Tuesday, July 27, 2004

A can-do attitude, please?

I was really annoyed today at lunch when I tried to get a side order of multi-grain rice from this organic veggie food stall at the food court. The worker told me sorry, but they only sold full meals. I wasn't interested in a meal; and they lost a sale. That's the problem with service in Taiwan: people haven't quite grasped the concept that the customer is why they are there, and they just don't have a can-do attitude when it comes to service.

Anways, I took my nephew Jason (who is in Taipei for the summer studying Chinese) and his friend Jeff out for dinner Sunday night, then treated them to mango shaved ice, and then took them rock climbing. When it was time to leave, they were running late to make their curfew and so asked me for cab fare...my gosh, am I just a sugar mama to them?!?

These kids - all they had in their pockets was their school ID and CD player - no wallet. Sheesh, such change from the (relatively) older men I usually hang out with (who are able to pay for themselves, and sometimes even generously treat me, not the other way around). And the statement to top it all off, "gosh, thanks, [rock climbing] was really awesome. I had no idea you were so...crazy." (Great, obviously they thought I was a boring old fart before.) I haven't seen Jason in ~3 years -- I can still remember when he was a baby and I changed his diapers!

Honestly, I really did enjoy taking them out, however much it reminds me that I am getting older. As the employed, responsible adult, now is my turn to treat the young nieces and nephews. I already had my turn (and plenty of them, too) to be treated when I was kid.

Of course I would never take money from these kids. I'm just highly amused by the whole incident, as I realize how much my perspective has changed. Just knowing that these youngsters find me "cool" is worth it all. :)

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