I had lunch with some VIPs the other day. It was right after a series of speeches (yours truly agonized over and delivered one, thanks to my students’ help!!) at the closing of the community project down south.
I felt really awkward. There I was, the only Chinese guy, sitting at a table together with a host of VIPs including the Member of Parliament for that district and all the village leaders and heads. The spread was simple but absolutely delicious: chicken cooked in black sauce, long beans and pumpkin cooked in coconut milk, fried salted fish, a cucumber-pineapple-onion -chilli salad in vinegar, fruits and rose-milk water.
It was mouth-watering. *Droooooooool*
There was only one problem. I sat opposite the YB (Yang Berhormat) and the delicious plate of chicken was right in front of him. Between him and me were a plate of watermelon slices, a plate of bananas, a plate of winter melon slices and finally a plate of fried salted fish. It felt like we were on opposite ends of the Grand Canyon! They went passing the dishes around but the chicken never got passed to me. They probably thought this Chinese fella is vegetarian. Sigh..
And I was too embarrassed-cum-shy to get up and bend over and take the dish in front of the YB or say “Yo! YB, mind passing the chicken? I’m starved!”
Best cure for hyponatreimia!
And so, I had a sumptuous rice+long beans+salted fish+plenty more salted fish+even more salted fish for lunch (and there we were just telling the villagers not to eat too much salt for fear of hypertension!) . Don’t get me wrong, I love salted fish, but I truly-bluely desired a piece of that succulent black sauce chicken at that time! If I was just a bit more desperate, I would have snatched away the chicken piece the Headmaster of the religious school was biting sitting just next to me! Sigh…
Anyway, politicians being politicians, this YB fella really knew all the right words to say. He spoke my name out loud a couple of times when addressing me (in case he forgets I think), and asked me all the politically correct questions. He probably learned his hand shake from Superman because he nearly crushed all the bones in my hand into bits.
He also gave a very entertaining and funny speech before the lunch. He spoke all the right words, showed all the right concerns and even advocated that people should respect one another and try to understand one another because “harmony is essential in this multi-racial country”. I found it a little unnerving listening and later eating with some one who only very recently raised a bit of a stir in parliament over an issue .
I don’t think I can ever be a politician.
Wed, 191207 @ 0700