I have always thought Lotte’s Koala’s March as one of my all-time favourite childhood treats. For those of you who have never eaten these before (like seriously, have you got no childhood?), they are bite-sized Japanese cookie snacks, with mostly chocolate or strawberry fillings inside the hollow cookie shell.
I was barely 3 years old when I had my first bite. For some reason, this memory stood out and refused to fade with time. I remember the bright fluorescent lights of the grocery store. I remember the white yet grimy tiles of the store’s floor. I remember my little self, holding Daddy’s hand, gazing up wide-eyed onto shelves upon shelves of tantalising biscuits and snacks. And then, he uttered those magic words, “Pick anything you want.” Stunned at such a rare event, I picked the chocolate Koala’s March biscuits, of course. Come on, they have like the coolest packaging ever! Have you seen any hexagonal biscuit boxes like these before?!
When we left the store, I was holding my treat with a vice-like grip, floating on cloud nine. I mean, my parents are those strict sort who read loads of parenting books and are huge believers of positive & negative reinforcements to modify their child’s behaviour. I can bawl my head off and throw a full-blown tantrum in the toy aisle in an attempt to publicly shame them into buying me what I want, but they are too blasé or maybe thick-skinned even, to be embarrassed by such antics. According to them anyway, us children have never tried such acts with them. Apparently, we were hard-wired or maybe guilt-driven into not asking for things when we know we have done nothing worthy to deserve them. Yeah, yeah. Us goody-two-shoes.
Anyway, I could barely believe my good luck when Dad brought me into a hospital room. Surprise, surprise! I’m officially the big sister of not one, but two baby brothers! Ha. Apparently, those biscuit treats were supposedly bought to appease me, in case I got all jealous of my baby twin brothers who would be getting a lot of attention. Since then, I’ve always associated these Koala biscuits with the birth of my baby brothers. And also, with the happiest day of my 3-year old life, for like 15 minutes, perhaps?
All grown-up today, those Koalas caught my eye again. I think I haven’t ate one of these for at least a decade. I have the most distinct memory of how I used to eat them. I am a total neurotic retard when it comes to the ‘correct way’ of eating Koalas. Yeah, I am so convinced that ‘my way’ is the only proper way to devour such lovely treats, that I get irritated with people who eat them any other way. First, I would have a good look at this Koala-shaped biscuit and its imprinted picture. I would then proceed to nibble at their ears and paws (the four edges), after that I would prise open the biscuit shell and gobble them up, then only finally devouring the chocolate filling inside. Mostly, I ate them after refrigeration, so the filling is like a thick slab of hardened chocolate block. Yums!
For old time’s sake, I bought a twin-pack of the chocolate & strawberry flavoured. I love how they never really changed the packaging. At RM7.00, they are bloody expensive! But then again, any price to buy back the taste of childhood, right? Wrong. Maybe my tongue has upgraded their taste buds for more sophisticated cuisine, but they don’t taste as good as I remembered them to be. This is the sadness of growing up. We feel discontent so easily. We keep wanting to re-experience those once-happy moments, but they just elude us and somehow, we can never experience the same feeling twice. But then, maybe this is how it is supposed to be. Imagine if you get to re-experience each of your ‘most-happy-moments’. At some point, you get desensitised by your own happiness, and the glitter of it fades off so that the moment becomes not ‘happy’, but just mere ‘normal’.
On a lighter note, do you know that they are a total of 485 different pictures of Koala doing various activities printed on these biscuits? Ah-mah-zing!