This incident happened a few months ago.
Before going into detail, let me give a little introduction about my house. My family lives in a modest flat in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. It is small and cute, but because of the fungus growing on the walls of our flat recently, it looks a bit old.
-end of introduction-
One day, a younger cousin of mine e-mailed me and asked me about a Japanese-English electronic dictionary to aid her in her Japanese study. Since my old one was still in good condition and currently I am not using it, I replied that I would be delighted to pass it on to her for free. I was still in Japan at that time, so I e-mailed her and said that I will send her the dictionary by parcel mail.
Because my house is relatively closer to her Japanese school than hers, I mailed it to my own house and told her to pick it up afterwards. I also told my mother, who is most likely to receive the parcel first. And just for laughs, I wrote down ‘Datin* Maria Binti Ahmed’ (not her real name) as the receiver!
A week went by, and then one night my mother called. It was about the parcel.
“Did you wrote down ‘Datin’ in front of Maria’s name?”
“Yes I did. I was just joking around. Did you receive it yet?”
Her reply made me burst into laughter:
“I haven’t got it yet, but I recieved a call from the post office a while ago. They wanted to know if a certain Datin Maria really lives in our house. I guess they can’t believe that a ‘Datin’ would live in such a place!”
(I wondered how was the look of the postman’s face at that moment!)
*Datin is a honorary status in Malaysia, as high as the title ‘Madam’ in the West. Datins are wifes of Dato’s, which is the same as the title ‘Sir’.