I am at my worst parasite mode when it comes to lunch time during office days. So when Kuya Jojo did not bring his usual economy dish today, we were left with no choice but to buy from the local hawker center or the carinderia. (Usual economy dish in Kuya Jojo’s cooking vocabulary means any dish that comes less than 3 dollars all while the serving can still be good for at least four people.)
Since I just had fried hokkien mee last Saturday, I decided to take the usual combi dish from the Chinese stall, take away of sauteed bean sprouts, a gigantic fried chicken, and rice. I have purchased the same combination for a couple of times already that I know it is worth 3 dollars for the entire thing. So, when the new Chinese young guy handed to me 2 and 5 dollar bills after paying 10 dollars, plus coins (which I thought was 30cents at first), I questioned him and presented the change in my hand. “My meal is 3 dollars right?” He looked at the change in my hand and said disapprovingly, “No, it’s 3.30.”
I was more dumbfounded. Even at 3 dollars, he gave me too much change already. Two reasons on why I didn’t insist on my point. One was that I might have been too drugged with the cough syrup I was taking and two, they have this uncanny ability to throw back a question at you which will definitely make you doubt if you are speaking real proper English. I’m sure most can relate to this, especially when you are talking to people who are not really that good, yet still remains to be assertive and authoritative. The smugness on his face as well as the tone of his voice made me just back down. Hey, if he didn’t want 30 cents it’s fine with me. Oh, correction. If he didn’t want 60 cents, then it’s fine with me.
When I went back to the office to check if I was hallucinatory or I was really right, lo and behold. I actually had 70 cents and not 30 cents. So, my 3.30 meal was charged to me for 2.30, saving me a dollar and an argument. Though you might be thinking why I am making such a fuss with the cents, actually my point is that although at times the persuasion and argument makes you inferior, it doesn’t mean you are always wrong. 😉