Thursday, May 22, 2008

Out On A Limb

The Internet connection here in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL, had been wonky since yesterday evening. We were Jaringless for 22 hours, and I only managed to reenter cyberspace minutes ago. What a relief.

A quick check with the Jaring hotline revealed some recurring problems with their transmitter in Damansara Uptown. Thankfully, the problems were rectified today.

Still, 22 hours is a lifetime in my line of work because I depend on the Net to communicate with my clients, especially in getting my written work perused, verified and approved.

And of course, not being able to pen my thoughts at will put me in a lousy mood for a while. The gloom lifted somewhat when my daughter Ann dropped by with yet another book.

She chanced upon Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue while idling in Borders bookstore at the Curve yesterday, and remembered my to-buy list. Thanks a million Ann for your thoughtfulness.

There is something to be said about people who can spend hours in shopping malls, bimbling happily away poking into every nook and cranny until they decide to go home.

I admire them for their tenacity and grit for I have neither the patience nor the spirit to traipse down shopping aisles without a clue as to where to go and what to buy.

Shopping has never been my scene. I look upon it as an unpleasant chore and one hour is just about the limit I can endure. Thankfully, Pak Abu shares my sentiment. He avoids shopping like a plague.

The children know better than to persuade me to go shopping with them. They have accepted the fact that I would rather mop the floor and clean the bathroom than wander aimlessly like a lost soul.

They shake their heads in disbelief knowing I would wait in my parked car until the doors of Jusco open at 10 am, then rush in with my grocery list, pull the necessary items from the shelves and hurry to the payment counter - an exercise that takes about half an hour at the most.

Visits to the bookstores take a little longer, perhaps a hour or so, for I do like to browse a bit. Then again, I usually go book shopping with titles already in mind. I have a prepared list (constantly updated, based on reviews) that I carry with me at all times.

I remember someone saying I was hopelessly regimented and needed loosening up. Perhaps. But life is comfortable enough as it is. If it ain't broke, why bother fixing it?

I am reminded of my dear (former) mother-in-law, now in her 80s who, in her younger days, could outclass anyone in shopping endurance. Her outings and bargaining skills were simply legendary.

I was her occasional shopping bag carrier those days, faithfully walking a step behind her for hours on end, silently bemoaning my fate, while she paid homage to all the shops the entire length of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

When the kids had earned their driving licences, they too got roped in to be Tok's aides on such outings. But I have this sneaky feeling they loved it, because their Tok was generous to a fault.

Sadly, such shopping sprees are no more, for the formidable matriarch is now rather frail. Her outings are now limited to the occasional makan nights out with her large brood.

But I can bet my bottom dollar that the glint in her eyes is still there when this "shop-till-you-drop" devotee passes a shopping complex...


Ann said...

Spot on, Ma. I believe Tok could still "outshop" me any day.

And you're welcome for the book. I still owe you two more titles. Coming soon, ya!

Anonymous said...

Lemme tell you count yr blessing that you have wi-fi in your country. Where I am at there is only fixed line i.e. fastest 56 kps. Imagine how long it take to download a porn .. errrr ... latest movie ?? God created fax for a reason you know. So dont complain too much. It irritates me ... isk isk isk ...


P/s only when I m home I surf. And that is only twice a year ... isk isk isk ...