I've never cooked fish, ever.
No wait, actually, pardon my momentary lapse of memory. I have actually cooked fish before. Once. Years ago. I wanted to deep fry a fish for ikan masak tiga rasa. I'm ashamed to divulge great details about how it turned out but think dense smoke. Think panic. Think a horribly lacerated fish. Think a cranky, hungry Shahirah who's filled with regrets and thoughts that sounded something like "Never again with fish, Shahirah, never again,".
It's not just my lack of skills, it's also my lack of knowledge.
Other than the distinctive ones - anchovies, catfish, salmon, stingray - I really can't tell fishes apart at the wet market. In fact, I shun the fish area, it's like a territory marked with Do Not Enter warning signs.
But last Sunday, exactly 4 days before my end of module exam, I returned home from the library with a fresh sense of panic which had just kicked in. My tension ran high as I realised that I was not REMOTELY prepared for the exam and there was still a LOT that I needed to revise and I was potentially going to fail the exam so I decided to
Otak letak kat kepala atau kat lutut?
So I spent hours in the kitchen cooking up a recipe I've never tried before (steamed sea bass) (You best bet the only way I knew it's a sea bass was a humongous sign right above the fish that yelled SEA BASS in my face).
I don't know if any of you have ever had the delightful experience of eating steamed sea bass or seen a steamed sea bass before, but if you haven't (God, you're missing out on life), but I can guarantee that it looks nothing like this :
|Too much water I was surprised the fish didn't somersault back to life to be honest....|
At least it's not, you know, mangled. At least it looked edible, right? Right??
Ate it with rice. Taking the first bite in, I closed my eyes hoping that the taste would transport me back to a seafood restaurant in Malaysia
Much to my dismay, it tasted nowhere near restaurant-level.
I was disheartened, but I carried on eating anyway, despite wanting to cry at the failure that's myself. My inner voice was singing, chanting, "Can life get any worse?".
Life responded to my question faster than a Uniqlo salesperson can scream "Welcome to Uniqlo," when a customer walks into the store, with an answer in the form of a fish bone. In. My. Throat.
Several bouts of cough and 20+ years of life flashing before my eyes and a jug of water and a fist of balled rice later, I started breathing normally again thankfully. I washed my plate and walked the walk of shame to my study desk, pulling out my laptop from the sleeve, ready to start revising again.
I could hear my laptop chiming the familiar boot sound, but I couldn't see my desktop wallpaper.
My laptop screen stayed pitch black, looking oddly similar to my future.
It was a rhetorical question, Life.
Ahhh, halus permainan dia, halus.