JA towers over me at 1.85m and when I look up at him, I see his nostrils because I am as short as he is tall. It has been some time (in fact, many years) since I last organised an activity at The Club and I was rather surprised by the warm reception JA gave me today.
You don't get such sincerely warm service in many places, and I certainly did not expect it from a Country Club. Firstly, Country Clubs have a captive audience and so dour-faced officers have little impact on bottom-line. Secondly, in country clubs, most people expect service staff to be servile... not companionable and warm. So, it was quite a change to have JA walk beside me chatting companionably, quickly understanding the needs of my party (fathers, mothers and CHILDREN needs).
So we chatted and planned. And then, to make small talk, I asked "So, you have been here many years JA?" And then he beamed at me. "Oh yes! I have! Do you remember that many years ago, you organised a party here and after that, you gave me a card?"
I did? Gee... I can't remember.
And then JA towers over me with his 1.85m, and smiles at me with honest forthright eyes and says "I still have that card."
"Whoa!" I thought to myself "Whoa!" His happiness was infectious. My forgotten gesture of thanks was remembered and cherished by him, and of a sudden I felt like reaching out to hug this huge man. But people don't do that in Singapore and it wouldn't do for Petunia and JA to be suspected of immoral canoodling ... so I smiled and said, "Thank you for keeping my card for so many years... and I am even more impressed by The Club's service standards this time round".