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Of vessels and flowers

June 24, 2011

Went on a cruise tonight. No, not those Star Cruise-like thingamajig where there are buffets, suites and casinos (dalam Star Cruise ada casino ke?). This is a cruise you board from a cruise jetty in Danga Bay. Today, the local port authority is having a do to launch a book on the port that I work for. The port is 11 years old this year. The book celebrates the past decade of the port. Which has not been too bad if I’m being honest. The work culture is totally different from where I came from. Here, the dedication levels are high, and people strive to maintain the port’s competitive edge.

OK, back to the cruise. So the book launch was marked with a dinner on the said cruise. Apparently the vessel (got to show I’m in the maritime industry now. So you’ll see a lot of marine-inspired lingo) will set for the open sea, err straits and make a U-turn back to the place where it came from. All in all it takes about 2 hours. Enough for dinner and then some. When the journey started, I felt a little light headed. Probably I just haven’t found my sea legs just yet. The thing is, my last experience on board a sea-going vessel was in 1999 when I went to Pulau Tioman with Murni for our honeymoon. So I think me getting a bit groggy is pretty much understood.

According to someone I know, the cost of having the dinner function with 100 guests (it was a Chinese 7 course dinner, food was OK) on board the vessel was about RM15 thousand. Not bad at all isn’t it? You get to go on a 2 hour cruise, you get to eat and spend some time on the deck looking outwards, the wind blowing in your hair. Certainly not a bad way of spending part of your night. I’m thinking of having my big family’s Hari Raya gathering in such a way. Now that’s definitely an idea worth considering. Although I would have to have RM15 thousand to burn. That’s definitely a bit of a setback.

Anyway, the cruise was OK and the ride was surprisingly quite smooth. I got to mingle with my work colleagues, listen to a live band (not really Hard Rock Cafe quality) and have a good meal. Which is a rarity in my 4 months in JB. Don’t get me started about food here. I’m sure there are good places to eat, but not being much of an adventurer myself, I end up going for the same things (I’ve covered this part before).

Anyway, what’s the deal with people who give flowers to other people who sing on a stage? This I don’t really understand. I went to quite a few concerts in my time (the most notable one was when Linkin Park came to KL 6 or 7 years ago) but I have never seen anybody go up the stage to give the performer any flowers. Imagine some girl walking up on stage and handing Chester Bennington a bunch of flowers. That would be quite a sight isn’t it? Well, probably it’s a way of appreciating the person currently singing. But think about this for a second. Could it actually be a really cynical way of ridiculing or making fun of the person currently singing/performing? I think is probably the latter. Why? Because as the flower is given, I can hear people sniggering and laughing. Why else would you laugh at somebody other than because you’re making fun of them?

This would certainly put people in a bind of sorts. Imagine your spouse singing on a stage at a dinner do. You’ll feel there’s pressure on you to give her flower(s). But then, you’ll be in two minds as your actions would be coupled by sniggers and laughter from people. Maybe they’re just enjoying the occasion. But what if they’re really laughing at your spouse’s singing? Would you be considered to be making fun of her? If you happen to be in that exact situation, give it careful thought. I’m not joking. Unless you have the uncontrollable urge to sleep on the couch that night. It’s subjective, but worth a thought.

Honestly, I don’t think I’m out of the woods yet where my writing is concerned. Not satisfied by the quality really. They say the best way to improve your writing skills is to write. So please bear with the daily spewing of nonsense. Thanks.

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