Wednesday, May 31, 2006
If you go to the Penang Botanical Gardens now, when the Floral Festival 2006 is being held, you will see a new species of monkeys there that neither look like the macaques nor the langurs which are the resident monkeys there. With so many live monkeys in the Botanical Gardens in Penang, the organisers of this year's Floral Festival still find it necessary to put up artificial monkeys, apart from the hideous artificial insects and flamigoes, to "beautiful the venue". The Botanical Gardens in Penang, unfortunately are not so much famous for their plants and landscaping as they are for their man-made structures such as the gazebos and the wire plant enclosures which are always locked up to keep visitors out. Their famous wire enclosure is the "orchidarium" which houses orchid species which mysteriously never flower.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Last week the missus and I were invited to a wedding dinner which promised to start at 7.30 pm SHARP. Like the morons that we are, we thought that the wedding couple was serious about being SHARP and, being well-mannered people that we are, we were determined not to be late. We arrived at the banquet hall of a hotel in the city at 7.25 pm and found that we were the only invitees present, other than members of the family of the wedded couple and a few close relatives. The dinner, not surprisingly, started at 9 pm. I woke up at 3 am the next morning, suffering excruciating gastric pains. I told the missus that that would be the last wedding dinner I would be fooled into attending. If people who invite you to their wedding dinners have no respect for punctuality, I don't see why you should bother to give them face by turning up. In the past few years the missus and I have religiously attended wedding dinners at beach and city hotels, sometimes driving practically half way across the island just to "give somebody face" and attend his/her wedding and without fail there was never ever any respect for punctuality. If the dinner started one hour later than the usual appointed time of 7.30 pm we should be lucky. Excuses given for the delay would be the usual "we had to wait for some important guests to arrive". Once the classic excuse given for the delay was that "the bride's maid's corsage was caught in a traffic jam"! That dinner was one and a half hours late and everybody at our table was griping about the delay. From now onwards we will give a RM24 angpow and cook up a plausible excuse for not being able to attend instead of the customary RM120 for being present, to be abused with uncivilised disregard for punctuality. We save money and we are spared the stress of having to engage in small talk with eight strangers and not knowing when the food would be served.