The steward moved down the aisle, pushing a trolley & cheerily offering everyone drinks. He was smiling from ear to ear, almost too happy for a sane person who's on a 14-hour long flight thousands of feet above the ground. But his high spirits were infectious. I couldn't help but to smile.
He stopped by my row.
"Care for something to drink, ladies? Tea? Coffee?" he asked. The two Australian girls seated next to me settled for coffee.
The steward very carefully handed two cups of hot coffee to them, and then his attention shifted to me with a raised eyebrow. "And you Cik? Nak coffee?"
This man was a stranger to me, no less, but ah, that little Malaysian twist that imbued his slang just screamed Home in my face. Call me ridiculous, but when you're being flown halfway across the globe from where you'd rather be and your heart throbs with homesickness, what a world of difference the faintest hint of familiarity can make.
"Taknak, but I was wondering if you ada fruits lagi?" I asked, referring to the fruits that were given as one of the sides for the meal earlier. I'm sure I must have had this expectant look on my face, because his expression genuinely dropped as he apologised; there weren't any fruits left.
"But got my Adam's apple! Want?" he offered some solace to cushion the impact of my falling hopes. I liked that.
I chuckled. "Don't want lah, I want edible fruits."
"Ehhh, edible what. It's just cannibalism lah."
Had I at least been a little more observant and taken notice of his nametag, you best bet I would be drafting an email to MAS right now to nominate this guy for the Employee Of The Month award instead of writing this blogpost. But whoever you are, stranger steward, thank you for your sense of humour, and thank you for your Malaysian hospitality when we were in fact continents and oceans away from Malaysia.
Hi, London! Long time no see.