Bitter Pill

Last week when I was in Ipoh, somehow I managed to irritate an old uncle. Here’s the story. I was having a bit of sore throat, so we drove over to the store that sells Chinese herbal teas.

This conversation was originally in Cantonese.

Me: “Uncle, give me one Wong Lo Kat with medicine powder”
Grumpy: “Are you from KL?”
Me: “Why yes, how did you know?”
Grumpy: “Only KL people will say Wong Lo Kat. Don’t you know how to read?” *points to sign board written in Chinese* “There’s no such thing here”
Me: “Err…”
Grumpy: “I only sell Cha Jing or Fu Cha (Tea Essence/ Bitter Tea). You KL people don’t know the difference.” *mix medicine powder into drink* “We don’t sell Wong Lo Kat in Ipoh.”

Grumpy proceeded to slam the cup on the counter. “Anything else?” he challenged me.

I wanted to walk out at that point, but decided to drink first before leaving to avoid angering him further.

Grumpy: “How much do they charge for Wong Lo Kat in KL? RM4? You know how much profit they make? They don’t know f**king nuts. Try to ask them to open a store in Ipoh, they will close down within a month.”

At this point, he has come real close to me. His hands are waving around all over my face as he continues his rant.

“You know, we Ipoh people are very particular about what we eat. You KL people come to Ipoh and say all the food is wonderful.” *claps his hands sarcastically* “But to us, it’s just normal. You know when I go to KL, the food is f**king terrible. Ptui! I rather just eat Pizza Hut la”

Me: “Err, so Wong Lo Kat is really so different from Fu Char huh?”

Grumpy: “Of course! It’s as different as this car and that car there” *points to a Honda and compares to my Proton Wii-Ra* “You KL people don’t know nuts. If the food in KL is so wonderful, ask them to come Ipoh and open a shop. They will close down within one month!”

At this point, I had enough and left the shop. When I drove off he was complaining to his neighbor and continuing his rant.

Worst drink ever. And being scolded and insulted by him was even more bitter than the bitter tea. I regret that I didn’t throw the bitter tea in his stinking face.

I will never set foot in his store again. Even if my life depended on it.

This grumpy uncle pretty much ruined my mood for the whole night and most of my holiday after that.

18 thoughts on “Bitter Pill”

  1. I mean no offence. You should ask ” Uncle, do u sell Wong Lo Kat here?” not straight away ask “Uncle, give me one Wong Lo Kat with medicine powder?EUR?. There was a signboard there written in chinese right? With the signboard that state down the things he sold in his shop and u ask him a tin of Wong Lo Kat? Luckily, he didn’t said you “??< ????EUR?(Wan Kat)?EUR, Besides that, in ipoh there are more chinese words in the street compare with KL so plz don't blame him for misunderstanding u that u didn't understand and read the board. He might be frustrated because of ur way of enquiry and maybe he thought you are banana. Adino: You only need to click one time (in case you don’t know how web forms work)

  2. i’m not blaming this on you.
    the example u posted:
    “If you go to any coffee shop, will you ask if they serve coffee before ordering?”
    i will ask him the specific coffee i want 1st if u are new to the place. Dun tell me you go to Hong Kong or Taiwan coffee shop to order ipoh white coffee or teh tarik,even in mamak, you won’t ask for a glass of ipoh white coffee right? Kl chinese herbal teas stores don’t sell the same teas as ipoh’s.
    All in all,different place different culture and manners.

    Adino: Fair enough. You’ve made your point.

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