As I was paying up, I said politely, "So are you going home to Ipoh for your Christmas holidays?" because I was intending to wish my mate a Merry Christmas.
She looked blank and then said, "Oh no! I'm a freethinker (atheist)!" adding conscientiously, "But I celebrate Chinese New Year."
"I thought with the Christmas music and all that you might celebrate...." I excused myself.
"We are all freethinkers," my mate said waving at her colleagues. "That music is for clients like you."
"I'm a freethinker too, and I love Chinese New Year," I told her. "But I can't stand children's choirs."
"Me neither," she whispered.
"Hey, I'm a freethinker too!" said the man who was having his hair cut. "And I don't like this music either!"
"Me too!" said the lady next to him.
It dawned on us that none of the 7 people in the shop celebrate Christmas, and that all of us were enduring the music.
"Can we listen to the radio?" the lady customer asked plaintively.
I hope that wherever you're living that everyone is as thoughtful about the importance of various holidays to other communities. And I really hope that you're not tortured by children's choirs!
|Hear what Maggie, Whiskey and Bruce have to say about dogs speaking human languages in today's Dog Talk column published in The Star, section 2. Print version only so please buy the paper!|