Saturday, February 25, 2012


Facets of A Malaysian’s Life. Episode 1

It’s been a long day. I try to sleep, back leaning against the metal pole, half-hugging it as the carriage vibrates, try to close my eyes as the drone of the train goes on.


I open my eyes, hoping for a newly vacant seat. I’m beaten to it by two men, Burmese by the looks of them, who run into the train just as the BEEP BEEP BEEP of doors close.

Damn la.

Anyway, those look rather dodgy. Heh, when the Star reports about illegal immigrants being criminals, for all you know, its these two. Best keep my distance anyway, no big deal.

Next to them, a young Chinese man in a shirt and tie is sweating away, a file used as a fan. Opposite him, a group of Indians are talking animatedly to each other. Diagonally across, a Malay lady is playing with her Iphone. Angry Birds from the looks of it.


All look up as the door opens.

An elderly mak cik walks in, almost tripping over the tiny gap as she carries all her Mydin plastic bags, flimsily clutching her purse. She stands just by the door.

A few moments pass, they all look away.

Except the two Burmese men.

The two of them rise with alarming urgency- they begin to walk towards her, hands outstretched, fingers curved- ready in a grabbing motion. They reach for the bags.


Mak Cik is sitting on the train bench with her goods parked next to her. The two Burmese men are standing where she was, smiling and talking to the mak cik.

All look down- at Iphones, at files, at shoes. Anywhere but at Mak Cik.


The two men get off, mak cik waving to them as they leave.

Damn la.

Note: This is the first of an ongoing series of short stories on the facets of Malaysian life. Be sure to catch the next story, City of Cutlery next week.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! :D I agree, sometimes we stereotype--foreigners = thieves, robbers, cheaters etc. >.< And chivalry, or plain 'ol respectfulness, is almost dead in Malaysia :(