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Friday, February 9, 2007

NOW We're Talkin'..........

I've made a new friend this week, Mr. Fixit. He was here Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday making repairs and to estimate the cost to give me hot water in my kitchen. Mr. Fixit is friendly, his English is excellent, and he's always been punctual. He's also been contracted to maintain the aircons, but they're new so he doesn't need to clean them until April.

Mr. Dishwasher guy came Wednesday at 5 to figure out what was wrong with the Eurotech DW67. I informed him that only cold water went into the machine and it just sat in the bottom; no spray action or anything. He consulted a colleague while he was here. He spent at least an hour here trying to get the thing to work. Finally, at 6:30 he says, "Madam, I'm sorry, but this is an old machine." and I replied, "The motor is burnt up, isn't it?" He smiled and said, "This machine been worked very hard for very long time." YES, thank you! That's all I needed to hear.

I didn't hear from the new agent, Miss "Icannotdothatforyou" yesterday, but I thought I should give her some time to get something worked out. When I didn't hear from her today, I thought it best to give her a ring. I asked her about the water situation in the kitchen, and she said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot all about that. I'll get right back to you." I'm thinking, "Yeah right", but she did get right back to me. About five minutes later she said, "You be home tomorrow between 2 and 4?" I told her that I could, and then she said, "I have ordered a brand new dishwasher for you and it will be delivered then." I asked her about the hot water at my kitchen sink, and she said she'd have to call the contractor.

I would much rather have hot water at the kitchen sink than a dishwasher in the laundry room. Really, so I thought about it and called her back to tell her that I would forego the brand new dishwasher for hot water at the kitchen sink. She was stunned, and was quiet for a bit. Then said, "But I have ordered it already. I know that many Europeans have hot water in their kitchens, but that's...." I told her, "I know that this building was built with hot water in every unit." I asked if she could cancel the order, and she said she'd get back to me. She did, and I will NOT have a brand-new dishwasher, but HOT water at my sink! YAY!

I want to make something very clear here. I am not making fun of the way Singaporeans speak English. Singlish is pervasive, and the government is working hard to get proper English spoken amongst the people. With that in mind, I give you part of an e-mail from an agent to us this afternoon.

Anyway going ahead per our earlier telco kindly go ahead to do the needful to connect the kitchen sink with hot water supply, as spoken we will take care of the difference of $80 after the contra off the cost of the new dishwasher on our side.

Kindly arrange the needful to be done for the connection.

Dear Mike and Dianna,

Per Diana's proposal to Miss I they Landlords to connect the hot water supply if they do not have to replace the dishwasher. Hence they will not be replacing the broken down dishwasher instead they will contra off the cost of the new dishwasher towards the cost of the hot water supply connection.

Thank you all for your kind understanding and patience.

You can see that they use a sort of shorthand. That is also the way most people speak, but also adding "lah, leh" in between for emphasis. Most do not speak as loud as Americans or Europeans, and they speak fast! Even though we're speaking the same language, we're not.

I am happy.......Mr. Fixit will be here next Thursday to connect the pipes to the water heater in the laundry room. I.AM.HAPPY! :D


mister anchovy said...

"doing the needful" is a delightful phrase that needs to be introduced into Canadian English right away!

Diana said...

Yeah, I thought it was cool too. Also made me of Stephen King's "Needful Things".