I was buying lunch for my family at coffee shop, after I finished mine. I "da pao” (packet) “chai fan" (mixed vegetable rice) which was seriously quite cheap. A mere S$7.90 for 3 pax, with several dishes and 3 big packets of rice separately packed.
Good food in Singapore is really cheap. Love it!
Since it was way below my budget, I was thinking maybe can buy one more chicken drumstick from another stall.
So I move on to queue at the chicken rice stall. Seeing list price for chicken drum stick with rice at $4.50, I asked in mandarin to the Auntie:
"1 chicken drumstick without rice!"
"$4.50" - she said!
I told her pointing at the price board, "no need rice also $4.50?"
Auntie started her reasoning not in the friendliest manner,
"oh... with rice or without rice also $4.50, standard pricing!"
I knew that the Auntie in the stall is just employee and so she wouldn't care more as long as there is less hassle for herself.
In the past, there will be two scenarios for me. First, I will just forget it and buy it to save time. I could not have care too much about few dollars let alone cents. Time is more important.
Second, if I am not in the wrong and feels unfairly treated, I will normally refutes and even resulted in heated arguments later. The attributes about me in the past, is I have quite a glib tongue so far always winning with reasons in an argument, loud voice, and can be crazily fierce and totally oblivious of the public.
This time, I said,
"huh - ok never mind I do not want anymore!"
Then I passed by another coffee shop with a roasted duck stall. Not to be deterred by the chicken drumstick incident, I decided to try my luck again, this time buying duck drumstick!
"I want 1 duck drum stick packet without rice, how much?" I asked the stall vendor.
The male vendor paused for a long time and started rolling his eyes to think.
Hmm.. I was wondering how come he needs to think so long for the price. Isn't this kind of standard pricing that he is selling each day?
Finally he said, "$5.30!"
I paused and ponder for a while.
Perhaps realizing I was doing my sums (which I am not), he intervened with a perceived sense of guilt written over his face and said, "with rice $5.80 and without rice is $5.30!"
I smiled and said "ok never mind" and walk away again.
"A day without drumstick?"
I do not know why, I just feel very good afterwards.
It was neither about me being bothered by the price, nor was I happy because I am not being cheated.
Perhaps it is the ability to say “No” and walk away decisively that makes me feel good.