Monday, December 12, 2005

Lessons of the past few days

For the past few weeks, I've been balancing work with the (now very minimal) tasks connected to a certain Christmas musical plus practice sessions for a dance gig at a corporate event.

As of yesterday, that event is over and it's a huge sigh of relief for me. I've learnt my lesson. Or lessons. Yes, there have been many this weekend, and most arise from my fateful decision to agree to dance at a Japanese car manufacturing giant's absolutely un-fun weekend fun fair. Others are just the usual deep observations I've made in the course of, you know, life.

Lesson #1: 'Good morning, everyone!' is a nice way to greet guests, whether at a house party or 300-guest corporate outdoor event.

Lesson #2: Tissues are a cold-infected human's best friend. In other words, if you have the sniffles, carry a blasted packet (or 10) of tissues around with you so you don't gross out the entire cinema-ful of moviegoers with your snifflings and splattings. The humble tissue can do much to keep germs from spreading and people from disgusting other people.

Lesson #3: Not only tissues are humble. Apparently, so are onions and tau geh.

Lesson #4: 'All right, everybody please come over to the stage NOW because we're going to start, I mean we're starting now, our event. So everybody come over to the main tent, NOW!' is not a nice way to greet guests, lack of preparation notwithstanding.

Lesson #5: Always check that you have your ATM card before queueing for 5 minutes in a hostile line of shoppers. Always check that you have your ATM and credit cards, period.

Lesson #6: There's a reason why good Asian parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers and assorted other elders teach us to smile and greet people from an early age. That way, if we're suddenly required to do it to hundreds of people on the spur of the moment, we don't freeze up and wonder how to be nice. Maybe some big car manufacturers could do with putting this in the staff training manual.

Lesson #7: Dancers need food in order to dance well. Otherwise they get dizzy and/or cranky and may fall down or break legs (not necessarily their own, especially if they're really very hungry and cranky).

Lesson #8: The Ugly Malaysian is alive and well. Still descending on newly served food like a swarm of locusts. Still grabbing 20 sticks of satay and gobbling down 15, then chucking the rest in a heap because all that gobbling has given him indigestion.

Lesson #9: All-in-one cereal powder is a cool snack. There are many ways to flout the manufacturer's instructions to shake it out of the sachet into a mug of hot water, stir and drink. Years ago my dad taught me to just eat it dry, straight from the packet. Today I discovered the best way so far to eat the stuff. Pour about an inch of water in a mug, then shake one sachet's worth of cereal in and stir it into a gooey mash. Some bits will not absorb any water, resulting in a multi-textured, chewy-crunchy delicacy. I think I may have found the warm alternative to ice-cream.

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