Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Language Barrier

I hate waiting and so do many people on this planet.

Do you believe that on the other side, waiting can bring a good thing? How’s it possible?


It’s such a sunny day. I accompanied Mom to a branch of Bank Rakyat near the Paya Keladi Shopping Centre. I stopped my motorcycle right in front of the bank. I thought Mom wouldn’t take too long but I was totally wrong. I had to wait for her nearly 1 hour! Oh my God, I swear I do hate waiting! Nobody likes, anyways.

Dunno what to do, I just looked around. Many walking people came from various ways, from the north, the south, the west and so on. My eyes moved wildly like a beggar looking at those walking people with diverse characters. Indescribably boring! There’s a premise in front of me which was under construction. The workers looked hardworking enough cos I saw how sweaty they were. Macam orang dah mandi hujan pulak!

Then, I observed a couple of sellers, a married couple selling ‘rojak buah’. Agak terliur sebenarnya memandangkan perut menderita kelaparan. They’re ever so diligent and maybe they have children who’re still schooling, who knows? And that’s their work to keep surviving. At least, it’s a halal (legal) job although no air-cond. This kinda job requires a very energetic and patient person as it demands a lot of sacrifice. Their daily sale relies much on how many customers bought what they sold.

I saw two women selling miscellaneous items of handicraft such as man-made baskets, wooden, carved clocks and a lot more. I felt so proud of them. They worked for survival. They don’t get involved in crime, praise be to Allah (alhamdulillah). I was slightly attracted to the way they did the selling. Through my observation, I enjoyed the moment so much.

Shortly, there’s a group of Australian tourists who approached them. The old Australian lady seemed fascinated at the beautiful man-made baskets. I found the language barrier caused the sale process to meet a little predicament.

At the same time, a lady about 35 happened to pass them by. She suddenly returned and came approach the selling ladies. Oh I see, she actually came for help. She spoke English with the Australian tourists. Even though she didn’t speak that fluent, it’s alright. At least she could speak English. Ada berani?

What’s more interesting was her self-confidence and courage that maybe it sounds somewhat complicated to find a Malay in the city having such characteristics. I saluted the lady! I praised for her self-assurance. Her intention was really nice. Oh, by the way, I overheard the conversation between the lady and the tourists.

Lady: “From where?”
The tourist: “Australia.”

It’s fine whether she spoke Manglish. I know she’s supposed to ask “Where do you come from?” or “Where’re you from?”


In this case, it’s proven that English mastery really matters! Of course, it doesn’t make sense if I suggested that the sellers learn English. In reality, many people don’t realize its significance until they’ve undergone such a situation themselves. Yes, I used to read some people’s experience that were quite similar to thisstate of affairs’. Indeed, they’re amongst the most excellent English learners today and I’m not lying!


I remember the news I watched on TV recently and very surprisingly the interviewee pointed out that the Malays are rich of courtesy.

That the Malays are rich of courtesy makes me proud of my own nationality! Thank you the MALAYS for ‘inventing’ this incredible record!


Post a Comment