Sent this to ProbablyBadNews.com, not sure if they’ll publish it or if it’s worthy of publishing, but just thought it was something amusing.
Welcome Week 2 of new job. Hope it’s more exciting than week 1, and in a good & welcomed way.
I wonder sometimes who came up with the whole need for formalities? Why do we need to dress a certain way, to write stuff using certain choice words, to behave in a certain manner, and to some like myself, to “turn on” this whole other persona that befits a particular type of situation that calls for it?
People who know me well know that me wearing formal attire is something very rare, and to some people, think it’s something that never happens for me. But yet, there are situations that call for me to dress formally, much to my dislike, simply because it’s what people expect you to be like. It felt a bit artificial to me, because I was pretending to be something I’m not. I’m usually quite informal and casual, and to some extent sometimes callous, because with some people I feel comfortable being that way and sometimes I expect them to just “know” that I don’t mean ill but rather it’s just how we sometimes usually talk to one another. But situations change, and suddenly, it becomes inappropriate and we have to become somebody else, to adapt to this new situation that requires a whole new “you” that really isn’t “you” you.
Yet, this whole need to behave in a certain manner is so embedded in many of us that the lack of it in a setting we expect this formality to take place sometimes just feels a bit inappropriate, much to my surprise when it hit me recently. I realised that my dislike for having to be a certain way that I usually don’t like to associate with, is something I am starting to appreciate now that it’s not there anymore. It’s yet another one of those things where once you don’t have it only you start appreciating it. It’s sad, but it happens.
Thankfully sometimes there ARE opportunities for a do-over, although they are never so easy to accomplish. But I guess if you really want it, sometimes these troubles are worth it. The whole, suffer now enjoy later mambo jambo that we have all been brainwashed into accepting as facts of life.
Sometimes I wish life wasn’t so complicated. We could just make simple choices, and have simple consequences, and live happily ever after. Maybe that’s why people invented formalities. So there are these set guidelines that hopefully everyone follows, and everything will work out properly and we’ll all live happily ever after.
Heard a very interesting story a couple of days ago regarding some interesting analogies the people from a local chinese newspaper uses to attract potential clients to advertise in their newspapers, this case in particular my friend’s company who currently advertises in English newspapers. Note that the company has a Chinese majority staff, which is how this incident could occur.
It may seem strange to some people, but it’s quite common here in Malaysia for Chinese people to not be able to read, write, or even speak Chinese at any degree, myself being one prime example although in my defense I *am* able to read, write, and speak a little bit here and there. I have always known all along the non-derogatory-but-comic “banana” label attached to people like me: yellow on the outside but white on the inside. Yellow synonymous with Chinese skin, and white being English speaking.
I’ve heard it being used so many times that it never occurred to me to wonder what other types of fruit analogies out there, until the story of the “mangoes” was told.
What are mangoes you ask? Well, they are the non-banana Chinese. The ones who are not only yellow on the outside, but yellow on the inside as well. In other words, what that chinese daily refers to as the “real” Chinese people who CAN read, CAN write, and most definitely CAN speak Chinese, in essence the type of people who subscribes to their newspaper. It was interesting – and rather courageous – to hear how the reps from tat chinese daily could insinuate that only true Chinese people aka “mangoes” are more helpful towards their own community where as the “bananas” only know how to look out for our own selves.
Furthermore they go on to say that “bananas” are very confrontational unlike “mangoes” who know how to jaga muka / save face and will go all out to help one another without question. They keep going on referring to themselves and their fellow “mangoes” as the 华人 (Chinese people) like as if we “bananas” are not, and I think it’s just a very “racist” thing to say eventhough they’re making derogatory comments about their supposedly own kind.
I don’t feel offended by it, because I am generally not offended by racism or racist humour. If anything, I think their small-mindedness is quite entertaining, and I honestly do not feel confrontation as being a negative attribute to have because you’re standing up for what you believe in and not being a submissive drone as part of a larger dictatorship regime.
Some people look down on Chinese people who can’t speak their own language because they feel like it’s disregarding their own cultural heritage, but sometimes we can’t help it that we’re brought up in an environment filled with English speaking people and have parents who are English-educated and sent us to study in English and BM medium schools. This is Malaysia afterall, where Bahasa is placed more importantly followed by English. But I guess that’s another problem, when the country you are a part sometimes regards you as an immigrant and not its own native eventhough you have direct connections to it and not to the “home country” where your ancestors came from. Oh well. We don’t live in an ideal world, do we? 😛
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On a lighter note:
CheNeo: Did you know that English-speaking Indians who can’t speak their own language are called “mangosteens”?
Me: Hahah isit?
CheNeo: Yeah. I wonder what are Indians who can speak their own language called?
Me: “Rotten mangosteens”? 😛
Was chatting on msn when I came up with this little racist joke.
Q: Do you know what the “s.w.t” in “Allah s.w.t” means?
A: Sweat. That’s why people go: Oh my god =_=”
Okay, I’m gonna go and print my AirAsia eTicket back to hell… oops i mean back to KL. 😛
It’s June, and my university life is ending as I speak, counting down the days I have left till I have to say goodbye to my 2nd home. It’s 32 days, if you’re curious.
Sadly, uni isn’t totally over for me yet. I have one assignment due tomorrow afternoon, and another due on the 15th. Of course I can finish the latter one earlier on and start holidaying sooner, but knowing me, I’ll procrastinate on it for as long as I possibly can.
The weather has turned wintery at last, to the point that I’ll probably begin using my heater sometime soon when it becomes unbearably cold. Don’t get me wrong, I do love cold weather, and this feeling is probably one of the many things I’ll miss living here for. The clean cold fresh air, something you can only dream of back home in haze-stricken Malaysia.
I still recall one of those Lat comics where they installed a giant fan on the KL Tower to blow the haze away. If only that was possible. 😛
I’m still kinda curious as to what to do after I get back, work-wise. My career stuff will have to wait though as I will be playing tour guide for the first 2 weeks as my HK classmate is following me back for 2 weeks to experience Malaysia, and hopefully to rid herself of all these humorous stereotypes she has about Malaysia and Malaysians. It’s very amusing the things she thinks we have or do in Malaysia. I guess that’s what many foreigners who don’t really know much about Malaysia would think.
Most importantly I can’t wait to eat all the yummy foods back home. I think food-wise there really isn’t anything I’d miss in Melb other than this yummy pork bun thingey from this Viet restaurant. Yup, that’s about it. Everything else you can pretty much find it back home, perhaps even better and with more varieties. And most importantly, soooo much cheaper even comparing dollar-to-dollar. It’s a norm here that “real” meals (like single plate rice dishes etc) cost roughly $10, where as back home you can get the exact same thing and portions for roughly rm5, give or take a few.
Other things are of course more expensive in Malaysia than here, but I guess that’s how everything evens itself out. Regardless, there are still more cheap alternatives in Msia than what you can find here. Futhermore in Msia, places like McD offer refillable soft drinks and you can pump all the ketchup sauce you want for free. Here you have to buy the sauce packets, don’t even bother asking for chilli sauce because apparently they don’t have such things here. Some of my friends bring their own chilli sauce when they go for fastfood.
And now I am craving french fries. 😛
Eitherway, gonna go off to maybe do some work. Or more likely prepare dinner. Planning to make soup, because I’m lazy and all I need to do for soup is just wash n cut the ingredients and basically throw it all into the pot of boiling water and let it boil for as long as it takes to warm up my room. The perks of free gas. 😀
Tee hee hee…
Found this interesting diagram showing the difference in classification of portable computers. Those big computer companies throw around all sorts of names for portable computers, some of which doesn’t seem to have any real obvious difference other than some marketing gimmick.
So if you’ve ever been confused, UK’s The Register article covers this along with this quite ingenious diagram map thing to show you what’s what without all the nitty gritty details: