I am obviously not of Malay or Asian descent. Shocker, I know. So whenever anyone wants to start a conversation with me, or keep one going, naturally the questions is “Where are you from?”, or more likely, “You are from…”. This sentence inevitably ends in Australia.
*crickets* I’m sorry. Do I sound Australian?? I’m asking in genuine excitement–that is perhaps the second coolest accent one can have. I’m thinking about making up a whole back story. Grew up in Melbourne…rode a kangaroo to school…had a dingo as a pet. It was a great life I had in Australia.
Beyond that, I have been so lucky to meet the nicest people here! I exude confusion, especially in the train stations, that attracts helpfulness, and I am SO THANKFUL for that. I would have gotten on the wrong train today had it not been for Mr. Jamil, who lived in America and served in the Vietnam War with his greencard before moving back to Malaysia. And I kept asking/looking frantically for which stop we were at (NO SIGNS) until one gentleman was kind enough (or more likely tired of my questions) to say that he was getting off at the same stop, and would make sure I didn’t miss it.
But mostly, the taxi drivers! Ohhh, the taxi drivers. You can either hit the jackpot with taxis, or whatever the opposite of that is. I’m not sure. For instance, I had one taxi who ever so graciously decided he no longer wanted to drive that far, and actually pulled over and kicked me out to find a new taxi. Priorities. Others have wanted to know if I’m single, and would I date a Malaysian, and my personal favorite “Do you think I’m handsome?”. However, in the middle are those who are just friendly, and want to talk. They give you their business card for future use, and tell you about the places you have to see.
Sam, today, invited me for wine at his house to meet his family. And if I’m still in the area on July 15th, I should certainly come to his daughter’s wedding. (She’s a teacher–he’s very proud.)
I like Malaysia. I like the commute that lets me interact with the locals more, and pretend that I’m independent, if only for a few hours. I like the meetings I go to and the people I interact with. Finally, I think I found something I could be really good at! So fingers crossed, you guys, that this keeps up and I’m able to keep improving at the job.
My new rule from the team is to be more positive (gasp), so that is my new outlook. Wearing my rose-colored glasses!