Monday, October 29, 2007

Malaysian Punctuality is an Oxymoron

"Unfaithfulness in the keeping of an appointment is an act of clear dishonesty. You may as well borrow a person's money as his time."

Horace Mann, American education reformer and abolitionist

Walking the long, dark mile to the Sky Lounge wasn't a very smart thing to do, particularly since it was raining rather profusely and I had to tote a bottle of vodka along - which was the birthday present from my part. I was told by Shaki to be there by 7.00 pm to be in time to shout 'Surprise!' with the rest - who was all told to be there before 7.30 pm (latest). The guests were... Malaysians.

Predictably, I was the only person not ludicrously late. The. One. And. Only. And I walked. With those gangly things called legs. The second earliest people to make it arrived half an hour later, at the time when the 'Surprise!' bit supposed to happen - and everyone else arrived after 7.30 pm. What did they expect to do, really? Come in after ol' Kok greet the birthday girl with a bottle of Smirnoff in one hand and no cake in the other in an empty bar? You guys should have seen some of the SMS's I exchanged with Shaki during that time I was Guest Singular. Classic hilarious. Shaki actually freaked out a bit.

Anyway, seeing that it wasn't planned by me, and the birthday girl was Shaki's girlfriend and not mine, I don't really give a hoot if the surprise didn't work out at all. The thing I could never wrap my head around is how can people have the nerve to be so late? I mean, I'd be appalled to find myself arriving a couple of minutes past the appointed hour - only to find that I'd still be attendee number one. There are so many dinner dates in which I find myself present with impeccable promptitude, and watching people arriving half an hour - even an hour late - and the only excuse I am ever offered, on the rare occasion anyone actually think they owe me one, is, 'Malaysian mah'. In those times, I found myself dangerously close to shouting back; 'Then what the fuck am I? German?'

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The empty Sky Lounge bar. Fucking knew it.

The problem is no one thinks that being late is anything wrong at all - because everyone else is doing it. It's cool. It's fucking high fashion (if I hear the cliché 'fashionably late' one more time I'll beat that person who say it to death with a grandfather clock). Nobody wants to wait for the laggers and so, they choose to lag themselves. What about those people who honour the appointment - people who tried their best to arrive on time so no-fucking-body have to wait for them? I always try to make it at least 10 minutes early every time because I think that letting anyone wait for me is just plain selfish - any conscientious human with an intact brain can work that out. But no, bloody selfish pricks ain't got no conscience.

Of course, I know that nothing I say here is going change anyone's shit attitude. Fuck, I'm just one early guy. Just let me fucking wait till my balls fall out. I mean, I'm the selfish one here for arriving on time and then bitching about it when everyone else is late, right? Damn, that's so fucking inconsiderate of me.

Nah, I wasn't angry yesterday at the birthday party. That comes from learning to expect these things. Oh, and no offence intended to anybody in particular. My beef is with the general 'I'm Malaysian so I don't need to be punctual or apologize when I'm late' attitude. Am I the only one who finds it ridiculous and ill-bred? I wonder where I was when I was younger and they were giving out those free social-conscience-removal surgeries.

Oh yeah, learning basic courtesy from Enid Blyton kiddie classics.

Haha, moron,
k0k s3n w4i


bevE said...

AH. the comment slogan has changed. =D impwessive.

(dunno for what reason. sounds good there.) (imHo.)

so not cool to be late for important events - interviews, meetings, social events -_- i dun like waiting. but i make ppl make up for it by buying me food and drink =D so they nevAr make me wait again BWAHAHAHAHA.

there. ended it with a "beve" sentence. xD -_-

InnShan said...

i was told it starts at 730pm. some were told it's 800pm. i don't know which one is true...but,
yea, msian with it.

P.S. i was quite embarassed when the dean complained to me about the late-coming malaysians..he was asking me as if it was a malaysian culture..he don't like waiting.

Jen said...

i absolutely detest waiting. i never try to make someone wait for me if i can help it. i have the highest hopes for some people that maybe, just maybe, they'd show up on time to a party or whatever. so i show up on time. and they dont. sigh..

and i hate wandering around alone. i feel like an utter git.

i ought to take a leaf outta beve's book and make people buy me stuff when they're late! =D

bevE said...

jen: u should! xD its so useful too - and u save sO much money. in that respect (saving money), gochi (i assume u know its sewjin the fa- ?), says im more malaysian than him. =_=

piffle. some ppl dont appreciate the value of money and time. *shakes head in a what-can-you-do way*

bevE said...

oh. and Enid Blyton's racist.

mrbherng said...

We used to inform of bloke back home that any gathering will start at let's say 8pm when it's actually 9pm and he will still be late for it. Wait, there are more than one bloke who did that in my clique of friends back in high school. I am not one of those blokes, of course.

michelleg said...

i experienced something similar as well. suppose to gather b4 12am to surprise a friend but they only came after 12. -___-ll

it's such a waste of time!! maybe msians dont know the meaning of punctuality. lol

Dr.Vishaal Bhat said...

Ahh... And I thought only we Indians follow the so called 'Indian Standard time' of arriving at functions :)

We generally tend to arrive just when the food's being distributed after all the actual events are completed. Indian politicians and celebrities believe that they should be late to show that they have been busy, when in fact they have nothing to do!

jayjayne said...

We used to have this couple in our group that insisted that the rest of us were always late, so we all changed our ways and became death-defyingly punctual or just plain freakily early - in effect, they became horribly and blatantly belated for every event, and since then, have ben rejected from the portals of the group mentality.



As a happy consequence, we all came to the realisation that they were complete berks.

The couple is still "in" our group, but people tend to ignore them (coming 1 hour late to your OWN birthday celebrations, with no excuse, is inexcusable!) -_-'''

sXydeViL said...

crap... all ur fellow friends here seem to be anti-late comers.

well, sadly to tell u, i'm in ur bad book. *sobs*

coz im sooo the fashionably late kinda person. woops.

k0k s3n w4i said...

I am always impressive.
So what are you going to do if people refuse to reimburse your time by bribing you? You can't do squat xD
What "beve" sentence? Looks perfectly regular to me.
And so what if she's racist? C. S Lewis' a racist too.

You were 5 minutes late for tonight's dinner. I have indeed been living with it. I'm just pissed that everyone associate it with their own Malaysian identity. It's reflects badly on the rest of us that actually work to be early.

Ouch. T_T
Oh, you weren't talking about me? xD
You are one of the few people in this world that had ever have me arriving late on them. Be honoured!
I get that always hoping feeling. It's just for once, we'd like to be pleasantly surprised. But, sigh.

I think I need the reverse treatment of how you treated that late friend of yours. People should add half-an-hour to the time they give me.

The thing is, we've spoilt ourselves thinking that it's our national right to be late. Poking fun at that particular foible is no longer even remotely funny to me.

@dr.vishaal bhat
Ah, thank you so much for shedding light on the Indian side. "Indian Standard Time" sounds way cooler than "Malaysian Punctuality" anyhow.
The difference, I believe, is that Malaysians are tardy too when it comes to important stuff like lecture classes. Indifference is becoming a real epidemic for us.

Well, at least they still have each other.
Such a band of merciless scamps, you guys are xD. I'd be terribly afraid of stepping on anyone's tail if I'm in it. Are you the hive mind then? You did vociferate the case so passionately.
Sooo, I guess you guys are back to your tardy ways?

*pawns sulin with a grandfather clock*
I don't remember ever waiting for you though. You have never asked me out for dinner before. How could you?!

Lisa Ng said...

I think some Malaysian really doesnt know the meaning of punctuality. >_<

k0k s3n w4i said...

@lisa ng
hey there, Lisa.
It's an epidemic. It makes Malaysians seem like a real irresponsible lot of yahoos.

bevE said...

oh. for people i know who're stingy enough to not reimburse, i just turn up just as late.

(regular beve sentence T^T)