Tuesday, 1 March 2005

Role reversed

Does a barber trust someone else to cut his hair? Does a surgeon allow anyone else to operate on him? Well, some one has got to do the job. And yesterday I allowed myself to be interviewed by someone else.

So, what was it like to have the microphone shoved into your face?

If truth be told, I’d rather be the one holding the microphone, the one behind the camera, the one calling the shots, but sometimes you do find yourself on the other side of the counter.

My fear of this role reversal has something to do with what happened some years ago. A colleague was doing a programme on food, glorious food around the world for the BBC World Service. I don’t know how I ended up as the expert for Malay food. Thus I rambled on about this and that and said I do make a wicked meal of mee goreng. To which he drooled: Oooh, will you marry me?
And my quick retort: Then you know what you have to do, don’t you???

We both laughed, he understood my message and I waved him out of my office with a warning: Edit out the last bit!

It was during lunch time, at the BBC canteen, while I was tackling the greasy fish and chips when I heard the proposal, loud and clear through the radio in the canteen.

Needless to say, fish went cold as all eyes were on me.

Once, I was back doing the rounds and I did no less than seven interviews; radio, tv and newspapers. I didn’t hear any feedbacks on the ones that went out on Radio Brunei or SBC but I did get some on the one Zainal Din Zainal did with me. Let me rephrase that, Zainal did the interview while I laughed throughout the live broadcast.

Not a good publicity for someone trying to sell the Malay Service of the BBC. But if you know Zainal Din, you’d be having stitches and rolling on the floor as well. Actually, I was trying to find my way to the studios of Selamat Pagi Malaysia, when Zainal hijacked me into his studio. And out of habit, I took off my earrings to put on the headphone. The interview started and ended with those earrings on him..and I tell you, he looked a sight! But Hajjah Wan Cik Daud saved my reputation and did a proper interview on Selamat Pagi Malaysia.

The one hour phone-in programme with Azizah Majid of RTM Penang was quite hilarious as well. It went something like this:
AM: Apa yang membawa Kak Teh balik ke Penang ni?
KT: Mmm, bagi saya, orang pertama yang saya cari di Penang ialah mamak mee goreng. Dia selalu surung kereta surung dia pukoi 12 tengah hari dan park depan Ho Peng. Lepaih tu, pukoi 5 pulak. Kali ni balik, tak jumpa dia pulak.

That spurred on several callers to jam the line.

Caller 1: Laaaa, mamak tu, awat tak kenai. La ni dia stesen belakang Hong Kong Shanghai bank tu!

Caller 2
: Ish, buat apa nak makan mee mamak. Mai Kak Jah nak ajark nak buat macam mana.

Sound engineer in studio: Ish, apa Kak Teh tak habark Kak Teh suka mamak. Saya pun mamak.

With live interview, things can either go drastically wrong or you can let the adrenalin flow and enjoy it.

A friend and I did a cookery programme for Channel 4. We were supposed to make Laksa Johore with ingredients that’s only available here in London and I think we did pretty well. I keep getting calls from all over the world, people who saw me cooking and just couldn’t believe their eyes “Who are you trying to kid?You don’t cook. Your kitchens are in Malaysia Hall, Nahar and Mawar!” Very cruel friends I have.

Because this programme was shown world wide, I suddenly became a celebrity chef…well, to some. I was at a foodfair in Birmingham, where Chef Wan was also attending.

Just as I entered the huge hall, two American chefs rushed to me, calling “Chef Wan, Chef Wan!” At first I ignored them and then realised that my nametag says I am a Wan, and proceeded to show them to where the right Wan was demonstrating his skills.

“No, Chef Wan! We saw you on TV, making laksa….” Oh, me God or Ma Grandma as Pok Ku is wont to say. I have put Laksa Johore on the world culinary map now!

I wonder if barbers are fussy about how their colleagues cut their hair. Don’t let colleagues with grudges do it.

Anyway, when I do do give interviews, I can’t help but look out for certain basic things – basic do’s and don’ts. “Errr, do you want to check level first? What about the background noise? Don’t you want to test the white balance? Whaaaat? You don’t need cut aways????”

Aaah, yesterday, I was more relaxed, answering questions in the kitchen. But I do hope she edits out the last sentence too.


shidah said...

what was be the last question, chef wan????

atiza said...

wah..you got another talent..a culinary expert..when was the show on laksa johore aired?

d'arkampo said...

kak teh,

get the clips! we want to see it!

SC said...

i will watch detik tonite. thanks 4 the very much welcomed excuse to tapau dinner and eat off styrofoam for a change.

SC said...

kak teh
i have the notes for you.what is ur email address?
Gemersik suaramu dan lintasan potretmu kini dapat kusematkan pada bicaramu. Nama kini berwajah, madah bernadalah sudah.Manis...Manis sekali.Jangan jeles kengkawan.

SC said...

kak teh, pls hop over to mah domain for the notes.

Nadia said...

kakteh! LOL hilarious! I'd really to watch you...ada tak kat US ni? Don't think sola..alahai..ada tak clip tu on you? that you can who over the net?

atenah said...

boleh caya ke kedahan masak laksa johore? ni kena cuba try test ni

iJun said...

ahhhhh sapa kak teh niiiiiiii aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa *hentak2 kaki atas carpet*

Kak Teh said...

shidah: i mentioned name of company - that's all.
atiza: no expertlah. It was aired perhaps 5 years ago but repeated many times.
kampo: hehe, am as anxious to see how they did it.
spasticolon: thanks...didn;t expect you to do all that...and those nice beautiful words from you..will cherish it.
nadiah: it was so long ago. but if you want towatch the online tv thati am involved in go to www.rantauan.tv stopped production for the time being.
atena: asaikan nampak authentic dalam tv cukup...rasa tu lain cerita pulak!

lilac said...

Hi Kak Teh, care to share yr laksa johor recipe ? Anyway I stumbled upon yr blog while bloghopping. That pic of the lady with blonde hair looks so familiar. Kak Teh = Kak ? from Rantauan.com ker ?

Captain Barbell said...

this is supermakteh, the superheroine

Kak Teh said...

lilacbiru????yes...u're right. thanks for dropping by.
paul: ishhhhh, i dont wear knickers over my trousers.

Kak Teh said...

iJun: kak teh ni kak teh lah...sapa lagi? stop hentakking your kaki.

Kak Teh said...

iJun: kak teh ni kak teh lah...sapa lagi? stop hentakking your kaki.

atenah said...

kak teh: taruk chat box le, coz i nak tanya soalan2 eg bila nak air the interview with our hang tuah on rantauan tv? me drool, drool. you know dulu i baca yr column in nst, when was that 90's? that was you wasnt it? he he i was interviewed too today, i hentamed gebang for 2 hrs with that lady, over ramah what to do. do you chat with pok ku's gang? am tempted to join

budakkampong said...

as much as i love going to court i don't like being the one who are being summoned...

red said...

whatever happened to zainal din zainal? missed his show on radio...

Kak Teh said...

tenah: so u are one of a handful lah! haha - tenah di penang/usa, kak teh di london, di kuali cyber juga kita bertemu. Oh, abt hang tuah. where u nampak? at rantauan.tv ke??? okay ..will have to reedit that one...lots of places hang tuah ummms and umpps..typical of him!
budakkampong: i am sure u dont want to be the one being summoned!!
red: zainal din zainal..the last time i saw something abt him was in Pok Ku's blog.

Yam said...

Kak Teh / Mok Teh,

You're one funny, funny lady! :D

Psst.. ntah bila agaknya dapat rasa Laksa Johor buatan orang utara ni..?

MakNenek said...

err..kak teh.the only laksa recipe that i got from you, comes straight from a jar!!!

Kak Teh said...

yam: glad u like it.
maknenek: don'tlah give away the secret!

Sunflora said...

Kak teh!!

Ade recipe tak nak share! Do you still have the clip for your cooking demonstration on Ch 4? Can I pleaseeee watch pretty pleaseeee

Jane Johan said...

Kak Teh! I wanna watch ! I wanna watch! On radio Rantauan please... :)

Kak Teh said...

sunflora: I dont think I have the tape. dah lama sangat dahh...
Honeytar: www.rantauan.tv is on all the time. Just click on that link...but be warned it has not been updated for sometime! hehe..

Bustaman said...

I used to hear my staff talk about "ASBUN" which I found out later stood for "Asal Bunyi". A philosophy for less than professional people who didnt give a hoot about levels etc.

Kak Teh said...

pok ku, once you are the one being interviewed, you're really in their hands...berserah.