Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Caffeine fix

Somewhere in the country of Holland someone's doing something right. In this case, instant freeze-dried coffee. This particularly strong brew of instantness is what's keeping me awake and alive right now. I am progressing towards my third cup today. That would make it a cup every three hours. It started out initially as something to get me going because I was particularly dazed in the morning. I think it happens when you get dragged out of bed and the weather's too nice to be awake, it somehow affects your mood. I actually blamed my slowing metabolism for this.

So I did what I had ceased to do for some time, which was to fix me a cup of black coffee. I remember how I used to like mocha lattes, but those were too much trouble to make, now its just coffee and water, no sugar nor milk. I have begun to like it just as it is, its that utilitarian java fix. My mind is buzzing now, coffee and donuts, that's the order for the day, I didn't feel like lunch so I brought back some donuts to the office. I find it a little depressing whenever someone is wearing a uniform that bears the logo of a food corporation, like Mc Donalds. Perhaps its because they portray an image of sadness. There is a distant look in their eyes somehow, even if they try to be friendly and greet you in the most respectable manner, they still somehow depict an image of pain and suffering.

Maybe its just me. But 2 days ago I was at Mc Donalds. It seems automatic how whenever you can't decide what to eat, you would just head towards the brightly lit counters with the employees of the Mc Donalds Corporation greeting you. I think they have quite effectively advertised their range of products. You already know the entire Mc Donalds menu in your mind, but yet everybody looks at it again, as if for some kind of reassurance, or confirmation.

Being an employee. Hmm, let me give that some thought. I would think that when people approach the counter they wouldn't be looking at me. They would almost automatically look over my shoulder at the menu behind, that blank stare into space. Perhaps that's the kind of look that I will give them too. I have a preprogrammed list of phrases that I must learn by heart, 'chilli or ketchup, sir?', 'any fries for you, sir?' and 'eat in or take away, sir?' The next thing they will see is the screen, where the total would show. I don't even need to be there. What am I doing here?

Perhaps it is this systematic sense of automative, mechanical work ethic that dulls the mind. Like, how much further can you deviate from your job? Perhaps you could stick a french fry into the ice cream, but that would probably get you in trouble. I look around, the poster says 'Exciting work opportunities'. Somehow I don't see myself doing that. I am not saying that its a bad job, or its a stupid job and people shouldn't do it, granted whichever job you are doing, you are essentially serving the community and contributing to the growth of the country, but I would much rather do something else, like be a waiter at a family restaurant, which is cooler. But that's just me.

I was just done with a call that had to be conducted in Mandarin. I don't remember when I last spoke that much Mandarin in my life but I guess I'm lucky I do. What was strange was the last call the Chinese girl who was the accountant or something thought I wasn't Chinese, because I spoke in English, so she started talking to me in Malay. And I can tell you that my Malay is nowhere near comprehensible, we were like ducks talking chicken. I wanted to speak in Chinese but then I thought, ah, we are so far into the conversation in Malay, might as well follow through. That was weird.

I have completed my draft for lesson 4 of my assignment, now I can't wait to get home and start working on it. Perhaps then I would have had my eighth cup of coffee. I am definitely not getting any sleep tonight...:)