A crazy month July was and crazier August still with the rig in her final completion phase; lots of punchlists to be closed, courses to run for the crew. I got into the office trying to edit a 55-paged document which I received last night for this afternoon’s meeting, and did what I could – and stopped when I met a dead-end that requires references to the client’s manuals and supporting documents. No breakfast and I was belching non-stop, with the backache that restricts my breathing.
Just when I thought it was safe to go for lunch, IT RAINED.
So my intention of not eating rice today was dashed by the view of cars and motorbikes making splashes out of the soaked roads in front of the KLCC. Subway was filled to the brim and so were the other eateries. I had to resort to the usual little cafe run by a Malay pakcik that serves the usual malay food in each Bain-Marie, and the usual Today’s Special. For today, it’s Tomato Rice. So I settled for a quarter plate of white rice, vegetables, one fried egg and sambal belacan with hot tea as complement.
There is another outlet next to it but is never half as full as this one is. Chinese, Indian and Malay alike, not just from this building but also from the neighbouring buildings, would flock to this one rather to the one next door which has a larger lot and more seats and tables. Not because the food here is much better, but the courtesy and services rendered.
You can either choose what’s inside the Bain-Marie or you can order from the menu including the day’s special. You can either pay first or pay later but the ordered food would be sent to you instead of having the manager/cashier shout out to you telling you to get your food. It’s cheap too. What makes it even more special is that the workers are courteous. Now that is a rarity in Malaysia. The only other place where I can find workers as courteous as this would be at the Borneo Divers Mabul Resort (call me biased if you want but I’m telling you the truth). And this is how the manager/proprietor would greet everyone:
“Apa khabar hari ni, tuan? Tuan nak makan apa?
It feels awkward having a man who is probably as old as my father-in-law is calling me Tuan, not that I never got the same from my subordinates in the Air Force who are older than I am. But finding a man as courteous as this just makes your day.
And because the place was filled to the brim, I had to share table with this seemingly-religious guy who was wearing his skullcap, dark spots on his forehead. I never really looked at him but I noticed he had rice stuck to his goatee – BLOODY CURRIED RICE, and I was like, “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”
Apparently he was dozing off every now and then, and that caused his long goatee to drop into his plate of rice. He would open his eyes every now and then to scoop a spoon of rice into his mouth, but a few munches later he would doze back to sleep. I’m sure he would win the “MAN OF RAMADHAN” award later this month but I don’t think he would make it as “BEST EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR.” You can be religious or a drunkard but to doze off during office hours, I mean, lunch hour even, is so not on. I can bet you he would be the one in his office to tell people that they must look for HALAL money, meaning not to cheat during office hours but he would use religious-duty to skive and sleep inside the prayer room, what more it is air-conditioned and located at Basement Parking 2. I can also imagine him telling the women employees in his office to dress up decently but spend time in bed later wanking imagining how those women would look like undress. Oh well, they usually are like that. That is why you will always see rapists appear in court wearing skullcaps. Suddenly, they turned to religion.
Anyway, I will have to walk to the client’s office, a 5-minute walk away, in half-hour’s time, yet the rain shows no sign of abating.
What a lovely rainy Thursday afternoon this is…