My friend Lana had been staying with her parents since birth. Living within a middle-class income family she was used to make do with whatever they had. Her parents taught her to cook and spend money only for necessary reasons so that they know the value of money and always be grateful. After Lana completed her degree at a local university, Coronavirus hit the globe. She was jobless for a couple of years. Later, she got a job at a company. The pay was quite good but she had to help her retired parents to pay their bills, mortgage and her brother’s study fees.
She dreamed of buying a house of her own. She had been saving up every penny of her pay check to buy one. Finally, she managed to buy an apartment unit of her own in the city. She wanted to live independently. Moving out from the family’s home means her parents and brother would miss her delicious cooking. Usually, after coming home from work, she would always be in the kitchen helping her mom preparing dinner. She loved cooking and was really good at it.
Her parents had no objection in letting her move to her own private domain. Their family bonding was so strong that she’d try to visit them as often as she could and cook for them. Lana bought a spacious and comfortable apartment. Firstly, she had it renovated. She installed built-in wardrobes and kitchen cabinets. Not forgetting an oven, a shiny hob and an exhaust hood. She’ll definitely be cooking and baking a hell lot of delicious and sumptuous food.
One day she invited me to see her new place and ate lunch there. It was such a nice place and well equipped up to her taste. I could imagine soon this place would smell cookies baking in the oven and chicken roasting away. Firstly, we sat on her sofa to chat. She proudly showed me her beautiful and expensive cow hide sofa. Too bad she covered it with a weird looking fabric sofa cover with design that looked like something out of the Disney world. The cover was to protect the sofa from getting dirty.
She took me to see her wardrobe. She excitedly showed me one of her new handbags. The price was jaw dropping. She chose and bought it because it looked classy as well as spacious. She could throw her vital belongings into it and could reach for them easily. Then she reached out for a small unopened package that just arrived. She tore it open and voila! It was a very pricy handbag compartment organizer to be put into that spacious jaw dropping price handbag.
Then we moved to her kitchen. The wall was covered with beautiful A grade mosaic tiles. She covered the tiles behind the hob with self-adhesive paper-like tiles. She said the self-adhesive tiles will prevent the expensive tiles from getting dirty. Don’t we all wipe our tiles each time we finish cooking? Be it the real tiles or fake. Why did she need the fake tiles when she definitely had to wipe it too? Surprisingly, she said no cooking there. It was a dry kitchen.
She took my hand and led me to the last part of her house. Wow! She had a wet kitchen where she did serious cooking there. The wall of beautiful tiles was covered with more self-adhesive tiles design of which looks cheap yet again. The pots and pans and other cooking utensils were sparkling clean and arranged nicely. The pantry area was full of groceries and the refrigerator was full of meat and vegetables. I was just about to speak out about helping her to cook lunch when she suddenly said, “Well, what shall we have for lunch? I’m ordering delivery food for us.”
Author: Fatimah Aini, Malaysia, 31 December 2022