10 things students in Malaysia say when they are hungry

In Malaysia, food = life. No wonder that makan time creates so many emotional situations and typical conversations! Which one of these phrases do you say daily? Here are 10 things that students in Malaysia say when they need to eat:

1. Dey! Faster la dah kebuluran ni!

so hungry need food meme

“Dey” is a familiar word to everyone and we will always call our friends “dey” – because we are all a one big family. Of course, in the family, we use the Malaysian slang. “Dey faster la lapar tau” – direct translation to English would be “Bro, please be faster, I’m starving.” It sounds so much more fun in “Manglish” 😀

2. What time is it?

Malaysians tend to ask about the time whenever they start to feel hungry. So it basically ends up being a never-ending question: after breakfast we start starving and craving lunch, and after the lunch break everyone begins dreaming about dinner. Round and round!

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3. I mau makan

hungry cat meme

MAU means “want”. Especially the Chinese-speaking Malaysians turn into parrots when they are hungry – by constantly repeating: “I mau makan I mau makan I mau makan!” to their partner, friend or colleagues whenever they feel hungry.

4. Cursing mode on

When you are hungry, but no one around cares or even notices – CURSING MODE GOES ON. The hungry beasts start to curse all their friends, their families and pets – but it all happens in their minds, of course. We are all civilized, all in all 🙂 Then at the end of the day, all the hungry peeps (including you!) usually just walk to the Mak Cik goreng pisang stall by the road side, and live happily ever after. No more drama – until the next hunger strikes!

5. I’m so hungry, I think I can eat a whole kambing right now

starving hungry dog meme

Kambing is a night market delicacy – whole roasted lamb. Malaysians use this phrase also because it’s fairly easy to get some piping hot curry mutton in all the mamak stalls nearby. But originally, eating the whole kambing was simply meant to describe how hungry we are!

6. Why queue for so long? Semua pun lapar ke?

If people get caught lining up in a long queue in front of a restaurant or a stall, naturally the interactions in line tend to play along rojak language. Just like the most famous one: “Semua pun lapar” – “Is everybody as hungry as me?”.

7. Can we go now? Faster la!

hungry pug meme

Rush rush rush… Students in Malaysia say that life is busy and they are always rushing, no matter if it’s about taking the train or the bus, lining up for food, or driving. Malaysians are always in the rush – especially when they’re hungry! The crowd’s patience goes down to ZERO when hunger strikes!

8. Silent mode on

If suddenly one of your friends stops talking loud, and starts to ignore everyone and everything around – it’s a clear signal that they are hungry (or have a broken heart, one of these two options)! How to fix it? Grab some snacks and give them to your buddy to munch on!

9. I feel like eating nasi lemak with kerang, sotong, ayam goreng and telur mata now *2am*

hungry Snape meme

Lying on your bed, getting ready to sleep… And all out the sudden the nasi lemak craving pops up in your mind. Yup, we all had this feeling at least once! Fortunately,  since Malaysia is a 24 hours food heaven, having nasi lemak lauk is always possible!

10. Thinking of what to eat for dinner while having lunch.

Malaysia’s rojak community has so many cuisine options – and sometimes its really hard to decide what to eat. So many cooking types mean that there are so many dishes and different cooking styles you can choose and crave! A lot of students in Malaysia say that they start planning the next meal while eating is in the process. For example, if I’m having a roti canai for lunch, at the same time I’m already thinking what to eat for dinner, like curry laksa, assam laksa or even hokkien noodle!

Zuzanna Ch
World traveller, but with the heart stuck in Malaysia.

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