Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Bak Kut Teh

I woke up at seven in the morning today.


In. The. Fucking. Morning.


Because Marcus, thinking that being early means playing safe, told me to do so.

"I will fetch you at about eight a.m."

By eight, I was ready. In my dress. With perfume and lip gloss on.

I waited.

And waited.

By nine, I was still waiting.

I sent him a text message, asking him what took him so long. He said he would be a little late.

Fine. I waited some more.

In the mean time, I busied myself fixing my 1000 piece puzzle. Still in my dress. With lip gloss and perfume on.

At ten, I was really, really, really pissed off. Even more so when Marcus sent me another text message saying that he would arrive at my house an hour later.

That. Was. It.

I phoned Yokey.

Yokey: Mmph....??
Me: Hello?
Yokey: Yeah?
Me: You just woke up?
Yokey:You woke me up.
Me: Sorry. Anyway,
could you please come over to my house now and fetch me to Gurney? I'm desperate.
Yokey: But I thought Marcus is fetching you to Kevin's place?
Me: Yes, but I'm super pissed off at him right now. I'm still stuck at home because he is so fucking late.
Yokey: Okay then, but please give my 45 minutes to get ready.

Hmm, better than waiting another hour for Marcus. Besides, I would be super grumpy by the time he arrived, and I would have no desire to see him or talk to him.

Me: Okay, I'll wait. Please hurry.

By the time I arrived at Gurney Drive, it was already 11.30 a.m..

So much for waking up at seven in the morning.

We had Bak Kut Teh for lunch. I'm so used to restaurants and fast foods that I've apparently forgotten how the system works in a kopi tiam.

First, the people there DO NOT seat you. You will have to fight for vacant seats yourself. Which is hard, especially when you are polite to others. Secondly, the people there are too busy to take any notice of you. To make your order, you will have to shove around and yell your orders aloud. Waiting in que and saying "excuse me, please" will not, I repeat, will not bring you anywhere. Thirdly, the people there do not speak English. I had a hard time ordering, because the lady was talking super fast in Hokkien dialect, listing all the ingredients, which all seemed gibberish to me. How the hell would I know that khun chiang actually mean intestines? Little did I know that the pieces of meat that they put inside are called pai kut. I just call them "pieces of meat". And between ginger and garlic, which is called suan thau? And what is the other called again? I ordered the food in English terms, and nobody understood what I said. Fourthly, the concept "customer's right" does not apply. I ordered a second bowl of bak kut teh, but this time, I specifically requested that I wanted only meat balls and pig's intestines. I was served with meat balls and "pieces of meat" instead. I told the lady that they had made a mistake, and I requested that she exchange it for my right orders. She gave me a sour look.

What the...

Oh, never mind.

I have two choices.

I either visit kopi tiams more frequently to familiarise myself with the difficult system there, or I eat at restaurants for the rest of my life. Where there are waiters and waitresses who speak politely, are patient, and are more than willing to attend to the tiniest whim of the customers. With a friendly smile plastered on their faces the whole time.

Giordano had a special sale, which apparently lasted only four hours, and only for today. I would have shopped, if only Yokey wasn't dragging me home because it was late. I was more than willing to spend all my money there.

In the end, all I got was a plain white T-shirt, which cost ten bucks.

A golden opportunity missed.

I'm going to shut myself in my room and moan now.

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