Observations of a Penangite

Posted by M ws On Saturday, November 26, 2011 7 comments
It has been a crazy week so far. My son is attending the Musica Simfonietta 2nd Music Camp and everyday, I have to drive him to Kompleks Penyayang at 8.30am and then drive home, pick him up at noon and then go home for him to shower and rest after lunch, send him back at 2.00 pm and then drive home to do my chores, pick him up at 5p.m for him to rest and have dinner, then send him to Kompleks Penyayang at 7pm and pick him up again at 10.30pm.  The climax of the camp will be the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola on Monday night at Dewan Sri Pinang featuring guest conductor Donald Maurice, Professor of Music, New Zealand School of Music and Soloists Lo Mei Yoke (violin) and Andrew Filmer (viola). My son is playing the first violin in the main orchestra.

I am very happy that my son is enjoying the camp, honing his musical skills and smiling each time we pick him up - ever ready to share with us the developments in the orchestra's preparation for the concert and about the workshops he has been attending.

However, what has been most stressful is the horrible traffic jams and rude drivers on the road. As it is the long weekend, the roads are packed with out-of-town visitors. In areas that are near to coffee shops, double parking seems to be the norm.

At about half past twelve yesterday, I was so horrified to see a woman driving a Mercedes-Benz who nonchalantly double- parked her car smack between two empty parking lots!!! Can you believe there are people who can afford to buy a luxury car, but cannot afford to pay 30 cents for half an hour's car park fees and to have the audacity to deprive others from parking there??? Unbelievably stingy and selfish!!

I really don't know what is worse - her selfishness or the apathy of others, including the parking attendant. If not for the fact that my son was with me, I would have walked up to her to ask her to park properly!

A few days ago, I was driving carefully and obeying all traffic rules when lo and behold came another car who wanted to cut queue into my lane without indicating any signal light. The traffic was moving at a snarl and to my horror, this guy tried to inch his way even though the car in front was NOT moving at all. Of course I let him cut queue for otherwise, goodness knows what might happen. As if that was not enough, he had the cheek to show me his middle finger!!! What the ???????

What has happened to courtesy on the road?

In fact, what has happened to social etiquette and manners? P's and Q's (mind your please and thank-you's) are quite rare for some who take others for granted. Even a simple greeting such as 'Good morning' seems to require great effort by some. Honestly, is it that difficult to show a little bit of love, kindness and consideration to others???

In many ways, I believe that despite whatever developments we may proclaim, society as a whole is regressing - moving backwards in terms of values, ethics, manners and in many other areas.

“Love people, not things; use things, not people. ”
Spencer W. Kimball

CLICK HERE to listen to BJ Thomas singing "USING THINGS, LOVING PEOPLE".

A few days ago, I was not feeling well as I was having gastric problems. At a local coffee shop, I ordered a hot cup of Milo to go with my soup. When the waiter brought the drink in a glass mug, I looked at the brown liquid suspiciously.

Firstly, the colour was not right. It was too brown. I thought perhaps it was because they did not use enough milk.

Secondly, there was 'Milo' powder sprinkled on top of the froth reminiscent of raw sugar, cinnamon, or other spices are often sprinkled onto the top of a hot cup of Cappucino. How can that be when we all know how the price of 'Milo' has increased????

Hesitatingly. I stirred the cup of 'Milo' and was puzzled as to why there was so much 'Milo' powder at the bottom of the mug. I thought it did not make sense that they did not add sufficient milk and yet were so generous with the 'Milo' mixture.

Gingerly, I sipped the so-called 'Milo' and almost baptised my son with that concoction which the coffee shop owner regarded as 'Milo'.

Well, it did not look or smell or taste like 'Milo'.

Feeling quite cheated, I carried the mug and walked up to the coffee shop owner. I have been patronizing that coffee shop for almost twenty years now.

"Ah Chek, what is this?" I asked him.

"Milo-lah," was his reply.

"This is NOT 'Milo'," I answered. "I ordered 'Milo' but what is this? Did you use 'Milo'?"

"No," he replied sheepishly.

"Please change this for me. Kindly give me white coffee instead," I asked quietly and walked back to my table.

The waiter then brought me a hot cup of white coffee. 

It was bad enough years ago when I ordered 'Nescafe' and was given something else. And now, 'Milo' has been replaced with something else and we are still expected to pay "Milo" prices!

We have to stand up for our rights - not just for a cup of genuine 'Milo' but fundamental liberties which are rightfully ours!

I am so saddened that every which way I turn, there are those who will not hesitate to make use of others for their own advancement/benefit or profit.

And is it any wonder that such developments have taken place? The cost of living is increasing and I dread to think of what might happen by early next year. The outlook seems to be bleaker and the only thing I am hanging on to is hope - that Malaysians will be wise enough to vote out the wrong people and vote in the right government.

It is clear that some quarters are playing hard ball and yet have the audacity to pretend that they are doing us good.

With education standards declining, cost of living spiralling and ethics/etiquette at stake, I really dread to think of the kind of society that may prevail if the current regime wins in the next general election. Clearly, there are those who have no qualms about robbing us in broad daylight in direct and indirect ways. And the rot has to stop.

People, please vote wisely. Take part in civil society activities and avail yourself in as many ways as possible. Give of your time, talent and resources to develop a better nation. Volunteer and make the effort to effect change.

We have to, if we love this country we call our own.

7 comments to Observations of a Penangite

  1. says:

    Anonymous Paula, it seems to be the norm nowadays. Some drivers are really nasty and they think they own the road. There was an incident where a driver just double-parked and blocked my car. I had to keep pressing the horn and he came out very much later without apologizing. He just reversed his car and waited for the parking lot.I was burning inside but had to control myself or else I would have ended up in a heated argument.
    On a brighter note, congrats to your son for playing the first violin in the main orchestra and to you for being a super-mum.

  1. says:

    edward Dear MWS,

    There are many inconsiderate drivers around. Often, the car they drive does not commensurate with their IQ nor EQ. They are perpetually in a hurry. I call them speedoholics. Either they want to show off their racing skills or they are frantically looking for a toilet. Stay far away from them. Drive on the slow lane at an appropriate speed. No pressure. For our family's sake please stay safe on the road. They need us to be around longer.

    To deter people from double parking behind my car I leave a space of at least 3 to 4 feet from the road curb. That way any smart a** who parks behind my car will actually be taking up the whole lane and get cursed by other road users. So far I have yet to meet any smart ones, touch wood.

    Stay cool. These drivers will meet their match one day. Have comfort in that thought.

    To Nic, well done!!


  1. says:

    UP41 Dear MWS, Yes our society is regressing while building height is progressing. It seems high rise is no good fung sui for the society :-) What we see now is not the causes but the results of all those damages done to us for past 20 years. Drivers got the licenses terbang without bother to learn basic road rules. Saman could be kautian if you are rich and powerful.The society learn bad example from powerful and rich ppl - success is not through honesty and hardwork but know who and cheat thus you got brown water instead of Milo. Young workers not willing to work hard be honest bec all those honest ppl stayed put at the lower rank of the corporate world or just earn not enough for a living ...... aiya sorry for taking too much space for my middle /old age ranting ....

    Have a good weekend

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Koonoon

    Thanks for stopping by to share your experiences! Really nice to hear from you again. It must have been difficult to control yourself in such a situation but I am glad you did beautifully. Thanks also for your kind and encouraging comments. Nick has been working very hard. I love him to bits despite my imperfections. Take care and God bless you and your beautiful family always! Do keep in touch!


  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Edward

    It is great to hear from you again! I do miss your elegant and wise comments. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart again. I will make a note of your tip and put it to practice the next time I park! :-)

    Yes, I really have to restrain myself and stay cool.

    Thank you also for your encouraging comment for Nick. He is still at rehearsal now at Dewan Sri Pinang and is most excited about the concert tomorrow.

    Take care and may God bless you and your family always!


  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear UP41

    Thank you for hitting the nail on the head with your sharp observations. How true!!! Please share more of your wise take on the current scenario. Thank you for taking the time to tell it like it is without mincing your words. Take care and do stay in touch.

    Wishing you and yours a great week ahead!


  1. says:

    patches Dear MWS - WOW! congratulations to a budding violinist and the proud mum - it is only a very special set of parents who would develop their child's musical leanings with so much time, money and energy. I look forward to hearing him play in KL some day in the future.

    Those double parkers are the lowest society rats - and they think that by leaving their HP # they are doing you a great favor. We had a bad experience years ago - i called the idiot and he took a long time to come out - so i had to call again and you know what he told me... since you are so rude & impatient, i will make you wait longer!! i almost burst a blood vessel and my husband gave him an earful when he came out (however, we were at his mercy!) and he just smirked(!)as he took his time to drive off. So we learn - be nice to them and then rank them the rats of society!
    Let's not be fooled by the cars they drive - a BMW 7-series driver, wound down his window to spit out and my friend was walking by caught it and the guy just simply wound up the window with no apology. So we have learned, neither the cars nor the clothes maketh the man... CLASS cannot be bought by money.

    However, it is indeed not just UMNO we have to vote out at the next GE, we have to change the whole mental attitude of two generations of Malaysians who were educated under the rule of Mahathir.. where arrogance rules. Remember the old advertisement line used by Guardian at that time, 'if you have it, flaunt it' - I recoiled at this brash and immediately cut the company out from my list.
    But sadly that's the trend of the human race, i have noticed, on a global scale, worse in the third world countries with the 'nouveau riche'. They have developed the love of materialistic things and a chasing of money (by whatever means i.e. corruption and illegal activities?) to achieve these - without thinking, that they are not enriching themselves but the designers. Phrases like "My car is better than yours, i have also got one what." etc are not spoken out but bandied about. Indeed keeping up with the Jones is the game Malaysians love most.

    But us others, have to cope with this and do our level best to stay out of it - and not let it drag us in. For you, you are so blessed with two great musically talented young men for music is the food of love and what is greater joy than to have love. And best of all to live simply and smell the roses. Especially being careful drinking 'milo' from coffee shops! ;[

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