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Monday, 25 June 2007

My very own Discovery Channel

Here's how you could spend your Sunday sometime. I hopped onto the Monorail bound to the Golden Triangle last Sunday. I had the choice of hopping onto the bus, but decided against it, as I was not in the mood to feel like a foreigner in our malaysian bus. Just in case you have not noticed, lately, our public transportation systems have been congested with foreigners, that has nothing to do with the "Visit Malaysia Year".

It was a hot day. I stood in the queue waiting for the next monorail, after the one I've had it's door shut about 1 feet away from my nose, rolled off. It's amazing how the Public Transport could turn up late,at their convenient time, but do not make an exception to a passanger who was 3seconds late. I guess the driver have had a long day, and needed to have fun by slamming the door on people who frantically ran up the stairs just in time to catch the breeze from the slamming sliding door.

Some boys, about the age where they tend to sleep more to experience the newly discovered wet dreams,decided to get smart and cut the queue. I raised my right eyebrow, but kept my mouth shut,(which was pretty unusual). I went into the monorail only to find these grinning adolescents sitting comfortably on their victory seats, from cutting the queue. I chose to stand right in front of their faces and look at them, one after the other, with intentions to make them uncomfortable. Unfortunately, these scoundrels have trained themselves well and avoided eye contact at all time.

In came a family comprising of a lady carrying a child in her hands come the next stop. I waited for half a minute, (that is the longest time the longest ever a nerve from even the tallest person take to convey an electrical impulse from the foot to the brains), then told off the boy in front of me in my suprano voice, " Tak nak bangun jugak ke untuk mak cik ni? " .(translation: well, you're not going to give up the seat to even this lady?) Well, THAT worked better than staring at them!! There was an awkard silence, then, as if some bee had bitten one of the boys' scrotum, he stood up to offer the lady a seat. The lady too, for whatever reason I can't think of, felt embarassed and refused the seat. And I remember thinking, "aiyoo kak oi..jangan la kasi gua malu...".(translation: please don't make me embarrased now..) Miraculously,the boy insisted the lady to take up his seat. The lady, with the "malu tapi mahu" attitude, finally took the seat.

It felt soooo gooooood. Now I know how Bart Simpson felt when he sang,"oh why..does it feel so gooooood, to be so baaaaad.. I know it's meaaan,to feel goooood, to be so baaaad..ya shouda heard her screaaaam..". Well, somebody had to do the dirty job of teaching the next generation a bit of civics, in case their parents, or the education system had faild them. Or perhaps they were snoozing in class or when their parents were nagging, to have failed to pick up some good manners. I mean, like I said, this age they fancy sleeping a lot...

Reached Sungai Wang and I felt famished. Two words was in my mind,"Food.Fast" I can bet you Colonel Saunders had the same experience of telling off little boys and felt good then hungry, when he got this idea of Kentucky francais. One thing amazing about malaysia, is the variety of food made available at almost 24hours a day. There are fast food, intermediate food and slow food. In case you're wondering, slow food is what you get if you eat at a joint run entirely by the malays, assuming such establishment can survive in KL. From the confused waiter, taking up your order then coming to and fro to tell you the food you ordered was not available, all the way to finally serving your prepared food to a customer who came in 45minutes after you, who was still waiting for the menu). How can anyone not miss Malaysia!!!

I ended up at the hot dog joint 1901, a small tucked in outlet sandwiched between Sg Wang and Lot 10. I must have been really starved, (and had transient amnesia because forgot about my sister, who was suppose to meet me in Sungai Wang) not to notice my surroundings. It was after my 6th bite of my hot dog that I heard a lady's voice calling for someone. I guess Fast Food means fast energy. I began noticing my surroundings. The voice came from this lady who was pointing her finger at a Mat Saleh passerby, making some comment regarding his pants and asking him where he purchased it. The confused looking white man, who was walking alone wearing an army patterned bermuda pants, responded politely to the lady, who sat with a group of one man and 2 other women. They spoke in English I presumed, because the fan was blowing onto my face and the whoozing sound dampened the frequency of their voices. I just caught hold of the key words ( I got good training from home because my dad kind of like speak muffled sentences as far as I can recall, and he still have full set of strong teeth mind you...)...They invited the Mat Salleh to join them at the table but he politely refused. I said "politely" because he had his right arms crossed over his chest and bowed a little, something like our under utilized official Visit Malaysia greeting. Obviously the poor mat saleh haven't been long enough in malaysia to know non of the malaysians greet each other that way. I can't help but think, that it would be interesting if he saw how 2 people from melaka greet each other ,"oi lahawau , celaka engkau!! Mana kau pergi lama tak nampak kelibat? Binawey..."

Back to the story. By now, just as insiduous as the uptake of the sugar supply into my bloodstream seeping from my fast food to my brains, I realized, that out of the 5 tables occupied at the 1901 joint, I was the only one, sitting down there with actual hot dog, a bottle of mineral water ( to flush down the junk food fast through the system)without a cigarette in her hand and haven't the faintest idea how to speak tagalog.

Next thought..oh fffff.....#@*k...So this is how these Filipinos pick up men. I've so far only heard rumours going around. I've never taken rumours seriously,until now. The next thought, double f#@*$#k!! I look like a Filipino, clad in my worn out jeans with my hair tied up into a ponytail!!! What was I thinking!! I should have known better. I mean, how ironic can it get? A "hot dog" joint!! Where else more suggestive than a hot dog joint, condusive for these Filipino ladies to pick up mat sallehs!!! I gobbled my food in a hurry, and thought, it's bad enough I swallow my food instead of eating them on my busy days at work, now I had to swallow food on my day off too. Just then my sister gave me a call. Instead of my usual "hello", I greeted her with," I'm at the 1901 hot dog joint, come save me before I get caught in the police raid"

While waiting for my lunch to be gobbled up, and my sister to come save me, I kept observing and I somehow rather became intrigued by their method of "fishing" for men. Even the one man sitting there would try to make contact with the Mat Sallehs passing by. They do it in an unsuspected manner, always trying to strike an innocent conversation first. The weird part was they only harrassed the Europeans. What an insult to the Asian men!!! Not all Asian men are God fearing people!! Most just hide it from society very well,that's all. That is why our prostitutes, oops, sex workers, work at night, in the dark corners to cater for our local men. A thought crossed my mind. It would be fun if they had harrassed one of those nasty Arab thugs that look like Europeans!! They'll get more than what they bargained for then, and the ladies would stick to their maid post after all.

My sister joined me, just as I was beginning to enjoy my observations. Then as we walked away from 1901, a malay man gave me "that look". I looked back at him and was tempted to say out loud," pesakit I kat pusat TB negara kan? Dah habis tak makan ubat?". ('re my ex patient from the tuberculosis hospital!! Have you completed your treatment?) But decided not to, as I do not want to spoil the shopping spree we were about to indulge. So I gave him on of my, "nak rasa terompah kat muka?" (would you like a shoe print on your face?) expression, and like a charm it worked.

So the rest of the day was spent shopping, no, I don't need new clothes, as I could still fit into the clothes I purchased 20 years ago. Rather, we went shopping at Low Yatt Plaza, in Jalan Imbi, behind Bukit Bintang Plaza. We got the important stuff, only this place could offer, "ciplak" computer and handphone accessories. It was amazing how this chinese man changed my proclaimed "original" phone case within 10 minutes ( It'll take 2days and RM300 to do that at the Nokia Care - not very caring laaa). Apparently, Low Yat no longer sell "ciplak" (pirated) softwares etc due to regular raids from the authorities ( which i term as "auta- ritis"). But guess what? I still managed, with my "no, means can kau-tim one.." attitude which I picked up from my years in Pakistan, to purchase RM35 Office software that would have cost me 10fold more had I chose to become a law abiding citizen. I would use Bart's line again,"I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, can't prove anything" should I get caught..Well, I was told you ain't a criminal until you get caught....SSSSYYYYYY....I was told that to find "ciplak" software, go to the Mines...that's where the illegal stuffs are sold currently....

I had a good day rediscovering part of Kuala Lumpur. It is one of the most humbling experience. I suggest, take one weekend, leave your comfortable car in the garage, and hop on the public transport to go the heart of Kuala Lumpur, and listen to it beating.......who may discover yourself instead...


Hazidi said...

I think the cause of it all is much simpler. You are just not the social type :-)

There I've done it. I have insulted Pah Nor. She will fly off her handle and murder me in the most hideous way possible now. Good bye cruel world!

pah nur said...

I am the social type, just not the
"so-sial" type , there is a humongous difference you know.....

I enjoyed my lone walk in pakistan those days, that was where i observed others' life passing by. It's lovely to be able to go back to the olden way of browsing through the crowd,once in a while, given the time taxing life I have ended up in and the higher expectation of its quality. Its good to take time off and remember the J. Lo calls it...makes one more humble and grateful in life.