PETALING JAYA: Through rain or shine, they’re the ones making sure there’s food on your table – literally.
They’re the food delivery riders, of course.
As more people are ordering food online during the lockdown, food delivery riders take to the streets to make sure meals are delivered on time.
However, it also means their own meal-times are spotty and they have to eat anywhere they can during their trips.
As such, many of them have had unusual encounters.
Food delivery rider Fadil Sahar, 27, recalled parking his motorcycle under a shady tree before he started his meal of packed rice and side dishes he bought from a stall.
“I was eating halfway when suddenly some bird droppings fell on my lunch, ” he said with a chuckle.
Fadil, who is a culinary arts graduate from Shah Alam, said such a bizarre encounter was just part and parcel of his life as a delivery rider, many of whom are often seen stopping their motorcycles and eating their meals almost anywhere.
Another rider, Amran Sidek, 30, said since no dine-in was allowed during the lockdown, he usually stopped at petrol stations to eat his packed food.
“These places are shaded and have buffer zones for anyone to have a rest. They also have bathrooms so that I can wash my face and hands.
“It’s safer too as sometimes I take a short nap when I’m too tired before I continue my trips, ” said Amran, who has been a full-time food delivery rider for two years.
He added that there was nothing wrong in riders making a pitstop for their meals as long as it did not create any inconvenience to others.
His colleague who only wanted to be known as Ecam said his usual practice was to eat at a bus station or under a bridge while on the go.
“When riders are transporting orders, we are usually in a rush and have no time to eat.
“Sometimes I get to eat some bread while waiting to pick up the delivery, ” he said, adding that following the pandemic, he now brings along his own cutlery for his meals.
Another rider who only wanted to be known as Nash said he and his fellow riders usually park near the end-lots of shophouses before having their meals.
“Some of us would sit next to a drain and eat.
“People may look at us differently sometimes, but there is nothing to be shameful of because we are just earning an honest living, ” said the 29-year-old.
Nash added that riders did not go out to create a hassle, they just needed to sit down and eat.
“I have friends who have been told off by the police for sitting down while waiting to pick up orders.
“Another friend, who is an e-hailing driver, was also ticked off for eating his lunch in the car by the side of a road.
“Not everyone is working from home. I think the authorities should be more considerate with people like us, ” he added.