Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The 3 stooges

I attended a crash course in history lesson yesterday. The funniest thing was that the person who gave me a brief outline of the history of Asian countries was actually my customer. Haha!

It was a business lunch and there were 5 persons attending, my boss, me, my customers. Lets call them the 3 stooges, which is really befitting for them. They totally resembled the 3 stooges.

All of them were almost bald.

When we reached the restaurant, they were sitting at the first table, facing the entrance, looking very much like some balding statues.. I almost burst out laughing when I stepped into the restaurant! Thinking back, I still feel like laughing here again!! Hahaha!!

Stooge number 1 (S1): The GM of the company. He is the most eloquent of them all and had the best general knowledge. He was a very analytical man and wass able ot provide very insightful analysis of a particular situation. He would be able to tell you a very insightful analysis of why the car COEs were dropping or why the M'sia's crooked bridge was never gonna work, even if the M'sia was willing to throw money into the project. And he looked very grandfatherly, and was quite a warm person. But never make the mistake of rebutting him on a subject that you were not familar with cos he would argue with you until the sky dropped down and make sure that you eat back your words. Amongst the 3 of them, he was the most interesting character and I liked talking to him most. If it were not for the time constraint, I would certainly enjoy sparring with him intellectually.

Stooge number 2 (S2): A manager of the company. He was also quite an interesting character. His mannerism and the way he dressed always reminded me of a certain comic character, with the black button-up suit that belonged to the hippie era. He looked like an Indonesian. He was also very knowledgeable but he always was more interested in the food on the table than on the topics that was being discussed, making you think that he is a pushover, which he certainly was not.

Stooge number 3 (S3): An operational supervisor. He used to be a M'sian but he liked Singapore so much that he willingly surrendered his M'sia citizenship in exchange for a pink IC here. He was also more interested in the food on the table most of time but he also did provide some very colourful examples relating to what was being discussed on the table.

As usual our main discussion revolves around cars. The topics that we talked about included stuff like "Do you think the COEs are going to rise? Who is doing the transportation for Renault? Is VW going to.....?"

And as usual our discussion would evolve into a discussion on politics for some reason. Perhaps cos the car industry is so much controlled by the government cos its such a lucrative source of revenue for the government.

Anyway, S1 was so into talking about history, politics and stuff that he actually spent an hour or two talking about the history of Singapore, the history of M'sia, Indonesia, Sri Langka, Thailand etc.


Cos, me and boss were just looking at him while we ate while the other 2 stooges were more interested in the food on the table. Heh! Heck, he even knew how to pronounce the name of a certain king which he attributed to the reason why Sri Langka is not progressing now! I didn't even know that such a weird name existed!

And then I made the stupid error and asked a question which made him so agitated that his speech just continued on and on. Haha!

S3 was comparing Taiwan and Singapore and I opened my big mouth and said, "Singapore is different, we are so controlled."

S1 became very agitated and was all worked up. Gosh, I never know that he would actually be so worked up! Its kinda disturbing actually.

"You have to be glad that Singapore is so controlled. The reason why you are able to say that is cos you are educated and is able to differentiate between whats right and wrong. Do you know that there are actually a lot of Singaporeans who are not able to do that. You have to guide them in all their actions and ensure that they do not make some silly stupid mistakes. There is this layer of non-educated Singaporeans who are not able to differentiate between whats supposed to be done and whats not supposed to be done and for every little thing, they will blame the government. If you compare HKers and us, we will die first cos we are not streetsmart. For every things that we are not happy about, we will blame our government and for every thing that do not work according our way, we will ask help from the government. HKers are cynical people and thats why they do not ask for help from their government, they learn and is more independent. We are not. Thats why at the end of the day, we have to be controlled. I rather lose my freedom and live in a organised society than to live in a free but constanly feared society."

That was just a tiny percentage of what he was talking during the whole lunch.. Kaoz...

I actually had lots of things to rebut him on that but I turned around to look at my boss and could see that he was looking rather disturbed and yet trying to stifle his laughter at the same time. Hahaha!

When we came out of the restaurant. I exclaimed, "Kaoz! History lesson ah!"

Boss burst our laughing and could not stop.. Haha!

At the end of the day, we did not accomplish much that day other than meeting with them and enjoying our food..

Incidentally, according to S1 as to why M'sia will not be able to carry out the crooked bridge, he said its a simple matter of physics. According to him, a train can only climb 1 degree gradient as it advances a certain distance. Implying that a bridge that is too steep will never be able to allow for any friction cos its steel on steel. As such, a bridge that is climbing has to be very long to allow a train to travel on it.

If anyone here is interested..


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