On the outskirts of Kota Bharu, in a rental Perodua

Mouseover Malay text for an English translation

Kami kat luar Pacific Hotel, pak cik,” said Jen down the phone. She was still pink with frustration from driving in circles all morning.

The voice that answered her was hard to make out, partly because it was fuzzed up by being on speakerphone, but mostly because it was pure Kelantan. But it only said a few words anyway:

Sampai dah? Awak tunggu!


But the pak cik had hung up. Jen and Hwee Ning shared a look of confusion.

“See lah, read food blogs some more,” said Hwee Ning. “That’s what happens when you try to follow the hipsters.”

“Are there even any hipsters in Kelantan?” said Jen mournfully. She jabbed at her smartphone, as if in hope that that would persuade it to explain where they were and how they had got there. “If there was at least they’d update Waze!

Hipste Kelate by Alina Choong
Portrait of a hipste Kelate by Alina Choong


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