Write a blog. One day it may go down in History as the diary of a statesman (you) or a tycoon (you) or a madman (also you, like Hitler)
Its 7 a.m., my two legged alarm clock, aka my 20 year old daughter, does her job by giving me a kick at a pre-agreed part of my anatomy, my leg, from the knee downward. I mmmfff and went back to sleep again knowing very well the snoozer function will come into play 5 minutes later. Sure enough, this time a pillow whacked wickedly at my head. MMMMFFF, OK OK I'm up now.
This alarm clock only works on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday though. That's because she has classes in the morning on those days and I have to chauffer her earlier than my usual hour of work. I zombied to the washroom and pick up my frazzled toothbrush, and the toothpaste? Well, it got it belly slit open lengthwise like you do to a chili to rid of its seeds. That is my wife's way to getting at the remaining paste inside instead of using elephantine strength to squeeze out the last drop, all in the name of thrift.
For breakfast this morning, the princess decreed it has to be eating out. Never mind that the queen of the house has already make coffee and toast ready. "Ta pau" uncomsumed roti to office is quite the norm for the Chees.
Not only she gets to decide to eat out, she also pick the kopitiam to patronise and today, its Lee's Cafe, famed for its good business as it has about 20 stalls to choose from. Now to call this coffee shop a kopitiam is actually doing it an injustice to say the least. For within this 4-shoplot temple of gastronomy can be found practically all of Kuching's favourite hawkers' fare. And the variety of food here definitely requires another volumeous write up to satisty your appetite (sorry about that pun) and I'll save that for another day.
After I drop her off at her college, it just a short drive to my shop. Then my daily "exercise" begins. It's squatting down and heaving four %*$£$"! heavy shutters (made of rusty aluminium) upward and swearing Christian-friendly expletives, coz they're not smoothly spring-ed and and you have to curse to lift it! And they spring up with such a racket - gggrrrrreee ccrrraashh!!! that I believe its the reason all rodents and cockroaches around my shop decided to move elsewhere. That's about the only good thing I can say of these confound shutters of my shop.
Sometimes the first customer of the day sets the mood for the rest of the day. And today it's a harried 30-something lady with a frown as she steps into my shop. She can't get to switch off her phone, and she's crying foul as she just bought it two days ago elsewhere and it's "spoilt".
It takes me two seconds to see that it is keypad locked and I solve it for her in another 0.5 second. "Gee! How did you do that?". Nothing, it (the handphone) was scared of me, I deadpan. She sheepishly totters out mumbling some Balkan dialects.
I have all kind of people stepping into my outlet and often, my wife and me had a good laugh when customers like that left. We're used to people thanking profusely and those who didnt utter a single thank you when we did some minor troubleshooting for them. Its all in a day's work.
The phone rings and its the supplier on the line, I rattled off some orders. Then some customers walk in for some reloads which my wife (Beth) attended to. Two dudes saunter in and want to sell a used phone, a Nokia 8250. "RM20.00" I said after examining it for 3 seconds. "Punkie" almost faint, and Blondie's jaw drops almost to his "Peace" belt buckle, as he props up his mate. When Punkie came to, he said "Give me a break lah, brudder", I reply with a take-it-or-leave-it shrug.
They storm out in a huff. 1 seconds later, they came in again. Blondie creaks "Okay lah,
20,20 loh". Its not that I'm trying to make a killing at some folks' expense. Its just that very often we take in scrap iron, worthless piece of sh--, due to some unseen malfunction of the sets, or worse still, shady phone which those jerks got on the sly, we get a lot of hassle for that. Its our "occupational hazard", if you get my drift.
Lunchtime. Ho hum. You'd think we'd be rubbing our hand with glee at the break and with all the goodies spread before us. King Centre is a famed "Glutton Square" of Kuching, yet we're bored stiff. "Every day salt fish also can fed up" explain everything. There are two foodcourts, three coffee shops and about 100 food stalls, how can one be possibly bored? Like I said, salt fish bla bla bla. I just remember, my unconsumed roti - devoured by my wife already! Oh well, its Ah chuan's "Foochow burger"(kompia) for me again.
Unfortunately, we had no time for siesta as the place is too cramp to hung up a hammock. Sometimes a buddy or two would turn up for "high tea" and we'd fire a few round of cannons. Around 3-4 pm, the towkay neo would call it a day as she have to go home and cook dinner. Nothing like home cook! She'd pick up the princess on her way home.
Afternoon is usually newspaper's time as sitting around doing nothing when there's no customers looks kind of silly. I used to have a computer at the shop, and it made me look terribly busy and doing important works when in fact I was doing Freecell or just surfing garbage. Without the computer, the next best thing to look busy is doing Sudoku, which is not giving the impression youre busy doing business, but at least its better than looking for fly to swat.
At nightfall, when the weather is cooler, I can step out without breaking into sweat, and usually launch another round of cannon firing with my neighbour Ah Teck the fruit seller. A buddy also by name of Ah Teck aka Thunderclap for his vocal, always drops by and help the fruit seller peel "bakunong" (buah kerondong), Ah Huat, also my neighbour hawking gifts and trinkets would also join in. Together, we'd catcall and tease the salon shampoo girls when they pass by us on the way to the loo. We'd also cat-whistle at the Filipino ladies staying upstairs lodges when they pass by - all with the approving glances of our spouses!
Shoot! Its 7.05pm! I'm overtimed by 5 minutes, Beth has already gathered up the days taking and the remaining stock in our little black bag and ready to heave-ho another time, only this time its pulling down the shutters crashing to the ground. Lights out and its adios for the day. Dinner at home is another story but its ho hum as my fingers are complaining already, gotta give them rest.......bye.