Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Two Words You Must Know in Malaysia

A word to the wise. If you are coming to Malaysia, don't forget this phrase- Tanpa Gula. That means, "no sugar". It's a must when ordering drinks here. They put waaay too much sugar in everything. It's the reason there is so much type 2 diabetes here. Things are just way too sweet!

Case in point- one time I ordered a lemon ice tea at some hawker stalls, and forgot to say, "Tanpa Gula". What I ended up with was tea flavored sugar water. There was so much sugar, that I could barely taste the tea. When I let the tea set for a couple of minutes, there was about an inch of sugar sitting in the bottom of the glass.

They even put sugar in things that don't need it. I saw a honey and lime concoction in The Store, (Yes, that is the name of a chain of stores here.) I figured I would get some, because it helps my stomach when it gets gassy or upset. When I looked at the list of ingredients, what was the first ingredient listed? SUGAR!!! Now why the hell do you have to put sugar in a honey drink? Isn't it sweet enough already? Needless to say, I passed on that one.

So unless you want to give yourself a serious case of diabetes, don't forget to say "Tanpa gula".