4 September 2015 – At first you hear him. The sound of the horn is unmistakable.
Looking out the window, you see him in the distance, riding along on a motorbike (or quite often a tricycle) with what appears to be an oversized cabinet at the back, an assortment of packaged foodstuffs hanging over the sides.
Running outside your house, you greet your neighbours who are already standing by the side of the road waiting for the man. When he approaches you wave to flag him down.
Growing up in Malaysia, this was our memory of the man. His presence brought happiness in the form of delicious freshly baked bread. However, as children, we never knew his name, only his title…the ‘Roti man’.
The roti men (‘roti’ being an Indian word for bread) are the traditional bread sellers of Malaysia. They are becoming an increasingly rare sight on some streets in Penang, so if you happen to see one, as we did while on our way back from Pulau Tikus, don’t forget to wave and say hello…and of course, buy some of his delicious bread!