you weren't out eating, you might be at home. Heh!
    Hmm MOTT... I'm not a big fan of Achar, though!
    Yes AhWern. In fact yesterday when I was around the neighbourhood, I found myself consciously looking out for her so I could get more of her yummilicious Kaya! :lol:
    Anonymous, pls dun stay anonymous. :) You can find that entry here. The shop is Teh Liang Kee and it's that row of shops after Plaza Hotel and Wisma Cyclecarri. Order the Pokari!
    Good for you Gwen. Pandan is quite a great ingredient for Asian cooking!

  20. Her kaya is quite tasty actually. Yum.

  21. You should try butter and kaya on a toast, absolutely delicious...yum yum.
    The salesman here is different. When I say NO to them, they ignore me and bla bla bla. Sigh...

  22. just dropped by 2day. was reading thru some of you post about ur jesse. this is the first time i come across a daddy that wants their baby sleeping in between. or maybe he's a boy, what if a girl? dah lama...u'd let her sleep in the cot. just a thought. :D

  23. ur helping her to advertise as well. *sweet* God bless ur kind heart :)

  24. I know, AhPink. I'm still thinking about it. :)
    Yeah, I met a few of those myself, Michelle.
    Not true, Miche. In fact, before Jesse came along I always wished I had a little girl. But Jesse is just as good. :lol:
    Thanks Inn. Like I always say, good food was meant to be shared.

  25. paulOS:
    i think kaya in english is coconut jam.
    sounds so.. unappetizing. i think we'll just stick to kaya!
    my grandmother made the best kaya. yum. she's not around anymore now though. no one learnt her skills. sad.

  26. hey, I tasted her kaya before. Good to know, she's still in the kaya business.
    Normally, I would smile and let them present what they have, whether they are selling stuff or asking for donations. And if I m really not interested I will tell them politely I am not interested.