Monday, December 17, 2007

Cafe Blogging

Here I am sitting snugly in a corner of a cyber-cafe looking for words to fill up the almost blank spaces of the screen in front of me. Not a word comes to my mind now. Well, not a word of what I had planned to jot, that is. Somehow, while driving to this CC here from my house - a mere kilometer or so - I received a call from a foreign student, one whom I met and befriended last week somewhere near KLCC. He called just to say hello and ask of my wellbeing. That's very nice of him. But now, I've lost what I wanted to put down here. Hmm...

Anyway, he goes by the name of Khaleed and is a Saudi but does not look like any Arab I've met; most Arabs I've met are big, burly and of fair complexion. This guy is thin, with slightly curly hair and trying to sport sideburns. Our meeting was rather strange, as I recall.

I was waiting for Azman outside the entrance of the KL Convention Center, and Khaleed was standing opposite from where I stood. Suddenly, a guy whom I initially cannot make out his origin, approached Khaleed and started talking to him in Arabic. Their exchange took several short seconds and then Khaleed took out his cell phone and dialed a number while at the same time he walked towards me.

Watching Khaleed's approach, my mind went like "Oh oh! I'm a stranger here." I mean, with KLCC filled to the brim with foreigners, I might as well be! And even as he steps nearer to me, he was already talking to the other end, with the other guy in tow behind me. When he stopped right in front of me, he put his hand out towards me - the one holding the cell phone. And you have to forgive me if, just for that single moment, I thought Khaleed was a Santa Claus in disguise! I mean, with Christmas around the corner, could this be my gift?

I took the phone from Khaleed's hand. Even as I did, he said "speak! speak!". Then I get the clue: he wanted me to speak to who ever is on the other end. Ok, and I so I said "hello!"

To cut the story short, Khaleed, the stranger behind him, and the stranger on the other end of the call, were all Arabs. Of the 3, only Bukhari, the guy on the phone, could speak English well enough. And the stanger...? Well, it appears he's an Arab too, but from Morocco, and was looking for the Moroccan Embassy. Heck! I don't where that is! But since they keep repeating something like 'arm-peng, arm-peng!', I gather they mean Jalan Ampang. Further initiatives by me to get the location or name of building avails to none...they could not understand. So, I just showed the general direction of Jalan Ampang, and off went the Moroccan with the confident look that he'll find what he wants by walking towards the direction where my hand was pointing. I know its sort of cruel to let him do so, but as the Negeri Sembilan people would say "tak dapak den nak tolong".

Anyway, I managed to get Khaleed into a conversation after that and found out his English was not as bad as he think it is. Perhaps, he was lacking the confidence to say it out. That's quite understandable. He is, after all, a student of that language in a college somewhere in KL. And as per normal, the incident had me thinking about the difference of life in foreign land compared to ours. Perhaps its also because Doc TA just came back from Egypt, or that I've long not set foot outside the country.

Then I found these picture/signs below that sum things pretty well. See if you can recognise or understand each meaning. I have provided clues on top of each and the answers are at the bottom of this entry. No peeking, please.

1. Intake.

2. Place of Intake.

3. Character.

4. Civil Custom.

Now, before I start jotting the answers, as were given to me in the text that accompanied the pictures, I would like to reply to a wondering mind or two on why I'm spending long hours in this CC.

First, this CC is not bad. Like all CC, you cannot escape having kids around for company. But, compared to the one I had use when I first moved into this area, this CC is almost like heaven.

Ok, the other is that emak's away for the night and that leaves me free to roam the night. Hah! That will be the day. Oops, I mean night. I've stopped such activities a long time ago, but it is kind of nice to do it once in a while. And no, I'm not taking a poll on this matter, please :) Though it would be nice if you could (click on 'poll' back there. Read it, then vote).

Ok. The answers to the picture/signs are:
1. Food, or what we have for during our mealtime. The picture on the left is supposed to represent Western culture of different kind of food at each meal time, while the picture on the right is supposed to represent Eastern culture of almost the same kind of food at each meal time. Basically, I guess its rice, rice and rice.

2. Eastern's noisy culture in a restaurang on the right, compared to Western's on the left. Hmm...don't quite agree here. But generally its true with mamak's shouting of "teh tarik, milo ais, mee goreng basah".

3. This, however, is sadly true for 6-7 out of every 10 Malaysians...punctuality!

4. This one? get the correct answer, all one have to do is look at any busy bus stops or terimal. Yup, our infamous queuing public, which leads to so many incidences of pickpockets and the itchy male thing. For the latter, you'd have to experience the queue to know what I mean. And to do that, you'd have to be a woman too! I guess, you know what I mean. You do, don't you? :)


Kerp (Ph.D) said...

ok first thing's first.

when i first read this entry, i thought you were about to be conned by them foreigners. no offense but these people can be slick and cunning.

and phewww...thats a sigh of relief bro. i'm bad with I.Q test and stuff, so glad you provided with the answers. even that too, i had to read more than once to fully figure why such answers. must be about ass-fondling huh...hahaha...maklum la, pukul 1. otak tgh biol ni ha..

Mior Azhar said...

Salam Shah,
If it was me, I'll probably walk away if some strangers, foreigners lak tu, approach me. Can never be too trusting nowadays.
And that IQ test (was it IQ test?) is rather intersting. It's just too bad that the ones on the right are representation of all things eastern (Malaysians?). Surely we are not not that bad as compared to the westerners....
Anywaya, I've tagged you... do blog over to mine to learn what eactly it is..

Kata Tak Nak said...

I have to agree with kerp and mior, these 'tourist' or 'students' especially from Arab African and Eastern European countries, could sometimes be deceitful. I personally know of someone, a female, who is currently in jail in a South American country on drug trafficking charges courtesy of these kind of people.

As for the graphics, like kerp, I am shit when it comes to iq tests.

cakapaje said...

Salam kerp,

Ok, you've given me an idea of what to write next: my true experience with nigerian black money, arab quick change, and conmen in kuching - locals!

As for the last picture, yup, that's what it is. And I do pity the women; many feel too embarrassed to bring the matter to attention.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Pak Mior,

Tang foreigners tu, I'll do an entry about that nanti ye. But...alamak! Another Tag! Ok, insyAllah I'll do it next when I come into this CC - my hard drive crashed and will take sometime for recovery...or a new one :(

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

Hehe...that's not exactly an IQ test :), I'm pretty bad at them too. Its just something I picked up in my email.

After I've done the Tag, thanks to Pak Mior, I'll do an entry on conmen - foreign and local!

tokasid said...

Salam Shah:

Its nice to have a new friend in Khaleed. And for him to call,asking u r doing, thats something bro. I think this Khaleed is a nice guy.

As for the diagrams( before looking at the answers:
blue corner- 3 person having a drink. @ had cold drink and the one in mid is having hot cappucino.
Red corner- 3 guys having teh tarik, nescafe tarik and kopi tarik.

2-Place of intake
Blue corner- cozy coffee house
red corner- mamak stall

Blue corner- ppl from Japan or Korea
Red corner- jam Malaysia

4-Civil custom
Blue corner-mat salehs lining up to board bus or buy tiket wayang
Red corner: woi!!! bas dah sampai!!!!

I got a new posting about jejak misri.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Doc,

Yes, I think Khaleed is a nice guy indeed! InsyAllah, I'll be meeting him and Bukhari sometime next week.

As for your answers, not bad, very close indeed! But I like the "woi bas dah sampai!" How typical of Malaysians :)

Fatin said...

Eid Mubarak!

cakapaje said...

Salam Fatin,

Eid Mubarak to you too! :)