That is one of my favourite words.

Years ago when I came back to Malaysia after doing my master’s degree in England, my sister was going through some personal issues and came to stay with me. I had only been working for a few weeks when I had to send her the money for the air ticket. Technically I was broke ! and on weekends, our choice of entertainment was to take the LRT, go to Sogo in KL and walk around there. My sister too was crazy about Bikes and we sat outside Sogo, near the Baskin and Robbins outlet and spend hours watching the guys on Ducati zipping down the road in front of Sogo. ( Ps, I am really growing old, I can’t remember the name of the road!)
And often we were hungry and thirsty..and money was tight. But still we walked to our favourite Samosa shop ( Jai hind, owned by a sardarji, near Semua house) and bought samosas and walked back to Sogo. The walk and the spicy samosas made us thirsty and we had just enough money to buy one drink. We went to the food court and bought one jus oren ( cheapest!).
After we finished the drinking the juice, we were still thirsty, so we waited for the ice in the glass to melt, so we could drink that too..We were that thirsty! And you know how long it takes for the bloody ice in a cup to melt?? So we went and occupied a table at the McDonald outlet ( the only place we felt we wouldn’t be thrown out).
And since we had to wait for the ice to melt and had nothing else to do while the ice cubes were doing their thing,  we watched the shoppers.
Soon enough we noticed this lady, Chinese Tai Tai..
She came first to the shop, like a general waving the latest Luis Vuitton, followed by three Filipino maids, two pushing the prams and third one carrying the oldest child ( must have been around 4 years old).
In those days, having a Filipino maid was a status symbol. ( Each maid earned a salary of 1200RM/month, something average Malaysians couldn’t afford  to pay because most of them earned between 3000 to 5000RM)

Our Tai Tai was decked top to bottom in Designer gear!. I watched her opening her Louis Vuitton bag, taking the Louis Vuitton coin purse to take the money to pay for the food. She bought One happy meal to be shared by her three children ( chicken nuggets, each child got two nuggets!) and one burger meal for herself. Nothing for the three maids! And after she ate her meal, she shared the leftover fries with the maids and her three children!
Meanwhile, my sister and I were busy identifying the designer brands she wore. We couldn’t see her shoes, so we waited for her to leave the shop. And when she did..We burst out laughing !
There on her feet were the most expensive Jimmy Choo..and the soles of her feet were cracked and caked with dirt!
Discerning..not so.

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