A Scene During Recess – an Open Speech
The school bell goes off to signal the start of the twenty-minute recess period. All the pupils get up from their seats, and with the permission of the teacher make their way to the school canteen.
The school canteen has many stalls offering a variety of foods. One can choose Malay, Chinese, Indian or even Western food. The stallholders are friendly folk and the food is inexpensive.
I quickly walk to the school canteen and head for my favorite nasi lemak stall. The stall is run by an elderly Malay woman whom we affectionately call Mak Haji. She is assisted by her son and daughter. Mak Haji also sells fried chicken, fried prawns, fried fish and anchovies, hard-boiled eggs and baked potatoes to go with her delicious nasi lemak.
After buying my meal, I walk over to the drinks stall and buy a tall glass of mixed fruit juice. The drinks stall belongs to Mr. Chan, a thin Chinese in his mid-thirties. He runs the shop alone but he is a very fast worker. His hands seem to move at lightning speed as he serves his customers.
Then, I scan the dining area for an empty seat and having found one, I rush to be seated. I finish the sumptuous meal in a matter of minutes and gulp down the refreshing juice. Having thus filled my stomach, I rise with the empty plate and glass in my hands. There are others waiting to have their meal and I have to make space for them.
All too soon, the school bell rings again to mark the end of recess time. All the pupils head back to the classroom for the continuation of the day’s lessons.