The one thing I've begun to dislike about Eid (or Hari Raya as it's known in Malaysia) is the one thing that was missing during daylight for the preceeding 29 days - food. Yes, all the feasting has left me feeling extremely bloated lately. It's not that I hadn't expected it or indeed feel ungrateful for the food. Far from it. I've actually just made a conscious effort to eat as little as possible when visiting friends and relatives to avoid any complications.
Unfortunately, as much as I try, the plan never works when I'm being eyed by my hosts who insist that I stuff myself with the maximum amount of beef rendang, pulut and other Raya delicacies. The result of all this is a grotesquely bloated round belly.
I was going to give up on finding a solution to this Eid "suffering" when as luck would have it, I paid a visit to
Dublin Zoo earlier today. At the zoo, I had the pleasure of seeing the tigers being fed. Now, before you start imagining the zoo staff throwing in large chunks of meat into the enclosure to the lazily waiting tigers, stop. The folks at Dublin Zoo have come up with an amazing feeding arrangement that gets the big cat fed but also gets the animal some exercise at the same time.
The idea is quite simple really. Get a big chunck of meat and dangle it high up a pole. Unleash tiger and let it work to get the meat up the pole. Yes, like their smalller, more domestic cousins, tigers are also equally adept and climbing up things like poles...and trees. Yes, I've always thought that if I was stuck in a Malaysian rainforest and just happened to come across a hungry tiger, I'd climb up a tree to safety. Well, today's tiger demonstration certainly throws that plan out the window.
Anyway, the tiger eating plan seems like a good one i.e. combining eating with exercising. So now, it's up to my eager hosts to have poles to hang their lemang and rendang for next Raya!
Not going to happen, is it? Dammit...