Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A few months back, when travel was still possible, I visited KL while hubby was away in London..............

I spent some time with my feet up and did some furious shopping, stayed at my parents' home in the good old 50490 'hood for some rest and relaxation before my tummy got too huge.
As with all visits, I am amazed at how different KL looks and feels each time.

If you'll bear with me, please: I want to talk about 2 dinners that I attended while in KL. This is of particular interest because the people at dinner#1 are people who have considerable influence on the everyday lives of Malaysians. People at dinner#2 is maybe an example of how we begin to chip at these walls average Malaysians surround ourselves with.

Went to dinner with my parents and their friends at a place in KL frequented by a very middle age demographic. (Don't want to name names because Dad is a regular) A person/people at this dinner table very probably built and/or (depends on which building) own the building that your blogging ass is sitting in right this very moment, one is the MD of a listed holdings company, a former politician slash doctor/lawyer/dentist. All of them are very high profile people. People came up to greet and shake hands with the people at this table. (Including me! An engineer I was involved in a project with a few years ago came up to say hello.)

We talked animatedly about politics contrasted and compared politics in Australia and Malaysia. First, we agreed that all governments have corruption to varying degrees.
Second, the former politicians felt/feel like a slave to petty party politics- they felt it affected the direction of the nation TOO much. You could see the frustration in their face as they talked about it- but doubt that anyone put a gun to their head and threatened to kill them if they didn't toe the line, even if it was beyond the boundaries of common human decency.
Third the businessmen agreed that it was much harder to make any real money in transparent governments like Australia and the corruption and bureaucracy in Malaysia made them their fortune. That's true- we all know that every cent in every politician's allowance is transparent and accounted for in the very egalitarian political system in Australia.

Not an actual pic of the event above: just setting the scene.

I love dining with the older generation! I was happy that they included me and always spoke to me like an equal.


I went to The Gardens and met up for dinner with my old kaki from the 50490 'hood at the new avant-garde Alexis bistro. (You see, this time, I am naming names of places because the visual setting is important for the point which I will get to)

This time, yet again, the no-good (I jest, I jest!) guys left early because "takut bini". Heh heh I knew it. But the husbands of my friends were more than happy for them to stay out as long as they liked. (Well, some of those husbands are much older Dato's who are seldom at home, some still at work, one of them was at home with their kids- Whoa! That's because he's Mat Salleh.)

Anyway, I look around the room and this table stood out amongst the usual diners in these establishments: obvious foodie bloggers, table of all-female label whores/wanna-be's and dating couples. There was a table of guys and gals resplendent in their Hong Kong style trendiness. They spoke only cantonese. One of those guys, with his dyed hair and J-pop star wardrobe, was REALLY gorgeous. Around 6ft, nice body-muscular & not skinny, nice face. He was only two tables away. We could smell the Calvin Klein perfume on him.

Some visual cues of such HK chinese and Japanese hotties to help:
We all agreed and had a group-perve. One of us at the table, "J", was 100% chinese, but I've never heard her speak chinese maybe because she couldn't/wouldn't. I'm not exactly sure why. But get this: she was absolutely disgusted with the guy, the whole group. WHY?

J: I don't care if he's Brad Pitt under all that designer gear, cologne, hair colour and gel- he's still "Ah-Beng" garbage. Just look at the rest of his friends.
Us: *shock* I can see the stereotype, but it's quite possible that he's a person underneath all that.
J: I think I know what kind of a person that is: he likes imported cars, he loves canto-pop, he's chinese educated. Trash.
Us: *shock* Where did all this hatred come from?
J: I've been surrounded by it all my life. I hate it when people lump me into the same group as these people just because I'm chinese.
Us: "People"? What do you mean by that? We've been friends for many years and we've never thought of you in that way.
J: That's because I have always tried very hard not to be identified as too chinese.
*J gives us a few examples throughout the years that we've known her- and we nod and listen mostly because we feel some sympathy for her*

Can you imagine what it's like for "J", who has had to deny an integral part of who she is for fear of being racially stereotyped? I have a feeling some people actually know, because, come to think of it, I know lots of chinese friends who insist on being 100% westernized, dating outside their race and speaking only malay and english. It's scary.

1 comment:

NotHamsap said...

that's just sad isn't it? Chinese try to detach themselves to not being stereotyped.

Caucasians are trying hard to learn chinese but chinese themselves are trying not to speak chinese. Phew, what a depressing scenario.

well, at least I am proud to be a chinese and trying my hardest whenever or wherever I could. Trying not to be westernized in a western country. :)