Wednesday, August 24, 2005
here...let me explain
Long long ago, when I went to Thailand, I wanted to buy a (fake) Manyoo jersey. At the shop, the Thai dude told me that it would cost me 2000 baht. I looked at him, let loose a little snigger, and told him that I would pay him 200 baht, no more. He smiled back at me, nodded and handed me the jersey. Labels: malaysia
A couple of years ago, I went to Rome. Outside the Colosseum, there were a couple of fat Italian guys dressed as Gladiators. Tourists, being tourists, we went up to them and asked if we could take pictures with them. Sure, they said. After taking our snapshots, those two dudes proceeded to ask us for 10 euros each. We argued, politely, that they never told us. They argued that we never asked. Biting our teeth, we managed to settle for a fee of 5 euros. We learned an expensive lesson and let it be.
There is also the story of the extremely rude Czechs, and the taxi driver in Paris who charged us 1 euro per luggage we had (including plastic bags totalling up to 8 euros). In fact, I could write 5 long articles describing all the times that I got conned, or badly treated as a tourist. But I never did, and I don't intend to because it would be an insult to the country and its people. When you go travelling, you have to learn to respect the culture and the behaviour of the people. If you feel like complaining and comparing it to home, then stay home. Because NOTHING WILL EVER BEAT HOME.
Here's another word of advice. Do your homework before visiting another country. I was not offended by the bad service of waiters and museum staff in Czech Republic (I did make fun of them though). Every travel guide book you read will tell you that they are in general aloof and lazy(thanks to all those years of communism). So, we just accept it as part of their way of life. Similarly, any guide book (and any Malaysian, if you care to ask) will tell you to stay as far away as possible from Malaysian cabs. So, if you never did your homework, whose fault is it?
Back to the story with the Thai fella with the jerseys. IF I had paid 2000 baht, and I didn't know the actual price......wouldn't that be my fault? Petaling Street is cheap. For Malaysians. If you weren't clever enough to bargain....whose fault is that?
Now..if you go to Arab, you don't go around wearing shorts, rite? Similarly, if you are in Malaysia and go around visiting Petaling Street with your face plastered with make-up and what-nots, you automatically get categorised under the 'ahlian' section and people discriminate you. Geddit?
Oh....and common sense tells you that if you are in a foreign country and don't speak the language, don't be a goddamn hero trying to scold everybody who pissed you offed, ok?
I know Malaysia has awfully dirty toilets.
I know our AhBengs cheat tourists (and stupid locals).
I know our taxi drivers are scum.
I know that the rest of our public transport sucks.
I know that our police are corrupt.
I know that our tourist attractions are not well maintained.
I know that tourism wise, we are way behind all the other countries I have been to.
I know we have a shit load of flaws.
But it's still my country, it's our way of life and I goddamn love it.
If you cannot respect that, then please stay the fuck away from my country. Thank you.
suanie : Ah..come come. Hug hug.
I love my country too despite their shit load of flaws (so you said) =)
Sunshine, you so made my day!
I love KL so much that the minute I go home and my leg heals, I'm gonna:
- go down to KL and take a deep breath of that hazy gift from our neighbours;
- go down to Petaling Street and buy me some B-grade items and get the (next) best bargain in my life by haggling at the top of my lungs (I say next because shopping there cannot beat shopping in India-lar :P);
- go down to Midvalley Megamall, One Utama, and Sunway Pyramid to do some serious shopping (OK-lar, last two in PJ, no?);
- and I will do all this courtesy of the LRTs, the public buses, or the kind generousity of friends who don't mind me piggy-backing - staying clear of the cab drivers.
kimberly : The comments made by Malaysians? You ain't seen nothing yet.
maggie : What? I only get an imaginary hat? No real ones?
xxfan : Game over? You know...a pacman machine said exactly the same thing to me last time.
I would say is, the country may be good in some thing, but it doesn't mean the bad will be blinded.
the bad means it is something that should be improved. But the damn thing is authorities doesn't give a shit regardless how we complained.