One of the things that can be learned from Thailand is the power of smiles.
So I bought this Panasonic standing fan, right? And I didn't know that in order to assemble it, I needed a screwdriver.
Motherfucker! I thought it was going to be like Ikea, where everything you need to assemble it is usually given with the thing. And usually, it's an LN key.
So there I was, sweating, on the floor, swearing as I tried to use the back of a fork to turn the Phillips screws in.
When I discovered that it was impossible, I went down to see the guards at the guardhouse. I flashed my just-scaled smile and told my stupid sob story of not having a screwdriver. The guy whips out a screwdriver from his drawer - a desk drawer, and off I go.
15 minutes later, I gave the thing back to the guard and we started a conversation. He lamented the fact that he didn't have a motorcycle or he could have taken me to a nearby shop, if I was hungry. Or needed cigarettes.
Homo-erotic Bollywood images flooded my head. But I just smiled. And declined his kind offer.
I mean, in my travels, I have discovered that if you treat people nicely and ask them politely, you might get more help than you could ever ask for. Especially people who make less than RM1K a month, doing shitty jobs.
Movers have shitty jobs. The least you could do is offer them drinks and cigarettes. The movers who handled my stuff usually take extra care with my stuff just cause I took extra care in offering them some stuff and always, always a tip.
More money, yeah, but they work their asses off, for RM150. Fuck, man, that's honest, backbreaking work right there. They don't steal or rob people.
I asked nicely, and a contractor, who doesn't do small jobs, repainted the parquet at my old apartment, for peanuts.
A restaurant manager gave me a lift back home, with six of his staff, cause I never pulled a fucked up face on him or his staff.
It doesn't hurt to be nice. Unless you're dealing with idiots. Some people, they expect drama. They expect to be yelled at. To be beaten up, and there's not much you can do there.
If given the choice, I would rather either do things in a nice or neutral manner. I hate emotional shit. Some people identify too much with their work, making them take anything personally. I hate that. But what can you do?
For racists, what I do is simply ignore them. They do not matter in my universe. I draw a circle around me, and if they step into it, they are dead. I have enough evil in me to get their mothers to abort them. In their 80th trimester.
Greedy, stingy people? I ask for what is rightfully mine and never let up.
Politicians or backstabbers? Well, how far can you go with just pure politicking? If anything, Pak Lah has shown that you might reach the highest office, you might enjoy full support for a few years, but fail to deliver, and your shelf life is limited.
I can run my mouth about a lot of shit, but if I fail to deliver my end of MY bargain, and my goose is cooked. I don't believe in politicking. I know it works for some people, and in some cases, it is their function to be political. I don't hold it against them, but that is not for me.
My function, my aspect, my job that I chose for myself, is different.
Not to say I haven't dabbled in politics. During the days when I sought my vengeance against a system and a culture which I believed had wronged me and robbed me of my youth, I used all my political skills and manipulation to kill off certain people. It succeeded, but I felt dirty.
So nowadays, I just smile. Knowing full well that my teeth have been cleaned of cigarette stains. And I get offers from guards and even restaurant owners to send me places and help me out with shit.
Didn't take any offers, though, cause that would be too gay.