Wednesday, October 12, 2005

May I Help You?

Good food really makes life worth living. Recently there was a new mall that opened up near my workplace. The first time I went there, there was absolutely nothing much there. The place is most totally boring. But now that there are more shops that have opened up, yet it still has nothing much to see at all. How disappointing. The only thing inside there that interest me would be the bookstore MPH. But even then, the place is so small I fail to see the urge to even go there at all. I would rather hang out back at the big MPH in One Utama's new wing. The new shopping mall was named SACC. I have no idea what it stands for. Shah Alam Community Center? Shah Alam Convenience Center? Stupid Apes Catching Cold? I don't know. However I'm glad that now there's a 'Secret Recipe' cafe opened up. Gotta be careful though, don't wanna blow my budget by spending on food.

Just the other day I was eating in there. I noticed a very annoying trait they picked up, when you enter, one would say "Good afternoon" and then you will be bombarded with all the others greeting out of harmony to you. Annoying because greetings are supposed to be pleasant. They made it in such a way, that I felt that I was shouted at. Why I said they 'picked up' this trait was because originally, this was merely done in Japanese customs. Hence, when you walk into a Japanese restaurant or whatever Japanese shop, they will greet you with 'いらっしゃいませ' (irasshaimase) or direct translation, 'Welcome!' But the way they do it was never unpleasant to hear. You will never get the feeling that they are annoying in saying that. It feels more like those people who go round selling bread and from time to time they ring their bells. Only less frequent (the greeting, that is). So I had a delicious meal over there, spaghetti and meatballs along with a nice chocolate fudge cake to go with my hot chocolate. I felt so satisfied after a meal like that. The waiter who served me was so confident of his service that he handed me a feedback form to fill up. Upon looking at the form, I had to give a good rating with the questions they asked since I found no fault on those areas. There was a space for me to fill in my comment so that they can 'serve me better' or so it says there but I left it blank. After that meal I had, I felt so relaxed that I couldn't think of anything to write in that column.

It was only after I left that I could think of something that I would like to include in my two cents worth. One would be the greeting, and the other would be the interior decoration. I mean the design is not bad considering the awkwardness and limit in space that they rented, but I feel that it could've been better to put on a little more relaxing atmosphere. With the afternoon sun blinding it's rays in, it feels more of a pain to look out of the shop even though the sun is not directly shining through.

Come to think of it, the greetings part just plain suck in Malaysia. When I walk into a Japanese restaurant in Malaysia, sure they do say "Irasshaimase", but they always more often than not say it in a very lazy way. I can hardly hear what on earth are they saying. Usually I only get to hear the last one or two syllables. In Japan, I can always hear clearly the whole word when they greet. Whereas here, they either say it really quickly which drowns the first few syllables or slur it which you can't make out what they're saying, or the one that annoys me the most, they only say the last two syllables. There's no meaning to it at all! I guess this greeting thing, still needs a lot of work before they can properly implement such a culture in Malaysia.

I'm just plain happy, that a few other eating places has popped up which means more choices in this dead place. I wish though, that more affordable and delicious eating places would come up. The choices still aren't many with just these few.