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The Man From Uncle

, , , | Related | July 28, 2018

(My mother’s side of the family is having our first big reunion in years. In many East Asian cultures, you don’t call older relatives by name; there are specific titles for specific relationships.)

Cousin: *talking about mum’s older brother* “Because I’m half white and all American, I didn’t realise Tua Ku’s name wasn’t Tua Ku until I was, like, eighteen…”

A Taste For Bad Taste

, , , | Healthy | July 26, 2018

(My family is friends with another family whose dad is an obstetrician/gynaecologist and also a huge joker. In our part of the world, there are sometimes weird pseudo-scientific food fads, including products containing colostrum which is the special milk that comes out just after a mother mammal gives birth — even though cow colostrum isn’t really going to help you unless you’re a calf. At a party, someone shows up with some of these “health” products:)

Friend: “Look, I brought these colostrum biscuits.”

Obstetrician: *takes one and munches on it* “Hmm, doesn’t taste like colostrum.”

Morgan Freeman Was Busy Narrating Dad Cleaning Out The Attic

, , , | Related | June 12, 2018

Me: *collecting trash around the house*

Mom: “Go collect the trash in the toilet, the living room, and the kitchen.”

Me: *in my head* “That’s what I’m doing.”

Me: *vacuuming and mopping the house*

Mom: “Vacuum and mop the house.”

Me: *doing the dishes*

Mom: “Do the dishes.”

Me: “Why can’t I have Morgan Freeman narrating the mundane things I’m doing instead of my mom?”

No Reply Will Satisfy Them

, , , | Right | May 4, 2018

Me: “Thank you for calling [Travel Agency]. How may I assist you?”

Caller: “I want to file a complaint.”

Me: “All right, and may I know what is it about?”

Caller: “About the previous girl that talked to me.”

(I check the records. The last time she called in was two months ago, and she’s supposed to check into a hotel in three days time. When she called in before, she wanted to amend the check-in date.)

Me: “Ma’am, from my record, it shows that you requested to amend the date from [date in November]. However, we didn’t proceed with the amendment, as we did not receive any confirmation from your end.”

Caller: “What?! That’s ridiculous! I’m sure I replied immediately! Check your stupid system again!”

Me: *check again and still finds nothing* “I’m sorry, ma’am. I really don’t see any confirmation emails from you. And since it’s been two months, I will have to double check with [Hotel] about the rate and if they still have rooms on the date that you want to amend, and there might be some price difference.”

Caller: *starts screaming* “OH, MY GOD! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! So, you are going to waste another five to ten minutes of my life just because you didn’t do your job well?! And even worse, I have to pay more for your mistakes?!”

Me: “All right, ma’am, please give me a minute and I’ll go through all our emails and try to locate the email that you sent us, okay? May I know which email you replied to?”

Caller: “You better! I think I replied to noreply@[website].”

Me: *stunned for two seconds* “Ma’am, when it says ‘noreply,’ that means it’s an automated email and you should not reply to it. Even if you did, we will not receive anything.”


Massaging An Unfortunate Situation

, , , | Hopeless | April 18, 2018

(We are on holiday in Sabah. On the way home, we are supposed to fly from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur at noon. When we get to the airport, we are told the flight has been cancelled and we have been put on the next flight at six pm.)

Airline Employee: “I am so sorry. We contacted everyone who was supposed to be on that flight. We called your hotel; did they not tell you?”

Me: “No, we didn’t receive any messages.”

Airline Employee: “My apologies. If you could please wait over there.”

(We go and stand next to a couple who apparently are in the same situation. A few minutes later, a young man approaches us.)

Young Man: “If you would please follow me, I’ll take you to lunch.”

(He drives us to one of the best hotels in Kota Kinabalu and tells us the airline has paid for our lunch and he will pick us up in about an hour. After an amazing lunch buffet, he comes back:)

Young Man: “There are two options for you to spend the afternoon. I can take you to the chocolate factory or I can take you to have a massage.”

(We all choose the latter, and he takes us to a massage parlour where we have a fantastic one-and-a-half-hour, full-body Thai massage. When he picks us up again to take us to the airport, he hands each of us a box with a piece of chocolate cake.)

Young Man: “Since you didn’t get to go to the chocolate factory, I brought you something from there.”

(The cake was delicious, and he got us back to airport an hour before our flight left.

We spent most of the flight composing the most glowing review for the airline and its employees. Compared to how American and European airlines treat their customer, this was a surreal experience.)