Sunday, December 28, 2008

From A Stranger Vol. 2 (Malaysians Are Friendly)

Malaysians should be proud speaking Bahasa Melayu.

The setting took place in KL Sentral early this year, when i was eating Cachos outside the building while waiting for a friend.

I offered my Cachos to the Mat Saleh next to me. He refused.

Then I asked,
"Where are you going to?"

He replied slowly. It was not clear but I knew the sound was familiar.

"Pardon me?"

Again I can not hear him clearly.


"Balik rumahlah!"

I was pretty sure he was a Mat Saleh, only with black hair.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Sweet Talk Ain't That Sweet.

When the director of INTEC took the responsibility to be our new English lecturer, due to mass failure in AS English examination in May 2008, she forced us to read a lot. Her action led me to an article about how people, especially children, tend to misunderstand the message that the other people try to deliver.

For example, there's a situation where a boy asks his mother to buy him a new toy soldier. The mother doesn't want to buy another toy for him, because she thinks they are not suitable for his growth, as he will become more and more playful. So she tries to find excuses. Dozen of excuses she might think of but here i state the most common excuses that will come to our mind.

1) I don't have money to buy that for you.
2) You already have like a lot at home, and buying that will be such a waste. It makes another soldiers sad.

The first excuse will make the boy to think that money is everything in the world, while the second one will make the boy to understand that wasting isn't a good value. He too will learn how to appreciate.

We have to be wise playing with words. Like when flirting, sweet talk is necessary (beside appearance) to achieve a high-rate success. 

But unfortunately this communication skill is not easily installed in everyone, so there always comes problem in communication.

What Language Did You Just Use?

We always didn't say the things we had in mind.

I had seen an accident that made me thinking. There was a family of four: the father, the mother, and their two sons (a baby and a toddler).

The toddler was let to walk freely and he enjoyed the moment of freedom, the freedom the parents barely gave it to him. The mother watched over him while the baby was cradled in the arms of the father.
Suddenly the toddler stumbled and fell. the father, like a typical father, stood still and maintained his coolness while the mother quickly went and got her little child, and scolded,

Macamana jalan ni! Sampai boleh terjatuh!)

Not knowing anything but the pain the child cried, maybe he was sad after getting scold by his mother. I kept wondering how the mother felt if the child could ever answer (of course the child can not be as defensive like this, due to their age),

"i don't know how but certainly i walk like what you've taught me to. Remember? Tatih. Tatih."

There are many ways for parents to show the love to their children. I'm not a sexist but I'm on the father's side. Silence doesn't always mean you don't care. If you fall you have to stand up yourself.
I think the best way are to calm him down, and to help him stand up again, and to give him another chance.

Don't get angry over silly things. The boy doesn't ask for that. Maybe it's just the habit of a mother to babble.

Apparently the mother is worried. She doesn't intend to say that but it just came out of her mouth. After all she just cares.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

From A Stranger Vol. 1 (Malaysians Are Friendly)

Basically the summary is I hardly get a D for chemistry in every test I've took. I remember me as as a good student for this subject back then in my high school. In college everything but the language is pretty much the same but it's more complicated and comprehension seems much more harder to me.

Try flashing backward while you are aiming forward. We maybe have the answer for our problems.

In 2005, on a bus heading to Melaka from my hometown, I had to sit next to a Mat Saleh. As the result of having a narrow list of English vocabulary in his mind, a typical 16 year old Malay boy like me would try his best to avoid any conversation with any foreigner. At first I closed my eyes, pretended to sleep and ignored the tourist but the guy in front of me warmly greeted him and asked banal things like "How are you?" and "How do you do?" in Terengganu slang, which made me looked bad, or unfriendly if I continued to sleep. He might be have a perception that Malaysian were not as friendly as stated in the tourist guidebook. That moment I really was having a hard time gathering words and motivation to speak in English to the tourist. I barely cramped my jaw trying to start the conversation.

These are some part of the conversation with the Mat Saleh :

Me : Do you enjoy your trip here?
Mat Saleh : Well I do. Actually I just arrived here. The people are nice. They smile a lot. I'm not used to the climate though.
Me : Ouh. Me neither, though i was born here. It's too hot. Haha.
Mat Saleh : You speak good English. Can other people, in Malaysia, talk in English like you?
Me : ....(Babeng..Mat Saleh ni kutuk aku ke ape..) No. But surely most of Malaysian are better than me.
Mat Saleh : I mean it. You are good. Maybe you are just lazy.

Well that was inspiring from a stranger.

Chem-is-try. So try harder. Human body consists of 60% water, but now i'm thirsty.