Beware the humble chilli padi. You are looking at a saucer of light soy sauce within which luxuriously soaks -- not a just a run-of-the-mill assassin -- but a consummate artist of genocide poised and ready to smite the unwary casual diner. Me.
This deceptively innocuous condiment is usually served sliced into fine rings. The moment I put just one little slice into my mouth to accompany a spoonful of bee hoon, there was an eruption of pure pain. Tears gushed forth in a futile bid to quash the flames...
and of all times, the kopitiam auntie just happened by right then and asked if I wanted a drink. Of course I bloody wanted a drink! But with all the coughing, spluttering and choking going on, it took a while to translate.
The effect of that single crimson fragment lasted minutes! Needless to say, though as a habit I polish off the ordinary side servings, out of respect for the Deiety of capsaicin (whose divine presence I unmistakably discerned at the table set before me), I left this unholy relish undefiled for the remainder of my meal.