PETALING JAYA, Jan 13 — Malaysian veteran actress, director and writer Jo Kukathas received a pleasant surprise on the first day of the movement control order (MCO) when a neighbour offered her a packet of nasi lemak.
The Instant Theatre Café co-founder’s morning reading session was interrupted by a voice at her gate, who turned out to be a fellow resident she hasn’t met.
The woman was going door to door to hand out complimentary packs of nasi lemak to her neighbours as samples for her home business.
“She handed me a bag over the gate, ‘Nasi lemak for you, if it’s good, you can buy’,” Kukathas wrote on Facebook.
The woman, who was friendly but anxious, waved goodbye to Kukathas before heading to the next house to continue her random act of kindness.
Following a short review of the lady’s nasi lemak which came with all the trimmings including sambal, spicy omelette and ikan bilis, Kukathas mused about how families were going to make ends meet in the coming weeks and months.
“It was the first day of the MCO, the first day of the Emergency and already here was a family figuring out how to survive the uncertain months ahead.
“I wondered when they had decided collectively to start this home nasi lemak business,” she wrote.
Kukathas wondered if she had found a possible answer to last night’s bumper to bumper traffic as Malaysians braced themselves for the next two weeks of lockdown.
“I guess this is what they were doing — they were out buying rice and ikan bilis and quantities of brown waxed paper and green plastic bags.
“They had gone out to get the things they needed to get through the next few weeks or maybe even months.
“They had gone out to prepare to take care of themselves, their families and whoever else needed help,” she wrote.
Although Kukathas said it wasn’t the best nasi lemak she has had, it was made with a determined hand.
The Instant Café Theatre artistic director ended her post by saying that she will be ordering nasi lemak from her neighbour to support each other.
“We do our best to be good neighbours. We can even meet new ones.
“Happy Day One,” she wrote.