This here is the back of a motorbike laden with goodies. A fast disappearing sight in urban Malaysia today, the ‘roti man’ (literally the ‘bread man’) evokes the same childhood joy as would the good old ice cream truck here in the US.


As you can see from the physics-defying load he has on his vehicle, our dear roti men care not for life or limb, and can be seen as early as 5.30am delivering bread and other assorted delicacies (read: junk food) to Malaysian families all over the city.

I remember stopping one of these on a daily basis back home in Ipoh in the 80s, where my sis and I would smuggle Cheezels or oniony UFOs (remember UFOs?!) or the ‘healthier’ corn wheels (only if he’s out of UFOs) into our room by sneaking around the house and throwing our stash into our room via the window. We’d then enter the house, passing our Koo Ma’s contraband inspection, walk calmly into our room, lock it behind us, turn on the music and gorge on bags upon shiny bags of the MSG-laden snacks.

Ah, such simple pleasures. Don’t you wish you were as easily satisfied today? Reminds me of that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Raymond talks about the simple joys a child gets from candy, whereas as a grown-up, all we can think about are calories and cavities.

ps. I took this picture in 2002, ten days after Rae was born.