Quraishah studied in a Convent school in Kuala Lumpur, got married after her Higher School Certificate when she was seventeen and a half, followed her husband to London while her studied law, kept house and had five children.
Now the wife of the Minister of Justice, five children and their six spouses and 12 grandchildren later, she was loving the hectic schedule of chairing board meetings of her pet charities, attending Ministers' wives lunches and high-teas, meeting foreign dignitaries and travelling the world.
Life became much sweeter when her husband was conferred an honorific title for his service to the country. Quraishah cherished her title Datin Seri, more than her mothers' set of 12 solid gold bangles handed down to her. The title, crudely equated to mean 'mini Lady', opened up doors to the echelons of society that would otherwise have remained closed.
After one of many visits to Istanbul, Quraishah, decided to put her 6000 square foot space in a swanky shopping mall to good use and earn back her investment. Malaysians love the spa experience. "We have Thai, Ayuverdic, Swedish, Chinese. Why not a Turkish hamam?"
She had done her homework and after surveying many hamams in Istanbul and Bursa, she decided to set up a business meeting with the owner of Cagaloglu Hamam, a successful hamam, only a stones throw away from the Blue Mosque.
Mr Onan was surprised to get a call for an appointment. Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur? He had seen TV advertisements of Malaysia Truly Asia and smiling faces, but it was just another place that he was not likely to visit.
An entourage arrived at the appointed time to lay the ground rules and explain the protocol expected. Mr Onan should not offer to shake hands, but must be sure to use the correct address. Da-tin Se-ri was enunciated slowly for Mr Onan to repeat. "Dah-teen She-ree" he attempted, finding it difficult to twist his tongue over the teens and the shrees.
Mini Lady arrived forty-five minutes later. Introductions over, the business plan was proposed. An 80-20 % partnership was proposed by the Datin Seri quoting the fact that it was her premises and that she was a prominent member of KL society.
Never under estimate a Turkish businessman. "Madam" he said forgetting the Datin Seri title, "without me, Onan, 20 years in the hamam business you have nothing. I know the design, steaming system and the skills of the girls, the masseurs, like the back of my bald head", and for effect slapped the back of his now sweaty bald head.
Entourage quivered, waiting for mini Lady to lose it. He didn't address her as Datin Seri!
Quraishah shifted in her seat. "Mr Onan, yes, you do have a point. Perhaps a visit to Kuala Lumpur as my guest will convince you that my proposal is a good opportunity for our two countries to start a business."
Entourage sighed with admiration. DS averted a diplomatic crisis. She doesn't have an MBA but she sure can sweeten a deal!