Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Malaysian Moments

Those times when there is no explanation for what is happening other than the fact that I'm a foreigner living in a different land.

Moment #1: It shouldn't be news to anyone that we've moved into our new apartment! It's going GREAT! I love having a place to call my own, having all of my clothes neatly folded or hanging in place, a kitchen I can cook in, and everything else that goes with having your own place. Part of setting up a new home is spending lots of money! We've bought pots and pans, a wardrobe, bathmats, sheets, a mop, toilet paper, and the list goes on and on. One thing that took a while to buy was dishes. Now, my roommate is pretty easygoing and said she didn't have a preference on dishes, so I could pick them out. I thought this was awesome, not that I'm particularly particular about my dishes, but I I had an idea of what I was or wasn't looking for and wasn't sure I could articulate it.

Well, after a lot of patience, I got my dishes! I found one set I LOVED. Like, seriously. As soon as I saw them I wanted them, which doesn't happen often considering how indecisive I am. It was actually 2 sets, one in purple, one in gray. They were simple, yet classy. 20 piece sets (mugs, saucers, salad plates, dinner plates, and bowls for 4) which is exactly what I wanted. For whatever reason, here they sell all random sorts of sets, ex: 10 pieces - table setting for two people, 7 pieces - just enough for one person to have a feast, 12 pieces - two plates and a mug for 4 people, etc... weird. So, I was extremely excited to find these.

Malaysian style includes lots of floral... I wasn't feeling it. Lesson learned, sometimes it's good to be different. :)
I went to get them and there were no more boxed sets on the aisle, so I went to find someone for help. Here is our conversation:
Me: I want to buy these dishes.
Employee: Ok. (Looks around, sees that they're sold out.) No more.
Me: I know. Can I buy the display pieces?
Employee: No. No box.
Me: Can I put them in a bag?
Employee: (Stares at me smiling, points to other dishes). These are also 20 pieces. Take these.
Me: No, I don't like those. I want these two sets.
Employee: No barcode.
Me: Can you find a manager I can talk to?
10 minutes later comes back.
Employee: Nobody is here.
Me: Ok. Thank you. Bye.

I wasn't going to give up that easily. I went back the next night and everyone was busy stocking shelves so I didn't bother asking for help. I went back the NEXT day and asked for help. Pretty much the EXACT same conversation, so I gave up hope. My question for them, are the dishes just going to remain sitting there forever because you don't have a box or barcode?? SELL THEM TO ME, gosh darn it!
Yes, that's dust. CLEARLY these had been sitting here awhile waiting to be sold!
The following night, my roommate, 2 co-workers and I were in the store to buy a DVD player. I had told them the story about the dishes, and decided to show them the ones I was talking about. They urged me to give it one more try, with them there for moral support. The guy who we got to help us just happened to be the same one who had sold them their dishes and the guy I had talked to the previous night. He looked a little shocked/scared to see me and after lots of pleading by all of us, he said we could have them. He went to the back and got two big boxes and loaded them up. Then he grabbed a random barcode from another set of dishes and walked to the checkout with us. I was pretty ecstatic and ever so thankful!
These are actually dishes, not gas cartridges. Try explaining that one to a taxi driver!

Still love them every time I look at them!
Moment #2: A very popular thing in Malaysia is inclined or declined moving walkways in lieu of escalators. It's pretty nifty and helps me stay lazy. I'm assuming the main reason for them is so that people can easily take their carts from one level to another. It's great! Part of their design is even a specially patterned conveyor that holds carts in place to prevent them from sliding down the declined walkway. This is especially fantastic so the cart doesn't get away from you. Well, let me rephrase. It's fantastic when the sidewalk IS MOVING so that the cart doesn't get away from you. Last night, I was at the store (trying to buy dishes... argh) and wanted to grab some groceries on my way out. Groceries are downstairs. I was upstairs with a cart full of new house stuff (but no dishes). I pull up and see the downward walkway not moving and figure I'll just have to be extra careful not to let my cart get away from me. That was NOT a problem. I push it on and it stops abruptly. I try pushing it a little and it doesn't budge. I put my full force into it and it moves about a foot. I then continue to manually overpower the safety measures to get my cart downstairs. I was taking huge, lunging steps, pushing with my hips/arms/shoulders. I looked like a complete fool. Normally, not a big deal, I'm kind of used to it. In this case, though, there just happened to be a security guard standing directly at the bottom of the walkway on his walkie-talkie trying to get someone to fix it. He unashamedly stared at me man-handling my cart the entire way down without a word, smile, or offer to help. Thankfully, about halfway down, I heard an angelic voice behind me say, "Do you need help?" I turned around not really sure what to say, and managed to stammer out, "Yes, please." A random teenage girl and her boyfriend move around to the front of the cart and the three of us lift it off the ground and carry it to the bottom floor. I thank them once and then sped-walked away. Semi-embarrassing, but such is life. I'm always happy to provide some laughter to the lives of others.

The walkway has never felt so long....

1 comment:

  1. hahaha you paint such pictures with your words.