October 22, 2021

Sibu Tales : Of Sandwiches and Men

I was a temporary teacher in a secondary school,in between University semesters, just to earn a bit of pocket money. I enjoyed learning and teaching at the same time, for after all I was going to take up a post graduate diploma in education soon.

Teaching included afternoon classes for the less able students whom I loved. I would sacrifice a good lunch at home by having my own simple packed lunch of peanut butter or just jam sandwiches and a hot flask of Nescafe. Sometimes I would spend some extra on a bowl of kampua ordered from a coffee shop. It would be a treat, and if only a few others were ordering, for the coffee boy would not deliver if the order was too few. The school clerk would do the ordering. 

There was only one telephone in the school at that time. So many of us had no telephone at home, thus ordering by phone was like magic. 

Photo of lovely sandwiches by Phyllis Wong

Among the more senior teachers (those who taught Forms Four and Five),was a new Maths graduate who came back from New Zealand. He was big headed and so full of himself. He even looked down upon local university graduates!!

One afternoon he came to look at my packed lunch of peanut butter sandwiches ...I cheekily offered him a sandwich.

He sneered,"I only eat Ham Sandwiches, not jam or peanut butter sandwich."

Well, such arrogance. A lot went through my head and I never spoke to him again. I really took the rebuff very seriously.

After that incident, whenever someone suggested a sandwich lunch in an expensive high end cafe, I would say that I preferred a kopi tiam kampua.

I was so traumatized that I hate men who like ham sandwiches, or expensive sandwiches. Now that sourdough sandwiches and other high end sandwiches are in the market, I still have that horrible stomach ache starting up. And I really have an aversion for them.

A young lady's emotional wounds are hard to cure. I have so many emotional scars!!

Although I continue to make lots of sandwiches in my life I don't think I would not offer them to arrogant men.

(P,S. I trained my son never to reject food offered by someone, take a small portion and accept with lots of grace, and praise God for the food. Bless the hands which prepare the food.)

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