This story is dedicated to a young man, a friend, a buddy and a partner.
I know this man through a friend when he was sending me back to Makkah and this guy followed him. We started to be buddy just in a second.
That time, I wasn’t aware that there are so many Saudi youth that are unemployed and it has become a common scene in Saudi. He was a graduate of Marine Engineering. As he jokes to me where in the world he could get a job where his government does not bother about the people, how about its marine life then.
During my stay in Saudi, I always push him to his limit in all our discussion when we talk about career and about ‘doing something’. It is common for a Saudi citizen that you are unemployed and your daily job is sending your mother to places, sending and picking up your sisters and it is seem to be noble. Part of daily Saudi men routine as the government did not allow ladies to drive. They say it is religion, I say it is an orthodox culture. This daily routine has become common.
One day I challenged him……with very provocative word, even any normal human will feel offended with I said. I told him, if you are a real man than prove it to me you do something that you yourself could be proud of.
I did it for purpose. It might hurt him that time but I know it was for his own good. When I see someone that has become part of my life, of course I want the best for him/her. So does my friend.
Because of my word it irritates him and one day he came back to me and said he wants to be just like his aunt. To open a restaurant and become a restaurant-er. Well it was a good start.
The question is what kind of restaurant?
He said he wants to have a Thai restaurant since that everyone love Thais.
I asked what do you like about Thai food. He replied tomyam. And I asked again what is the best tomyam you’ve ever tasted and he said Asia restaurant in Jeddah…..and I said that was my one of the worst tomyam I ever had in my life. Its like water….and he stunned.
Second thing, I asked him do you know how to cook? He said no…..and my question again, so if happened that your chef sick or run away….what will you do? You close your restaurant?
I asked him again….did you ever work in a restaurant. He silent…..again I pushed him too much.
Then I said. My dear listen to me, I used to have a restaurant. A nasi campur. We had kitchen helper and we have an old lady as our chef. She was really good but she acted like a diva. She only cooks and will never do anything except cooking…even not to cut the onions.
One day when she arrived at the kitchen she was pissed off because the onions did not ready and she refused to cut the onion. To show he rebel and dissappointment, she threw her knife and went off. What will happen to you if this kind of scenario going on? We might need not to open for that day.
You know what I did, I called my partner and told him,we have emergency. He took MC and sling his shirt. We cooked 30 dishes that day and business as usual. That diva lady came at noon to check if we open our restaurant. I smiled at her and ask her to join us for lunch. But my partner he is known as out spoken. He threw to that lady ‘ you don’t think this two bachelors is hopeless and know nothing. Your divaness did not make it this time, look we manage to cook 30 dishes in 2 hours’. I do not dare to say so because she is an old lady and we respect her, but being Penangeat, being outspoken is common and we do not really take it seriously and we laughed.
Look, if you want to do a business, you must know what you are doing.
He seems to understand and I’ve decided to help him.
I told I will go back in a few weeks with my family. My flight is on 18 December 2011 so you take after that. Come with me to Malaysia and I will show you all our good restaurant from the street to the high end. Only then you will get your inspiration and then decide what really you want to do……….Continue