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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

frog under a glass

"Seperti katak di bawah tempurung"

You know what that is? Its an old Malay proverb. Directly translated, it means "like a frog below a coconut shell." Yups, coconut shell. No, my title was not a typo. I'll get to it in a bit. Anyways, that proverb is used to describe country bumkins -- people who are not exposed well to their surroundings. People who do not have a common general knowledge of stuffs around them.
Why?

The story has it that there is a family of frogs living under an old coconut shell. They have never left that coconut shell before. Water seeps in from the sides after the rain, and food is in abundance with loads of flies and mosquitoes around. Heh. That coconut was probably in somekinda rubbish dump or something.

Anyways, one fine day, the young frog wanted to go explore his surroundings. He hopped around just a while until he saw a cow. Now, obviously he had never seen another living creature before besides insects and frogs, so he didn't have a clue that a cow was in fact a cow.

He scurried back home to his coconut shell and reported his findings to his father. His father, being the oldest and supposed wise one, had never seen the cow before. He couldn't lose face in front of his kids. So, when the young frog told his father that he saw a monster frog, the father asked, "How big?"

The father then breathed in a lot of oxygen and puffed himself up until he was 2 time his original size. Then he asked the young frog, "Was he this big?"

"No. Larger"

The father frog puffed in again till he was 3 times his orginal size. "Was he this big?"

"No. Larger"

Father frog puffed in again till he was 5 times his original size. "Was he thi-"

BOOM! The dumb ass frog exploded himself cause of a small matter called air pressure.




I think that that proverb was very suitable for discribing sheltered people. In other words, or actually in my words -- stowns. Stowns is actually a term I use to describe Small Towners. Hah. City folk always make fun of stowns anyway. So, as a tribute, I even gave them a name.

Anyways, language hass to change with time. Certain words which were used back then are not appropriate these days. Like saying, "John is having sex with Mary." Nobody says that these days. Its simpler and more in trend to say, "John is fucking Mary." You get the idea, I hope.

So, that proverb "katak dibawah tempurung" isn't really suitable these days. Cause these days, save the odd few, most people have been to the city and seen things. Most people have access to the Internet and newspapers bring word of the outside world. So, while in the past, people could blame their ignorance on the lack of exposure, most people can no longer do that.

Especially the city folks -- they have no excuse. Which is why the new term of "katak dibawah gelas" comes in. It literally means "frog under a glass". Why? Cause a glass, unlike a cocunut shell is transparent. The frog can see all around. But being frogs, and stupid ones, they still remain oblivious to the surroundings and the changes around them even though they are constantly exposed to the news, even though they are surrounded by those changes. These frogs have very bad general knowledge and ought to be shot.

I even know of a Form 3 kid who didn't know what National Service was. I mean, fuck you kid. Its something that involves you and you ain't even heard of it? What the fuck?

I actually know a lot of such frogs.

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