Sunday, November 27, 2011

A bit of a rant

If you must know, the irony was that when I was in Penang, I could not write above three pages. Now that I am here, I cannot write below three pages. Half of it might be drivel, but one stays hopeful nonetheless.

I am only halfway through my assignment story, which has a quota of 4,500 words, and I'm already at 5,210 words. Damn. Much editing to do. Snip snip.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My glasses and I

I'm not used to wearing glasses, although I think I might need them all the time (and friends tell me that I need them every time I say I see a cute guy). Granted, when I was a child, I begged my mum to buy me glasses because they somehow had this cool factor to them. So we went to the optometrist, where I lied a bit during the eye test, and got me my first pair of glasses. I think I was nine. The frames were reddish-pink. I wore them a few times and forgot about them.

I turned twelve. Same story, same ruse, and I got me a pair of silver-framed glasses. Wore them a few times, then forgot about them.

Might have used the same ruse in secondary school.

Then I started work three years ago, and realized that all that staring at the computer screen couldn't be too good for my eyes. So I got me a pair of computer-screen glasses. I wore them at work every day.

I suppose it's all that screen-staring, or perhaps I'm just getting old. I started noticing that my eyesight wasn't too good at night, especially whilst driving. Not to the point of entirely missing the tree in front of me or anything, just distorted lights. So I went and got me a more powerful pair of glasses.

Which I'm wearing now, at this very moment. When I take them off, I tend to squint a bit. Glasses make life somewhat easier, but I always forget to wear them out. Guess I'm just self-conscious, but maybe I should start wearing them all the time. I'd probably say, 'Oh look, cute guy!' less often, if I started to, but self-delusion can be fun. Keeps ones hopes up.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Now, why don't I speak Chinese again?

I started work last Monday at a Chinese noodle bar. They were amused when they knew that I didn't speak Chinese. Embarrassing much. My protest that I spoke Hokkien was futile when they introduced me to a chef from Fujian. I had to quickly explain that Penang Hokkien is different from the Mainland variety. Bummer.

Then they asked me, which part of China was I from? I said I'm from Malaysia. They said, yeah, but which part of China did my family come from? I said I... didn't know.

They were shell-shocked. Didn't know? DIDN'T KNOW?

I said, yeah, it's been a while since my ancestors came from China... I don't think we have any records, but we guess it's Xiamen or somewhere near that vicinity.

They shook their heads slightly, I could tell they pitied me. Not knowing where your roots were in the great middle kingdom, I suppose, was like cutting your queue off. Oh wait, we already did that during the turn of the previous century. Anyhow, I gleaned that it was really important to know which part of China you were from.

In conclusion, I maintain that I'm not a banana. I speak Hokkien, which is a form of Chinese. AND I'm Malaysian. But if you want to call me a banana, I'm fine with it, although I don't particularly fancy the fruit. Too sweet.

And one day I'll save up enough money to get my DNA tested to find out which damn part of China I'm from, OK? Blame faulty records, don't blame me! Tch.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On waitressing

After five years, I find myself busing tables again. Previously, I worked as a waitress for ten long days in a quaint English-style cafe in Penang. Of course I didn't take it seriously, I didn't really need the money. Plus it was World Cup season, and in the end I decided to quit the job to sit down in the pub next door to watch football instead. World Cup > Waitressing.

I wasn't a very good waitress, I must admit. I lacked the dedication. Not to say I was unenthusiastic for work or anything -- I received an RM15 tip once. Unfortunately it had to go to the tip pot. I just got lazy, decided it wasn't worth it, and quit. 22 men chasing after a ball, hey.

This time around, I actually need to money? So I really need to go to work even if I just feel like experimenting with growing fungi on my head in the darkness of my room. I need to walk the half hour trek to work even if it's -10 degrees Celsius.

And waitressing here is a whole different ball game from Penang. Back home, you give the customer the menu, wait for them to signal to you (sometimes they have to signal manically, especially if they are dining at Dome), take their orders, don't bother repeating it, send it to the kitchen, bring the food out, and if they're seated outdoors, bring them the bill as well. When they're ready to pay, they will begin the signalling process again, and will be lucky if they get their bill before the second coming of Christ.

And if you get a Bangla or Indon waiter, be ready to perform some hand signals. 'No spring onions' would be a tough one.