The lady introduced herself and explained that she would begin her floral arrangement demo shortly. Being somewhat interested in arranging, I went towards the stage area. It'd only started so there were just a few of us there. She said her name again, and explained the reason she repeated it was that she would be asking some questions during the demo, and would give goodies to audience members who could answer. At first, that didn't get much extra enthusiasm from the few around there.
Presently, while working on her first arrangement of artificial orchids in a transparent bowl, she asked the very predictable first question, which was what her name was. For a moment, there was silence, and then, an aunty awkwardly raised her hand and answered it. She was given a floral arrangement booklet and a little packet of what she called "flower food". I thought it was some sort of fertilizer for flowering plants.
As she continued working, she asked a couple more questions and gave out more goodies. More people came by and those there got more eager. She finished with the orchids, put them aside, told the crowd they could take photos of it later if they wished, and began her next piece. She was going to show us how she'd tie a simple hand-bouquet using a spiral sth sth method (wasn't listening that hard). She picked up a handful of roses from a pail she kept next to her work-table. There were audible audible gasps of admiration from all who were watching.
She kept talking as she worked. I could feel the other aunties' increased eagerness to claim the work-in-progress we're all feasting our eyes on. Yes, of course I wanted it too. I didn't need any other reason than it was pretty. It was pretty and I wanted it.
She asked her question and hands shot up, mine included. I was sure she couldn't tell who raised her hand first (I use "her" for though I can't be absolutely certain, I don't think any men were crazy enough to do the same) She stared for a few seconds at all the gleaming faces before her, and decide I was the one. I got the answer, and I got the bouquet and a cute lil' packet of "flower food", and along with 'em, applause from the others. It was pretty!
It being handed to me sparked off so much desperation from the crowd that certain individuals began displaying distasteful behaviour. She went on with her demo. She was talking about representing Malaysia in a floral expo in Japan. A girl next to me turned to me, bent unreasonably close for a stranger, and asked "Where was the exhibition?"
I was taken aback by her suddenness and rudeness. I gave her a half-frown "What?" She turned her attention back to the stage, completely ignoring my reply. A little while later, she turned to me again and repeated her question, just as rudely.
"Japan," I answered, giving her a full-blown frown that she didn't at all register, and proceeded to take a step away from where she was standing. By then, the lady on stage had started working on a huge bunch of hydrangeas. She made known that she would give the completed bouquet away too. That girl next to me wanted it so much she practically looked as if she was ready to pounce on anyone who dared stand in her way. She stepped right up to my side and rubbing my shoulder, said "You help me, OK?"
No, not OK, I thought. Firstly, I didn't even know her. Secondly, I know she want it badly, but so did everyone else standing there. I can't help feeling she ought to just do the same as the rest of us - enjoy the demo and if she knew the answer to the question, raise her hand like a civilized person would. If she got it, she got it; if she didn't, was the world going to end? I gave her a half-hearted smile. I admit, I wouldn't have minded "helping" her, if she was at least more polite. As the bouquet grew more beautiful, she grew more desperate. "You must help me, OK?" she repeated twice or thrice more. I took two more steps away from her, but she somehow managed to knock her arm against mind when she raised it even before a question was actually asked. I don't think she answered the question correctly, or at all, but the lady said she'd give her the bouquet anyway.
Had quite enough, I thought. I walked away at that instance; for a moment I felt the strong urge to go into a pharmacy, get the strongest hand sanitizer I could find, and rub it all over my shoulder and arm which she touched!
Pardon my digression in this otherwise-positive post. Freaky girl aside, I felt delighted, gleeful, and very much like the way I did during the cupcake incident. It was really a trivial little thing, but it made me so happy! The pruned stems were exposed so the blooms would probably not last the day, but they made me happy! As it was then, I walked around the mall holding the lovely bouquet, getting stares and sometimes, smiles from strangers, feeling the weirdness and reeling in it. However, unlike the cupcake time, no one actually stopped me to ask where I got it. I suppose they only wondered what this fella did that was so bad that he had to buy her flowers. Since I did not get to repay the lady's generosity then, here goes - click here for the company's website.
I did not really check the "flower food" out till later; it turned out to be something that one can put into the water one puts flowers in, to make them last longer.
My most recent batch of roses lasted almost 2 weeks in that little vase, filled only with plain tap water, which I changed every day. The next time I get my hands on fresh ones, I'd be sure give 'em this "flower food" and see how much longer they will last.
Till the next time, then!