Monday, 5 December 2011

E&O Christmas party

I'd like to go back a few days to 1 Dec 2011. That was the day that my wife and I attended the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the E&O Hotel in George Town, Penang. This was only the second time that we were ever invited to this event. The first time was last year. But apparently, E&O had been organising this tree lighting ceremony for their valued clients for several years now.

I was actually looking forward to meeting some friends there but while I bumped into Jack and Stephen, one notable absence from the merry-making crowd was Ted. Found out later that he was in Malacca for some sort of tennis match. But I did meet one of my cousins, Edgar, who was there with his wife.

At last year's party, the hotel was serving food in the lobby itself. This year it was different. For a long while, we were kept waiting in the lobby while the hotel carol singers belted out the traditional Christmas songs. But we were to learn soon enough why there was no food, only drinks.

Eventually, we were asked to walk towards the ballroom. At first we thought that we would be shown into the ballroom itself but no, we went past the entrances and headed for the exit door.

"Mean to say they are feeding us at the car park?" I was joking to my wife. But my wisecracks dried up as soon as we walked out the door. The ground floor of their new wing was completely lit up and inside was their newest and spankiest new restaurant. Of course when we arrived, we didn't notice it earlier. Not unless we had eyes behind our heads.

This would be the New Sarkies, I was told later. It would open for regular business from January onwards but in the meantime, it's being used for special occasions like this one. Before this, the only other time it was used was for a charity event.

Inside, the food wasn't anything different from the fare the hotel usually served at the original Sarkies. The usual familiar stuff like sashimi, prawns, roast duck, satay and others. But because all the food was free for the night, the guests really descended on the food like there's no tomorrow. Typical display of kiasuism, even by the non-Malaysians.

Not us, though. We preferred to keep our dignity, figuring that there was enough food to feed us without having to join in the push and pull. We were right.

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