2 January 2006


The second day of the year. Has a nice ring to it. Some noticable changes and some that will never change. Like my broadband service. For the past few weeks, it's been on the blink. Goes off when the rain gets too heavy. Today was the worse. I'm crossing my fingers that it won't get cut off before I have a chance to post this.

Living in a semi-developed country does have its perks. What are they? Well, if you were educated abroad or have parents that stressed the importance of learning English, then it'll be easier to travel. If you weren't as fortunate, then I hope you listened to your teachers in school. However, Malaysians still speak the language...no no no, they don't speak it. They pretend they don't understand you and speak in Malay. Funny isn't it? You can walk straight up to the counter at McDs, place your order in English, the girl behind the counter feigns indifference, looks at you funny, answers you in Malay and still manages to give you exactly what you ordered. The expats here must be having a whale of a time!

But, for those of us who have had the amazing opportunity of seeing the world, we understand that language is never a barrier. Children don't care what you say to them as long as they know the care and love that comes from you when you hold them. Hello is hello in most languages.

I have some 'friends' that constantly complain of dealing with malaysians that don't properly, or can't, speak English. Okay dude, get a grip on yourself. We were lucky we had parents that helped. The education system only encourages teachers to teach the kids of today. But we all know for a fact that English isn't as important as Maths, is it? It's that whole Borrow-Lend debacle that gets my goat. And let's not even start on grammar.

Well lets. A little girl named Judith showed me her homework book. Her teacher made the class draw a series of pictures and then describe them in words. Not only that, they had to write this descriptive sentence 5 times for each picture. The picture Judith drew was of a tree sprouting from the ground. Her sentence was, and she was given a 'very good' marking, 'The tree still not grow yet.' I told Judith it was incorrect. She was puzzled. "But my teacher said correct what? Can you borrow me your pen so I can write it down properly?"

I told her mother and we both had a good laugh. It seems she's at tethers end explaining to her kids about the borrow-lend concept.

Yes, it's tearjerkingly painful what our kids learn in schools in Malaysia. Why? Because they're not going to understand the Aussies and the Brits. Have you seen a Malaysian struggling with the man behind the deli counter at the market in Selfridges? It's a sight to behold.

And what is this 10 subjects minimum for SPM (our O Levels)? Oh, I don't know anymore. We, the system, stress the importance of education. And what is this stress really for I ask you?

Tomorrow I'll be calling Telekom about my broadband disruptance. It will be a very long call. The operator will be speaking in Malay and I will be speaking in tongues.

So, as long as I get my Happy Meal, I'm happy. Ya, large boleh...Large lah...LARGE...Besar? That's all.


Josephine San said...

Hi Edwin..really enjoy reading your blog. When I read about the speaking in Eng, but got answered in Malay thingy, so so true... well, guess this is the beauty of malaysia??

Nyway, was at the Actorlympics on Sunday afternoon and was thoroughly entertained. Laughed until i cried at certain moments..Was a great treat to get all 9 of u guys on stage. Great Job!!!

lishun said...

why why why was actorlympics held right before my exams? why?!

btw, i believe telekom has an "english" option now. and the operators on the other side are fantastic. wish i could say the same about the broadband services.

mufee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mufee said...

y did i delete that?
yeah.. so i cud yap bout how annoyin 'manglish' is.. the day is say 'la' or 'wei' i do wow to throw myself off the building..

mayb thats where the root of the problem lies.. 'can also..' omg!! n pple dont realize that its wrong.. if u were to c ur elders speaking in that way, u r gonna change yeah?

but i disagree wit the non english speakin customer service.. ( i wonder if 'customer service' exsists in malay at times.) im not malaysian.. n saya faham sangat sikkit bahasa melayu.. n i flunked my BM exam.. hehe but iv no problem gettin around..
everyone... from the LRT station dudes to the pasar malam guys to my broad band service.. they v all bin helpful in the language dept. :D

all u gotta do is smile.. :)

Edwin Sumun said...

yes, all one has to do is smile... I do most of the time. I still get funny looks. Who knows? Maybe the girl behind the counter is having a bad day.

Customer Service does exist in our country. The question is whether the concept is well and truly understood.

good on ya mufee! I'm glad you're seeing the bright side of life here.

smiles always.

I called Telekom today. When they have the time, they will come sort out the static on the line. Until then, free wi-fi at the coffee stops.

Thoughs and Trails of Vithya da Babe said...

my dear darlin edwin.. it's been so long... i've just updated my blog.. and the reason i haven't blogged since august is coz i shifted over 2 friendster.. btw, do u have friendster? but now, friendster seems like not the place to blog personal stuff.. so all the personal stuff go here :)
Edwin, wat's ur hp no? have u kept in contact with any1 frm Rep16:21? My number is 017-3399583

We should have a gathering soon since syat n all r down...

Do hit me back

Missing u "Daddy"


Edwin Sumun said...

Before anyone jumps to any conclusions about the use of the word "daddy," I had the extreme pleasure of working with a group of teenagers a number of years ago. A theatre workshop of sorts and some of them decided to call me daddy. I guess I must've left my mark on them.

No, Vit, I haven't seen anyone since. I hope everyone is doing well. If I'm not mistaken, David and a few friends started a youth theatre company.