Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Che’h, Japanese car!

Cheok is our honorary Class of 73 get-together organiser. When he wrote that Keong and PK would be in town and he would be arranging a lunch to welcome them, I told him I was allergic to PK and would not be joining them. PK was no-no to me!I bought Keong dinner separately and we had a good catch up. 

I am totally allergic to two university classmates: PK and AKK. Both graduated with first class honours. Friends may think that I was and am still jealous of them. I say this is not the reason for my contempt of them.

I joined MIDA after my graduation, that was in 1973. The starting salary then was M$1,040 which was actually not too bad compared to what was paid in the pure government services. But for those who were the good fortune of joining oil companies, theirs were much higher, maybe more than M$2K a month. My brother-in-law Guan who was my classmate was in that league. But you live with what you get, don’t you? And what’s there to compare, except to blame your own fortune (or ability)?

PK and Guan were, and still are, good friends. Guan was my next door neighbour then. The former visited Guan from time to time. During one of his visits, I happened to be outside the house. Looking at my Toyota Corolla while waiting for Guan to emerge, he scornfully exclaimed, “Che’h, Japanese car!” He was driving a Fiat 127 or 128 then, which cost a couple of hundreds more. I knew PK had always considered himself to be a more superior mortal. But that was outright patronising!

But what broke the camel’s back was another straw he threw at me in another get-together Guan organised for a schoolmate who had returned from UK for a holiday. PK and I were both invited. The conversation drifted to salaries and I remembered PK was curious to know how much we were being paid in MIDA. I avoided answering, save to say that he should know that semi-government bodies like MIDA didn’t pay very well. This chap from UK was a little tactless. “Oh, I know, you are paid M$750,” he proudly displayed his knowledge.

“That’s just my pocket money,” boasted PK! He was all out to humiliate. I can’t quite remember the rest, but I did walk out of them.

From then onwards, PK became a no-no to me.

Once he had to pick up Guan’s wife from my house. What was he driving? I was just curious.
It was a JAPANESE car!

* * *

AKK was another no-no to me.

AKK is very good in IT; he has an IT business. I ran into him one day when he came to Guthrie to solicit business.

“Oh, oh, oh… I know you. But I can’t remember you name….” He was acting like a clown trying to recall my name, right in front of my colleagues. I thought he should have the EQ to pull me to one side to jolt his memory.

Never mind; I have heard enough of AKK’s idiosyncrasy to ignore his antic.

When climate change became a hot topic, he and another first-class classmate of ours who was already an Engineering professor in a university in the States were having a “one-up-on-you” exchange over internet on the subject. Classmates were in their CC list. I was not interested in their debate at all and interjected to advise that I would like to be excluded from their intellectual battle, jokingly telling them that my brain was too small to understand what they were arguing about.

AKK's response was outright abusive. He said I indeed had a small brain and served notice that he would block my email henceforth.

He gave me no avenue to “f” him up!

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