19 October 2015

The Bread Man

My Dad called him "7/11 on the back of a motorcycle"...but the rest of us just called him the Bread Man.

Every evening, before the sun started to set, perhaps around 6:30 p.m., the Bread Man would drive down our little street and honk his horn.

It was like ice cream truck music for a different generation. Kids would pour out of neighborhood houses, eager to exchange ringgit for snacks.

Every day, as soon as we heard the horn, kids would start asking Mom or Dad if they could go buy something from the Bread Man. Mom didn't always say yes, but the chances were higher when the pantry was actually out of bread, because then Mom would send the kids out to buy a loaf or two of bread, and they'd add a couple of snacks to the bill.

"Monster"--a packet of ramen noodles that is eaten dry instead of as a soup, was probably their favorite. They also liked to buy another snack packet that came with a little plastic toy inside. Whatever was in the snack packet to eat was apparently toxic, because Aunty Letchimi warned the kids never to eat it. Their solution was to continue buying the snack packet, throw away the toxic food, and keep the plastic trinket.

It's hard to underestimate the value of random plastic trinkets to small children. Mom, however, eventually managed to put a stop to that practice and told the kids only to buy snacks for eating.

Twisties--in BBQ, Cheese, and Prawn flavors--were also popular in our house. The Bread Man sold prawn crackers, too, but those were never a favorite. I, being the picky eater that I am, was more likely to be found in the kitchen cooking myself an omelet that I didn't want to share with anyone than outside buying snacks (I ate omelets randomly all the time in high school).

The Bread Man was a community institution. On Angel's first-ever evening in Malaysia, we dragged him out of the house, jet lag and all, to check out the selection on the back of the Bread Man's motorbike. And that's the only reason we even have any pictures of his motorcycle, because somehow, it's those normal everyday things that never end up getting photographed...

{This post is Day 20 in my 31 Days Series: 31 Days of Growing Up in Malaysia}
Dianne Thornton said...

Man! He packed a ton of stuff on his bike! These are great memories.

Karen Sebastian said...

Amazing indeed! Resourceful people who manage to thrive and provide a needed product. Great entrepreneurship principles at work. Thanks for sharing.

Tayler Morrell said...

How cool is that!

Paige @ Reasons to Come Home said...

I wish the bread man came by my house!

Unknown said...

That's such a cool thing in other countries - the bicycles loaded down with stuff is fun too. What a great memory you shared and how perfect that you DID get a picture. You're right, so often we forget to take pictures of the everyday!

Susan said...

Man, I wish we had a bread man here in the mountains of NC!!!

Suzanne said...

Okay...this I could go for! Except I'd like a bread man that brings French bread and pastries please : ) No plastic toys required : )


The Lady Okie said...

I'm glad you have some pictures and that Angel got to experience it too!