She: Apparently I’ve been having secret lunch rendezvous with Chen Deul.
Bff: Yeah okay, but why apparently? Either you did or you didn’t.
She: Well okay, I did.
Bff: What secret rendezvous are you talking about? This sounds fishy. And who is this Chen Deul again? Where did you meet him?
She: You sure ask a lot of questions, don’t you?
Bff: Of course, remember I have your welfare at heart. If you’re seeing some guy on the sly, I want to know all about it. I don’t want you doing anything stupid.
She: Yeah, yeah. You always say that but sometimes I think you’re just plain nosy. So what if I’m seeing some guy on the sly? I’m a big girl, I know what I’m doin’.
Bff: Sure you do. Remember that time…
She: Okay, never mind, I know what you’re going to say. Anyways, I say apparently because I haven’t been sneaking around enough times to make me a real sneak, only an apparent one.
Bff: Okay, and how many times is that?
She: Oh, maybe like 3 times in the space of a month.
Bff: Wow, that sure sounds like a lot of times to me. So who is this guy?
She: Well, you know my aunt and uncle were in town recently and we met up with Chen Deul and… (shrugs) I’ve been thinking about him every minute of the day since.
Bff (horrified): You wha-aat?!!
She: I’ve liked Chen Deul since my schooldays. And now that he’s back in my life, I’ve found myself wanting more.
Bff: Omg, I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Are you confessing now? Omg! I can’t believe this. Are you crazy?
She (horrified): Sssh, not so loud, someone’s going to hear you!!
Bff: Who cares? I mean, was I that loud? Okay, never mind, just spit it out, come on!!
She: Well, he’s cool. Really, really cool, and that’s what I love so much about him. And he can be very sweet too.
Bff: Omg, so he’s real?!! Okay, I want to meet him. I have to meet him. No, seriously! You hear me?!
She (laughs and walks away): You know, I never thought you could be this stupid.
Back in the real world:
Yes, it took relatives living abroad to reconnect me with this almost-forgotten crush (chendol, where have you been all this time?). Seems I’m a stranger in this place, what can I say? As it so often happens, friends and ‘tourists’ have to show me the local delights. Bah humbug, you might say!
Chendol is/are (a bit of a subject-verb agreement dilemma here) the florescent ‘green worms’ swimming in sweet coconut milk. The red beans are an optional but popular addition to break the monotony of eating only ‘worms’. Note too the striking colors of this soup!
Used to be that I would stop by the food cart from which this chendol originated and have myself a little cool-down on my long walks in the blazing afternoon sun. Surprisingly it still tastes pretty much the same as I remember it which, by today’s standards, is quite a feat.
So okay, now that I know where this chendol can be found, I’ve been back again and again… and again? Once I asked for more crush-ed ice and was presented this glacier. Sww-eet!