Kucing Gatal Speaks

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Kucing Gatal's Guide to Kiasuism

The kiasu culture has taken firm hold in KL and looks set to stay. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I say. So here is my Guide to Kiasuism, designed to help you hone your kiasu skills and, who knows, maybe even become the most kiasu person in Malaysia - Champion Kiasu!

LRT
After buying your ticket, rush down the escalator as fast as possible and plant yourself directly on the yellow line on the platform. When the train arrives, inch forward, holding your elbows out to create more personal space around you. When the doors open, do not allow anyone to disembark before you get on. Push forward as hard as you can (if the train is full) and look for a seat. If you can't find one, head for the nearest pole and lean on it so no one else can hold on to it. If you manage to get a seat, close your eyes and pretend to sleep if you see some elderly/disabled people getting on board, so you don't have to give it up.

National level events
Attend all free public events held at the national level - e.g. Merdeka Day carnival. Come prepared with empty tupperwares. Stand as close to the food table as possible. When the food is served, fill up your plate with as much as you can. Don't worry about the line of people behind you, it's their fault for being so slow. Never mind if you can't finish the food, it's free what. Bring out your tupperwares and fill those up too. Eat as fast as you can, then head on to the dessert table and gorge on the delicacies. Make sure you don't leave even an inch of empty space in your tupperwares.

Bargains/freebies
Scour the newspapers from cover to cover for bargains and promotions. Buy only products that give you free gifts. If there is a limit on the amount you can buy (eg. two toilet roll packs per person), bring your whole family along so they can buy on your behalf. Bring your neighbours too if your family is small. Listen to the radio for locations of Hitz FM and Mix FM cruisers. Stalk them regularly to get freebies. If they start recognising you, wear a disguise.

Product promotions
Go to the mall every weekend. Look out for those promotion booths were you can get free samples or discount coupons. Harrass the salesgirls to give you more than the usual amount. If there is some show going on, push your way to the front row even if you don't know what the show is about. Enter every single contest you can find. Tired? Try out every massage chair available (walk into Osim, OTO, etc). Look interested when the salespeople try to sell you the chairs, then pretend to get a call on your mobile phone and walk out of the store, talking loudly. If you're hungry, go into supermarkets and try all the food samples available - free lunch or dinner for you.

Sales
Join every shopping loyalty program imaginable - Bonuslink, Jusco, Metrojaya, Isetan, etc, then wait for the catalogs to start arriving. Mark your calendars whenever there's a sale on specially for members and make sure you get up bright and early on that day. Aim to be the first to be standing outside the doors when the store opens. Rush in and start hunting for great bargains. Grab an armload of clothes and hog the dressing room for as long as you like - don't worry about the people waiting outside, again, it's their problem for being slow. Drag a friend into the dressing room and ask for his/her opinion for every outfit you try on, thus ensuring you are getting valuable advice when deciding to buy or not. Re-try the clothes several times until you're really happy, even if the queue outside gets longer. Make sure the clothes are of the highest quality - if a button is sewn on 2 degrees differently from the rest, discard that particular item and hunt for a perfect replacement. If you cannot find it, ask a salesgirl. If she says "No more stock", put on a ferocious frown, complain loudly then stalk away.

With shoes, don't be shy to ask the salesperson for several pairs at once. Even if it's really crowded and customers are waiting to be served, make sure you get all his/her attention until you get the pair you want. Once you lose your salesperson, you'll have to wait till he/she is free again - and if there are other kiasus like you, this could be a long wait. So you have to be the superior kiasu in this case and don't let him/her even think of serving others.

Jumping queue
Stuck in a long line and have no time to wait for your turn? Just cut queue. This works best when you're in an area where the queue isn't well defined. Most Malaysians will not tell you off since we're all brought up to be tolerant and kind (read: timid), at the most you'll hear some tsks and see some head shaking and some frowns. If you're unlucky, someone will shout loudly and tell you to get back in line. In this case, pretend you're deaf or smile politely at everyone, say "Sorry ah, my car is double parked and I don't want to get saman." In most cases you will get away with it. You must be very thick skinned to get away with this. If you are the type to blush easily, do not try this.

If you managed to get away with this kiasu behaviour, remember to smile at everyone as you leave after conducting your business. Do not gloat publicly at your little triumph and sneer at those still patiently waiting their turn, or you'll get some bad karma with all the hatred directed at you.

There are so many more ways to sharpen your kiasu skills but these are the most important (and also the only ones I can think of for now). There may be a part 2 to this when I get around to it ....

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a kiasufied Meow.

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