The time of Ramadhan has come around where we will soon smell lemang and rendang on the streets. But, first comes puasa.
With the diversity of Malaysians brings many mixed locals who often get mistaken for practicing puasa. Even for those who do and for whatever reason can't practice it (ie. sick, on period, etc), they might often get questioned.
We spoke to seven Malaysians who shared their funny experiences of getting in "trouble" for not fasting during this time of the month
1. Zoe, the baju kurung mistake, 24
When I was in high school I would wear the baju kurung uniform because it was more comfortable compared to the pinafore. There was one day when I was walking to get some lunch after school and I passed by a few policemen.
I nodded and smiled at them. They said 'Hello' and asked me where I was going. I told them I was going to the mamak for lunch and they immediately got upset.
"Makan??!? You nak pergi makan?!??"
I was really confused.
"Uh, ye encik. Nak pergi makan."
"Bagi IC! Bagi IC!"
Still puzzled, I handed over my IC and they both inspected it.
"OOHHHHHHHH Cinaaa.... Patut ah! Sorry cik, sorry cik."
2. Abhishek, the long wait, 26
My wife and I once went to a restaurant during puasa for dinner. It was around 6.15pm when we arrived and ordered our food. Usually the food comes super fast but for some reason, this time it didn't.
By 6.45pm we were starving, so we called the waiters and asked them where our food was. They said, "Oh, it's coming."
It still hadn't arrived by 7pm. Then, we called the waiters again and this time a really nice boss came around.
We asked again where our food was coz we had been waiting for 45 minutes. He was like, "Oh don't worry your food will come before buka puasa".
When we told him that we weren't fasting, he quickly apologised and brought our food in under a minute. Turned out, our food had already been made and they didn't serve it to us because they assumed we were puasa-ing. :D
3. Yana, I'm-bleeding-go-away, 20
A few years ago, I went to a restaurant for lunch with my cousin during Ramadhan. It was "that time of the month" for both of us.
But when the waiter came to take our orders, he started giving us attitude. He asked for our identification cards (IC).
Unfortunately, I didn't bring my IC that day. So, I told him the truth. I have never seen anyone turn so red in his life! He quickly took our orders and walked away as fast as he could.
Let's just say, we might have taught him a very invaluable lesson that day :D Please, MYOB.
4. Michelle, the pretzel-lover, 32
It was my day off and my day started off pretty good. The sun was bright, clouds were big and fluffy, temperature was perfect for a stroll. Yeap. Perfect, even for Malaysian standards. I decided to drive to Bangsar to check out the lovely boutiques there.
Traffic was clear, I found a parking spot immediately after I turned into the mall, and it was right at the entrance to the mall. Nice. I have a thing for pretzels so I got myself one. My strides were confident, and they had a beat.
Suddenly, I felt two quick taps on my right shoulder. I turned and saw a police officer who asked, "Mmmm bestnyer~ sedap tak?" To which I replied, "Best giler!"
Then the officer smiled and said, "Boleh nampak. Makan lagi la. I tak tau la macam mana budak-budak sekarang ni tak puasa lagi."
I was startled. Wait what? Budak-budak? He thinks I look young! Gold star!
But wait. What? Puasa? I laughed then I told him that I was not fasting and that I'm Catholic. He was surprised and said I looked very much like a Malay and he apologised. He left really quickly after that but I think it was probably out of embarrassment.
My day was still pretty good. That incident was kind of funny though. I'd always be reminded of that one time I was stopped by a police officer about a pretzel.
5. Zue, the cookie batter thief, 25
There was this one time when I was eight or nine, I was helping my aunt make
Raya cookies. I'd sneak some of the batter out of the house and munch on it.
Some older kids saw me but I caught them eating too so we both had an agreement not to tell anyone. ;)
6. Natalie, the expat, 26
I was in a fast food restaurant during Ramadhan once for lunch. I went to the counter and ordered myself a burger. The whole time, the staff kept asking if I wanted it bungkus and I kept saying no, I want to eat here.
They gave me my food with really concerned looks on their faces. When I sat down and took a big bite out of my burger, the store manager came up to me and started speaking really fast in Malay, which I couldn't really understand.
All I understood was 'Islam', 'puasa', and 'tak boleh makan.' That's when I realised that the manager thought I was Muslim and I was openly eating in public. When I told him that I wasn't Muslim, he apologised and left me alone.
The best part is because of that, I got extra free fries five minutes into my meal. Yay! :D
7. Kevin, the head smack, 45
I was out having my dinner one day at the mamak when a stranger approached me and smacked the back of my head with his hand. I looked up at him stunned.
He asked me why I was eating. I said, "I'm not a Muslim." He didn't believe me until I took my identification card out and showed it to him.
Now, I'm a little worried for my head every time I eat out at this time of the month. :P
Have you ever been asked why you aren't puasa-ing? Share with us your funny moments in the comments section below!