Rojak, Nasi Lemak (1909)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Thu Dec 30 06:14:45 UTC 2004

NASI LEMAK--37,200 Google hits, 869 Google Groups hits
(Not in OED, "miserable on world food")
rojak  (1)
ro·jak (plural ro·jaks)
noun  Malaysia
1. mixed salad: a mixed  salad of fruit and vegetables
[Late 20th century. From Malay, literally  "mixed."]
rojak  (2)
ro·jak (plural ro·jaks)
noun  Malaysia
1. taboo term: a taboo  term for a person of mixed ethnic background (slang)

You might  also search for the usual Indonesian spellings of the salad:
"rujak"  (spelling since 1972), "rudjak" (spelling from 1950 to 1972), or
"roedjak"  (spelling before 1950 and still the most common Dutch spelling).

In  Indonesia, the sweet/sour/spicy "rujak" sauce is also used for  grilling
chicken or beef, in a dish called "ayam bumbu rujak" (chicken) or  "daging
bumbu rujak" (beef).  There's a hit for "daging bumbu rujak" in  a March
31, 1965 LA Times review of JB's Little Bali Cafe in  Inglewood.
Remarkably, the restaurant is still there and is still serving  "daging
bumbu  rujak":

--Ben  Zimmer
I hate that guy.
There's no way that anyone can possibly beat Encarta's entry of "late 20th  
century," but we'll try anyway.
This book is absolutely wonderful for Malay language terms.
(Published by direction of the Government of the Federated Malay  States.)
R. J. Wilkinson, F.M.S. Civil Service, General Editor.
by R. O. Winstedt, F.M.S. Civil Service
Printed by J. Russell at the F.M.S. Government Press
Pg. 59:
Woman and children, if they have no appetite for rice or if their  employment 
delay the substantial meal, will indulge, in the heat of the day, in  a fiery 
cold vegetable salad(1) eaten alone; its ingredients consisting of  banana, 
pineapple, yams, beans, tubers, and _mengkudu_ cut fine and mixed with  
fish-paste and shredded chillies and flavoured with salt, sugar and  tamarind.
(1) _Rojak_.
Pg. 62:
He will(1) boil the rice along with such spices as carraway seeds, cloves,  
mace, nutmeg and ginger and garlic, in dripping or coconut oil; or(2) he will  
boil it in coconut milk instead of water; or he(3) will gild the lilyh with  
turmeric, using glutinous rice.
(1) _Nasi minyak_ or _nasi samin_. (2) _Nasi lemak_. (3) _Nasi  kunyit_
WHERE DID BARRY POPIK EAT ON TUESDAY?--Joe's Shanghai, on 56th Street  
between 5th and 6th Avenues. It's not far from my home. I noticed on prior walks  
that the Joe's Shanghai in Queens and the Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown were both  
packed. This midtown place wasn't packed at dinnertime. Surprisingly, the  
midtown joint drew a Chinese crowd. Joe's Shanghai claims to have invented soup  
dumplings. It's a good place, solid, but I don't know why people go crazy 
over  it..
WHERE DID BARRY POPIK EAT ON WEDNESDAY?--Yum Thai, 129 West 44th Street,  
between 6th Avenue and Broadway. It's a short walk from the New York Public  
Library. It's a hole in the wall place, but the customer before me chatted that  
he liked it a lot. I had a meal for under $12, and it's a cafeteria-type so no  
tip is required. Can't beat that.
CONVERSATION OF THE WEEK: It was revealed that Steve Koldony, a friend of  
mine, was just fired. Whether you've worked for a day or a week or a year or ten 
 years or twenty years, you just one day get a letter in the mail that your  
services are no longer required, and that's that. Kolodny was a young guy,  
bright, conscientious, and everyone was surprised. They asked me why.
"He had opinions." I said.
"He had opinions? You have to do what they tell you. We're judges. We can't  
have opinions. Was he crazy?"
"He was usually right. Maybe he wanted to do a good job."
"Did he need the money?"
"I think he did."
DAVE GORMAN'S GOOGLEWACK ADVENTURE--This Off-Broadway show has been  
extended, but ends in about a week. It started at the Edinburgh Festival.  There is a 
book tie-in. Someone told Dave that his web site had a  "Googlewack" (two 
words with only one Google hit). This started his "Googlewack  Adventure"--to find 
and successfully meet up with ten Googlewacked people in a  row. 
My question was--why? Gorman likes to say that he had no idea it would be a  
stage show, but there's no other purpose to it. He tells people that he "was  
drunk" when he did certain things, but then do drunk people carry digital  
cameras? (SPOILER ALERT!) He goes to Australia for a final Googlewack and  
suddenly is told about the international date line thing--I saw that about half  an 
hour before, and it's beyond belief that he wouldn't know this.
It's entertaining, but it depressed me. He's won awards. He's received good  
reviews. He's been interviewed in the NY press. People pay to see him. How 
does  this happen to him? For this?? For a pointless "Googlewack Adventure"?  I 
fly around the world too, and say solve "the Windy City," and people are  
actually insulted when I give away my work for free, and they torture me all my  
life. HOW HAS HE WON AWARDS? And then he freely admits that he hasn't worked a  
day in his life. You mean, he  hasn't done parking tickets for fifteen  years? 
It's a nice show and he's a nice guy, but I wanted to kill him.
SIDEWAYS--This is supposedly the movie of the year. It features win, food.  
Paul Giamatti plays another Barry Popik-type character, but he's not me. He's a 
 divorced, broke school teacher who writes an unpublished novel and winds up  
romancing Virginia Madsen. HOW DOES HE GET VIRGINIA MADSEN?
I should have killed myself years ago.

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