Okay, so the drink above looks innocent enough. Could be anything right? Coffee, Milo, erm, juice. Well, how about tea then? Or specifically, fu cha (bitter tea). Well, that’s exactly what it was and yes, I drank it. In fact, I’ve been drinking it for many years.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning. If you read today’s edition of The Bangsar Boy headlined Holding on to old beliefs. I made a reference to being unwell the past couple of weeks, and therefore, while being in Penang, I had fu cha almost every night.
Part of my article reads:
Truth be told, I only started thinking about all this last weekend when a colleague of mine, also a good friend, kept reminding me what a â€œChinese boyâ€ I was. We were in Penang together for work, and I was unwell, and tried to avoid the â€œheatyâ€ food like deep fried lobak, for example. Then I asked her to help me order a soup, to which she responded, â€œSuch a Cantonese boyâ€.
I also made her take me to the stalls along the street selling herbal tea, as I have been previously told that â€œfu chaâ€ or bitter tea, really helps with sore throats. Funnily enough, I didnâ€™t learn this from my mother (although, mum got me quite a few different medication from the Chinese medicine shop prior to my trip to help me get better).
That was when Ivy called me a Chinese boy. Of course, there were many other instances – like I mentioned about how I had to have my soup (very Cantonese of me) and how I refuse to eat anything spicy or deep fried – but that was the first time, during the trip, that she made the reference.
Well, anything to make me feel better, especially since I have a big trip coming up (blog post on that later). This was one of the stalls I went to. Don’t you think the whole set-up look like it could be a torture chamber. I can just hear the wicked high-pitched shriek of a laughter emitting from this aunty.
But actually, she was quite nice lah. The thing about fu cha is that they put in scoops of this powdery thing and mix it with water and Chinese tea. She only put one scoop. The couple of nights before, at a different stall, the uncle put two (which is quite standard methinks).
Still, it didn’t make it taste any better, as the picture below indicates.
10.32am Malaysian time (+8 GMT)