Monday, September 11, 2006

"What!! What Do You Want?!" I've been very busy lately. First, there was the term test. Second, we had to cram and complete our project assignments in a week. Then, I was offered a part-time job so cushy I embraced it without a thought. Now, after weeks of anticipation, it's Chinese New Year and I'm HUNGRY!Speaking of hunger, I wonder if there's a reunion dinner for the New Year.
Yesterday while at work, I decided to take a 10 minute break from the repetitive work I'd been doing non-stop for 4 hours. I turned off the computer monitor, pulled out a book, kicked back, relaxed, and started to read.No sooner had I finished reading the third page than I got "caught".A senior colleague (the one who offered me the job) walked straight into my cubicle, wagged her pointer at me and said "No reading on the job, girl! I don't want the rest of the office thinking you're shirking your responsibility you know!""Alright", says I, and shoved the book back into my bag.A few minutes later, the colleague reappeared and told me that if I wanted to do personal stuff i.e. reading, I could go downstairs and sit at the empty benches in front of the cafes."Just not in the office or you'll be penalised!"
I was starting to get a little bit hot under the collar (why? This will be discussed in Part II!), so I decided to take a lunch break. It didn't happen until recently that I've begun turning to food when I'm pissed.
I headed to the foodcourt just opposite and browsed the stalls, looking for (just right and not so sinful) comfort food. How was I to know that in the process of seeking elusive comfort, I would end up having to go twice as far?
I stopped in front of a stall hawking local appetizers and paused to peruse its menu.Out of the blue, a voice rudely demanded "WHAT!! What do you want!!"I shifted my gaze to a small, hunchbacked old Malay woman, apparently the tender of the stall.She glared at me.I stared at her, startled.I looked around to see if there were any other customers behind me. Nope.All I saw were a few curious diners sitting nearby looking over out of curiosity.The old hag's voice was that loud.What in bloody tarnation was she trying to do?! Drive away potential customers when she didn't have that many to begin with?!
Almost instinctively, mechanically, I shot back (albeit in a much softer tone than what she started with, and not really what I'd consider rude per se) "Can't you wait?!"The old hag shut up.I have no idea why she had to antagonize someone meaning no harm.
I had an overwhelming desire to leave the stall and its unworthy tender and spend my dosh at another but I'd spotted something I was craving for.I placed my order for a roll of popiah and the old hag started preparing it.Throughout the preparation, she would glare at me for a few seconds.Add peanuts. Glare. Back to work. Add the egg. Glare. Back to work. Add the steaming hot vegetables. Glare. Back to work. And so on.It was all rather unsettling and I admit it. I wanted to make a humungous crater in her face, because she was rude to me in the first place.
When the popiah was done, she put it on a plate and to my surprise, beckoned a man -- who had only a minute ago placed his order and queued up behind me -- to collect it!After a while, I realised the man was a regular customer.But what the fuck?! That's wrong!
My mood was getting worse. I didn't want to cause a commotion with someone who couldn't understand much English and besides, I figured that I should attempt some "forgiving and forgetting", instead of being angry all the time. So I waited, while the old hag proceeded to make my popiah.
She banged the plate with the popiah on it on the counter for me to collect when she was done. I paid her and found a quiet spot to eat. In my embittered mental state, I had forgot to tell her not to put chilli in it.The chilli was gross. It stung my throat really bad and was very bitter.However, my anger got the better of me and I hardly felt a thing as I shoved huge chunks of popiah into my mouth, simultaneously weeping (the chilli made me weep).
I noticed one thing though. The last time I ate a popiah from the same stall, it was succulent, being filled with sweet sauce. This time, the old hag was superbly stingy with the sauce. And the chilli (fortunately).
Finishing the popiah, I made my way to 7-11 with a very red nose and tears streaming down my face (the chilli at work) to buy some chips. I figured I'd feel better with it. I loooooove Kettle Chips. I'd wanted to sneakily scoff the chips in the office but chickened out. I didn't want to be penalised. After all, a little more dosh wouldn't hurt.
Of course, after an hour or so, I calmed down as the perfectionist in me took over (I was doing admin).
At home, after giving the day some thought, I decided not to pronounce it a bad day because it was all a matter of perception (of the incidents) and how I decided to react to things (very defensively), and past experiences which led to my present state of defensiveness and anger. Hmm...


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