That little gerai
My nephew started operating an eatery outlet serving Western dishes a couple of months ago.On record he's the first in my extended family to delve in business.Naturally we were all excited.Uncle's,Aunties,his sister,cousins,nephew,nieces and all.Some chipped with gifts of cutleries while others patronised the outlet to lend moral support.Of course during the visits,suggestions and comments flowed freely unsought.Additional items in the menu,furniture,settings,lighting,advertisement boards,ambience deluged in the conversation nonstop.Until the poor nephew all red faced trying to control his emotions blurted " This is only a little gerai you know.I was around and couldn't help joining the fray.In order to downplay the situation I lamented saying 'You mean like the little house on the praries'.A TV series in the sixties.Suddenly he jumped in excitement. Yes I will name this outlet" That Little Gerai".That's how the name came into being.
A little into the background of my nephew. He left for the United States at a tender age of 18 years to further his studies.Something must have happened along the way and for reasons only better known to him, he returned to his homeland at the age of 42.What baffles me is that you dont need 24 years to perfect your culinary skills.You only need to speak to him about the time lapse.(lest I may fall in his bad books).Upon his return,he worked at a couple of renown eatery outlets including 'SHOOKS' before going on his own.
Now lets get back to'That Little Gerai'. It operated for a few months and had to close because of a tiff with the owner of the rented lot. With the help of his parents who are dedicated (in malay read as 'daddykasi) to help him out. He moved to a proper shoplot nearby. This time things were better organised,with new furniture,fittings and complete sets of cutlery,oven and fridge.Even the tables were spread with matching tablecloth and decorated with flower vase,candle stands and printed menus.The patronage has increased,comensurate with its takings. The oft commenting relatives this time around lay quite.As there is nothing much to suggest anyway.The poor nephew was given a free hand to run his business.The ever understanding uncles and cousins did their bit to help.They brought their families and friends to celebrate birthdays and chit-chat sessions.The men as always the victim, as they have to claim the damages.(settling of bills).If there are sceptics to the success of 'That Little Gerai' it's the daddykasi parents vis a vis the loan recovery.
Having a knack for sumptious western cuisine can be an expensive affair.A majority of the customers can be categorised as Yuppies.They probably studied overseas and sure enough draw fat salaries.Their knowledge of western dishes baffles me.They knew every detail from preparation to its sauce and meat.Even its brand,cost and country of import are well stored in their memory data.When comes the bill they pay like like a duke.No questions asked.
Judging from the frequency my nephew and nieces spend their time here,I believe they are Yuppies too.Hopefully they extend an invitation to this old retiree sometime in the near future to join them in their dinner outings.Well,its not a sin to hope!
Lastly let me wish my nephew all the best and the bright sun of success greet him in his endeavour.
" God Willing"