Our security guard comes to work at around 7am and knocks off at 6pm, and one of his responsibilities is to wave – to me / at me / vaguely in my direction, when I’m driving out or driving home.
When I’m walking the dog out of the condo compound, his waves linger just a little longer, more like a salute, and is sometimes accompanied by a ‘good morning’, or ‘makan already ah?’
He is diligent enough to ask anyone who stops by his guard post to ask for directions where they think they want to go. Otherwise, if you just mosey up the driveway looking like you know what you’re doing, and where you’re going, he won’t bother you in the least. He has such respect for purposeful people.
Most days he’s seen on his mobile phone, yammering away in Tamil about life in general before lunchtime beckons, and he rides off somewhere to take lunch before coming back an hour later to take up his post and call someone on the phone again to talk 29 to the dozen.
So I am a little bewildered one morning as I walk Mac, that he approaches me and in the thickest Tamil accent, says, “Food ah, your dog ah, food ah, he eat ah, no ah, eat ah, no ah, eat ah. beef ah, last night function ah, poolside ah, beef ah, your dog ah, eat ah. No ah? Cannot ah?”
It is only in the middle of that sentence that he points to the grass verge, at a plastic container of what looks like beef rendang, only with a gazillion ants trying to drown themselves in it because they figure they can’t carry the whole thing off, might as well eat and die there.
“No, cannot”, I say, because not only is Mac not allowed to eat human food, rendang would’ve given him the shits, and rendang with ants, worse.
“Why ah? Cannot ah? Beef ah? Can ah”, says Security Guard Man in response.
I am kinda tired that morning, so I simply say “Cannot, thank you”, and walk off with Mac in tow, and as I do, Security Guard Man goes on for a bit, saying, “cannot ah? beef ah? cannot ah? your dog ah? can ah? cannot ah?” before he trails off, with a final “ah“, like a sigh.