After-School Noon Rush
Friday, January 07, 2005
It is without doubt that my "post-rate" has dropped significantly - I used to dish out about 2 posts each day when I first began! I've been pretty much busy with studies - classes and all, not to mention a coupla mind-relaxing outings, hehe. It's Friday - I was given the task to send food to my lil sis, and pick up the other. One's in a Chinese primary school, and another one in a secondary school. So being the responsible me, I dutifully accomplished the assigned "task(s)" - since I had no more lectures to attend for the rest of the day.

It had always been a routine (previous years) to pick up my sisters. Sometimes I would be on holidays, other times I just happen not to have any lectures on that particular day. Today marked my first day doing something different - we'll get to that part later. There's this thing with Chinese primary schools where students are required to stay back for extra classes, (brass) band practices, tuitions, etc. So more often than not, my lil sis has to stay back in school - it's not convenient to come home, we live relatively far from the school. In previous years, we'd wait at the gate for her to come out, and pass her her lunch.

You can imagine the traffic condition - many parents do this. They find a place to stop, read newspaper in the car and wait for the right time to pass their children their lunchboxes. And oh, did I say there's also a Malay primary school (my former school) next to this Chinese primary school? It can get really chaotic, especially when it rains. So back to the routine - we've to pass my lil sis her lunch (or pick her up, depending on which day), and then proceed to pick up my other sis from her school. This picking-up, noon rush is very common around here - among many families. This year, our "routine" has been changed alil.

This morning, I was "briefed" by Mom on the changes in practice this year. After the briefing, I set out to buy lunch for my lil sis. Found a nice parking lot, got down and dabao-ed rice. Oh, even though I don't usually buy the "minimum 50 cents parking ticket", today I found myself doing it. Reason? The parking ticket machine was just right in front of my car, in the parking lot. So I thought "what the heck!". Walking away from my car, I noticed other vehicles also had parking tickets on their dashboards. It was upposed to be that way, anyway. I also noticed one car with the parking ticket "faced down", which was equivalent with "not displaying at all". Anyway, it could've been an expired ticket, for all I care.

The significant change in practice was this: Leaving the food on the table, outside the guardhouse. This way, we needn't wait til the bell rings. Smart! When I arrived, the busy guard who was helping kids to alight (including schoolbags from the boot) from their cars told me to leave the food on the table. There was already quite a number of paperbags as well as plasticbags, with food inside, on the table - all with clearly written names and their respective classrooms to indicate which belongs to whom. I was told that thefts do occur, too. Mom said that some children would steal a piece (or two) of fried chicken if they noticed McD's plastic bag (despite hidden in a paperbag) there. I guess it's wiser to hide the food in a less attractive bag, then. But more importantly: Thieves among primary school children? You bet!

After leaving the plastic bag (name and classroom written on the outside, with marker pen!) on the table like everyone did, I walked back to my car and moved on to pick up my other sis. Traffic was relatively okay, compared to the usual days where you had to be really aggressive in order to keep moving - y'know what I mean. I reached my sis' school with about 10 minutes to spare, which was good. After school, we went for our lunch. My tummy had been growling the moment I dabao-ed for lil sis earlier.

By the way...
Light The Candle
Give words of encouragement to those who were affected by the recent Asian calamity here. Light a candle, show 'em you care.

Five Weirdest Court Victories of the Year
I was surfing my "references" links when I stumbled upon this article. It's the annual Stella Awards, named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's. One of this year's entries is this: (At 5th place) "19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won US$74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his ! hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently did not notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal the hubcaps." (For the rest - there're more than 5, cuz some are tied - please visit

Translation: "dabao": Almost a general "Malaysian term" now, it simply means "take-away" or "pack" your food in Chinese.
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