3 Kids & Some Chicken
The road from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the coast is not a straight line so much as a flippin three-quarter circle.
Somewhere between Sepang and Sungai Pelek I got off my bike at this roadside stand run by these three electric teenagers. They spoke no English. I didn't even know what people spoke in Malaysia. But ordering five sticks of grilled chicken chunks doesn't take much more than a smile and a couple of gestures.
They went heavy on the spicy sauce for me. Then they started telling me "Three! Three!" This after negotiating a lower price in whatever funny money I was carrying on this, my first day in this new and, so far, perplexing country.
I could lie and say I'm too nice a guy to argue but really, I was just too tired. I dipped into my wallet for a couple of bills. They raised the decibel level. I looked up at their smiles.
And it hit me.
"Free," they were telling me. Free.
The rest of the ride to the coast, though in the dark, was a breeze.