I’ve lived in this tiny country for more than six years and experience is the one making me the richest. I’m sharing you one most frequent.
I’m physically very ordinary, almost ugly, dark, chubby, short, not fashion conscious. And all in all I am poor or look poor – my source of income is only my monthly salary and some bonus from the company, other than that nothing. So, people can expect unexpected from an “I am” and will think that they can’t use me in a way but suddenly they would get crazily lured to use me up to the driest point when they know who I am — who am I? Nobody.
Ok. Time to rant —
One experience today,
I went to Funan Mall in City Hall area to buy rear light for my bike missing after my minor accident to the office and a tote back to be installed in my dear bike. As normal as a customer ever I greeted the shopkeeper and asked politely if I can get a spare of rear light.
Shopkeeper: What type is your bike?
Although confused with his question I answered “the one with M handle bar”.
Shopkeeper: This is a rear light. You know it or not?
I nodded and said yes.
Shopkeeper: Hey, you know the price or not?
I got a bit heated up because of his constantly high tone since I greeted him, so I politely challenged him: Why are you asking me about the price? I thought it is $45. Is it still the same?
Shopkeeper: So why did you tell me about the handle bar?! And you know the price is $45!
Hmm…. Rude guy! I was guessing he was testing me if I really intended to buy or just walked around the new store.
“Sir, you asked me about what type of bike I have then asked me about how much is the rear light of my bike. Now you are shouting at me as if I hurt your pride?” said I politely.
Shopkeeper: Sure you can buy or not?
I went away with poker face without looking at him then approached the other guy who was younger and nicer.
…. Another experience some months ago
I met a specialist in one of the best hospitals in the city and spent quite a lot to treat my disease. I shared with someone – let’s call her a friend.
Friend: Why didn’t you go to government hospital, it gives you cheaper package with the same quality of service. In this country medical services are quite standardised, only thing if you go to private ones you spend much more. Poor people deserves poor service!
I couldn’t say anything but smiled. I didn’t explain to her that I’m not a citizen or permanent resident that will get such privilege including the medical services. As a human being – knowing whether I am poor or rich – she shouldn’t have said the last sentence to anyone. Anyone, even if really poor
This Friend is still around me. I’m still good to her. And just FYI, it was not her first sharp words that were thrown to my face. I always tell myself that she is just being her, not more not less.
…. Another experience some years ago
I entered the office lobby. Today I would meet my interviewers for the final job interview. I was nervous, happy, worried and excited at the same time. Holding my Blackberry with both hands, I headed to the receptionist.
“Good morning, Ma’am.”
“You want meet who?” Oh my…. The Singlish was a striking welcome to me. 😃
“I’d like to meet with Ms X and Mr Y for job interview.”
“You Rike Jo ha?”
“Yes, I’m Rike Jo, Ma’am.”
“Sit first la. I’ll call them. You can’t use Blackberry, only iPhone here ya. Can not connect internet for browsing la.”
Oh my goodness. What a joke! I’m here to get a job, not to connect to internet.
“Hey, you from where? Indon?”
“Ok Indon ya.”
“Ok ok ok. Sit there, wait for 10 minutes they’ll come.”
Oh my god. And later I found that that receptionist was in-house subcontractor – the worst ever of liking to boss around and boast around talking about the company employees whom she didn’t really like so much. And more importantly, we are not prohibited to use any brands of gadgets in the office – but why bother using other brands if your own brand is the best on earth?! 😊
I still have my other stupendous and enriching experiences but it is too much for me to tell random samples of people from various factors who have judged people by their sole blurry eyes. Let it be, let it be.
Those people have judged me with their shallow mind, unfair position, misleading intention, partial data, insufficient information and the most of it with their pompous arrogance of being superior than someone coming from their backyard.
I am normally just feeling upset then immediately back to normal but today I was so fed up with those people. I pray that they know their points of view are not enough to evaluate others. They need distance, method and clarity to view then evaluate others. They should think before they say. They should listen to understand and not to reply. They should see before they leap…. Or else someday they will fall down and break down.
I will stay here for at least the next 5 years before I’m back to a human being without formal profession. By then I will have been a mature lady who knows that the world is spinning because some good guy accept others’ stupidity as learning curve, weigh others’ unfairness as a self reminder to be always stable, embrace one’s own anguish as the warmth among the cold ignorance of the modern people, and arrange all those into a beautiful arrangement of balancing points.
I still have many good friends here that make my life so beautiful and peaceful. And I will just be their good one, too.
Life is so colourful. I’ll enjoy it, with some ranting on at times….
Khatib, July 26, 2019 – 21:03