Saturday, August 02, 2008

Aunty and the Pigs

Life is colourful here at Singapore in the first week. The company has provided accommodation in plush apartments. And guess what! There is complimentary breakfast too. It would have been a pleasure to gobble up those fresh hot buns every morning, had it not been for the aunty.

The Aunty is this old Chinese lady who single handedly manages the breakfast buffet at Park Avenue Suites. She may have been amiable during some brief period of her life. I am not aware about that. But in this era, she isn't in her best moods when she oversees the residents in the morning. It seems she absorbs all the wrath, sadness of the world in one day and chooses to generously radiate it back in those 2 hours of breakfast.

My roommates and I had a brief discussion about this phenomenon. At first we thought she was being racist. Because its such a nice insulting, big and vague phrase to explain it. But we noticed that she was being equally harsh to some Caucasian residents of the apartment too. Then we thought she is universally grumpy. But to an odd selection of people, she would send out loud warm greetings, bursting into a smile "Hello Carrie!", "Hi Daniele !" and then go straight back to frowning and snorting. That would really piss us off. Where did we go wrong ?

I know there is nothing quite pointless like seeking approval and love from an old Chinese woman who hates you. But then, we have been trained well for pointless analysis and insights. This is our life now.

Beyond all the frowning, Aunty and I have had multiple face offs too. For example on Tuesday I found a new item in the buffet. Given a platter of buns, a majority of them containing some suspicious form of meat, a club sandwich is obviously a better choice - sab kuch dikhta hai! I inferred I had an option between choosing cold sandwiches lying on the tray and freshly heated ones peeking out of the oven. Obviously I chose the latter. Before the sandwich reached my plate, a voice squeaked from the back, "Hey, that is mine!" A pretty but pretty offended chinese lady took those sandwiches and walked away.

Aunty stared from the counter, savouring the moment.

On my third day of munching breakfast, I was more at ease. Succumbing to the plush world around me I chose to undertake my next helping in a fresh new plate. After all, why should crumbs of the past bother the freshness of the future ? I plonked my plate in a bin with the used dishes and proceeded towards the counter. Aunty suspiciously eyed me. I eyed her too (and tried to pass off a fake smile). The moment I touched a new plate, she scolded from the back, 'Why you take new plate? I not have many plates. Use your plate."

I weighed my chances. In case there was an argument, who had greater credibility ? Someone who has served the hotel for close to a century or a week long rookie who is living a lifestyle beyond his current means ? The answer was clear. I tiptoed back to the bin and picked up my old plate. In case you are wondering what food was sticking below it, I chose not to peek.

Considering this brief history, I came to the conclusion that she simply does not like pigs - uncouth residents who have multiple helpings of food. Having seen so many generations, she probably has a keen eye to spot our kind of people. But that shouldn't deter us from our mission. It'll be a bloody cold war for these weeks we are staying at this place - We trying to eat plenty of breakfast without crossing the line and her trying to find moments to tick us off.

May the best pig win.

5 comments:

  1. Haha! All the best!

    Well now I have to blog about my aunty too. The sweetheart that she is and how tough it has been for me to stay like a sweetheart should!

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  2. Wow! You won't believe how similar this is to our aunty case!

    I can only guess what the resumes of such aunties contain: "DashingExecutivesOnly Serviced Apartments (1999-2007): Effectively intimidated free-loaders..." etc!

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  3. Ohh so u have reached singapore. :D Why havent u tried talking to the lady? Hey do we get to see pics of the place?

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  4. Exact opposite of the aunty who serves me breakfast :) I have the same thing everyday so the minute she spots me she comes with a smile and "Same ah ?" I nod and then one day she suggested I try something different and it was nice.

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  5. mu ha ha ha ha ha

    all service apartment ladies are that way man...

    mine had issues every time i went for a second helping of sausages..

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