This post is similar with Pie For Everybody I posted a long time ago.
As I’m leaving Dubai from a business trip, one of my colleague baked two cakes as a present to my colleagues back in Qatar. I decided to check-in all my personal belongings and carry these sweet boxes with me for obvious reason. Forget about the hassle, everybody loves chocolate cakes, isn’t it? 🙂
A taxi cab driver Mr. Sajad (pronounced ‘sa-jid’) kept me company. We had a great conversation as we travel a stretch of highway heading to Dubai International Airport. I found out that he’s working as a taxi cab driver for 9 long years. He’s a Pakistani national with good command in English, an expertise he learned as he meet different nationalities everyday. I don’t mind if his stories are tailor-made suited to keep his passenger busy. I believe he’s telling the truth. I keep on asking same question in various approach and he did not flip. By the way, he’s the first person who asked about the cake.
“Cake?”, pointing on the boxes.
“For your friends?”
He smiled, ran out of words *wink*
We reached the airport at 6:00pm, way ahead of my 10pm flight. As I fall in line to check my baggages in, an Indian guy from Kerala district smiled at me as he look on the boxes. When we’re on hearing range, he asked that question again:
“Is that a cake?”
“Yes. You know, Filipinos.”
Filipinos are well-known as food-cravers. Here in the Middle East, we virtually share an equal number statistically speaking. Wherever there’s an Indian staff, chances are he/she has a Filipino colleague, and vice-versa. That’s why of all the “Asians” (term coined by Europeans), we are most comfortable with our Indian friends because we share the same level of communication skills in English language.
After passing security screening, I headed to the next available table to put down the boxes. A group of Indian men are sitting on a sofa next to the table. His approach to me is hilarious!
I laughed so hard in appreciation, thanking him as if it’s indeed my birthday 🙂
I’m starting to be amazed on how cool these people are. It takes skills and confidence to open a conversation, and to crack a joke like that must’ve came from a happy heart.
Since Dubai Airport is so big, I need a trolley to ease my journey. As I’m heading to the elevator, a male staff greeted me with a smile. This is how he delivered his questions:
“I love baking. You baked that?”
“Nope. My friend, for my friends.”
“Is that a fudge? fruitcake?”
“Ahm, it’s fudgy.”
“Do you mind me tasting it?” he teased, smiling.
“In fact I do!”
His destination is C17, and my Gate is C15 – I’ve got company. His name is Jihad, and you guessed right he’s a Pakistani national, speaking fluently in English. He grew up in London and ended up working in Dubai. He’s a seasoned expatriate. I assume he’s not happy with his work, as he asked for my email id and forwarded his CV to me.
Arriving in Gate C15, I sat patiently, waiting for the gate to open. After 20 minutes, a staff announced that the gate is open. I’m now carrying these two boxes with my hands as if delivering a present. Trolleys are not allowed inside. A gorgeous stewardess gave me a sweet smile and sparkling eyes as she greets me:
“Oh, Is that for me? How sweet of you!”
I smiled, with an awkward laugh. “Please, help yourself.” I said. I’m glad she did not. haha..
I thought that’s the sweetest greeting, but the best is yet to come.
My seat is in 27A. As I walk on the aisle, being abruptly halted by passengers who found their seats and stop to load their belongings, I saw in the corner of my eye a beautiful woman in her 20’s never taking out her eyes on the boxes. It’s not that I’m a creepy guy who scan a crowd and catcalls women. On the contrary, I have high respect to women. If you feel that somebody is watching you from a distance, chances are you’re being watched indeed. When I’m about a seat away, she pointed on the boxes and sweetly asked:
Then she gestured her hands as if accepting these. I mentioned earlier that I’m carrying these boxes with my two hands, right? That’s awkward. I laughed, appreciating her act. She smiles. No time for further conversation as I’m being pushed forward with a passenger behind me.
I can’t help but to think about the pattern. As an observant person, I’m very keen on studying social interaction and individual behaviors. It’s an interesting discovery for me. I see an essence of giving in a new perspective. People are getting excited when someone is carrying a present. It’s like having an exchange gifts, which we traditionally named as “bonito-bonita,” on our Christmas Party during our childhood days. Truly, it’s the thought that counts. It’s the thrill that you feel. As evident on my social interaction, people are playing in their mind that the cakes are meant for them. You see, it’s not about meeting me. In fact, they don’t really care about me – their focus is in the cake.
As Tom Hanks mentioned in Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolate, you’ll never know what you gonna get.”
Well, I’m carrying two boxes of chocolate cakes, and I never knew the lesson I’ve got. I’m kind of emotional, because giving gift is not my thing. I have to change my perspective. It’s an eye-opener to me to show I care through giving.
I shared this insight with my colleague who baked these cakes on the very next phone conversation we had. She’s really glad and thankful. I teased her, saying there must be a free taste next time with her number on it so she’ll increase her sale.
And to give a piece of cake for every happy heart that pays attention to these mystery boxes and will sweetly asks:
“Is that a cake? For me?”