Once upon a time..
After lunch a little girl changed into a well-pressed white shirt. She then slipped on a dark blue pinafore. Zipped. Belted. Pulling up her socks, matching with a pair of white chalked canvas shoes, she was ready for her day. She slung a bag over her small shoulder, heading to the five-foot way of her house. Sitting down on a stool and gazing on the road. This little girl was waiting for a trishaw (rickshaw) to take her to school. A few cars passed, some motorbikes and bikes too, but no sight of trishaw. Out of sudden, she heard “kling! kling! klinggg!”. Loud and louder.
Waving at the man with a square box behind his wheel, she then yelled, “Uncle, red bean!”. At the same time, she raised up her hand with an index finger up. The man on bike nodded and stopped by the road side. Then, she took out 5 cents from her pocket, handed over to the man. In return, she got a stick of her favorite “ais potong” (“ais” means ice and “potong” is cut in Malaysian lingo). Yum yum yum…Simple enough for a jolly fellow!
This was perhaps what most of us used to enjoy in the good old days! Nowadays cut ice-cream or ice-cream “potong” is no where near to be found. Be it alleys, narrow lanes, busy streets or even touristy spots, the mission is next to impossible. But if you are in Penang, you still stand a chance to spoil yourself. Go to Gurney Plaza Mall – Lower Ground, there is a hidden kiosk, tucked amongst the central food vendors. It resides on the middle walkway on the wing closer to food court. Look for KCB signpost above that defines KoChaBi. It literally means ‘Taste of Old Times’.
Unlike the massive block that was chopped in a rectangular cube with a poke of thin wooden stick as when we ordered in the past, KoChaBi offers each a ready-to-eat ice-cream (potong). Featured in almost a dozen of natural flavors and colors, they have red bean, green bean, durian, corn, strawberry, yam, cempedak and more. Each stick cost RM1. Being greedy, we bought a box of 10 to go. According to the staff, these ice-cream in polystyrene box can withstand 4 hours without needing to rush into a freezer. And yes, they were still perfect, intact and hard when we reached home about two hours later.
I am glad that I found a piece of my past! Hope you too