Thursday, 2 June 2011

getting used...

it's been nearly 8 months since i first step foot in sandland... after the first month or so, time seems to be whooshing by! it's summer now... today is particularly humid, with an average high of 44 deg c and average low of 33 deg c. and i just read in a magazine that when the air is humid, the weather will feel hotter than when compared to dry air on a higher temperature. the weather has been getting gradually hotter since a month back, so most of us are staying indoors more and more. ah, the blessings of centralised air-conditioning! :D

anyway, after so many months here, i've gotten used to:

1. people calling me m'am or madam
i used to feel so weird when my own colleagues (even those of higher levels than me!) call me that. but now, i don't  even think about it, coz i realized that it's their culture and something that comes naturally to them. much like us calling people "miss" or "mister".

2. inserting a tiny bit of arabic into my daily conversations

at the post office
clerk: madam, you have no small change?
me: mafi (arabic: don't have)
clerk: i also mafi...
me: sho hada (arabic: what is this?)
clerk: *hands me my receipt*
me: khalas (arabic: done/finish)?
clerk: khalas, madam
me: shukran (arabic: thank you)
clerk: afwan (arabic: welcome)

p/s: i also know some arabic words to scold people! but let's not go into that, ok? :P

without a valid driving license nor a car here, i dare say i've gotten pretty good at taking the bus and metro here. actually not having to drive is a good thing also. not only do i save a lot on petrol money, i also don't have to worry about parking when i go to some place unfamiliar. i don't even have to worry about my car getting dirty and needing a wash! :D

4. not worrying about food
with my meals taken care of, i no longer have to fan (canto: crack my head) about what to have for breakfast/lunch/dinner. just traipse down to the staff cafe and take what is served. of course, the food are all repetitive and tends to get "not very appetizing" after a while (mostly indian and arabic food, and not very tasty one at that!), but at least they're free and we don't have to think of what to eat everyday. however, i do try to cook something on my own during weekends, coz really getting fed up with the food.

5. filipino sales girls mistaking me as their kabayan (filipino: fellow countryman)
can't blame them actually, since i don't really look like a chinese myself, thanks to my maternal grandfather. so now i'll just do one of these:
a. pretend i don't hear them when they're calling out to me
b. say, "sorry?" when they're speaking directly to me
c. say, "hindi ako pinay" (filipino: i'm not a filipino) when the fancy struck me, just for the fun of it

6. not speaking much malay
back at home, we're so used to inserting malay words into our daily conversations, that sometimes we don't think twice about it. but here, i have to be careful not to do that, even though i still speak malay with a few of my malaysian and indonesian colleagues. but i've also taught my colleagues some malay words, such as makan (malay: eat). also, they've started using the lah, even when not talking to me! :D

ok lar, that all i can think of for now. good weekend to everyone! :)


Biow said...

wow, EIGHT mths alr?? that's sure fast.

Mona said...

glad you're adapting well there, sue.

stargal said...

biow, fast kan? :)

mon, yups, adapting well. but can't wait to be home in aug! :)

gina said...

I guess that's how people ended speaking their languages when you live with them. I have friends in Thailand, Japan, West Africa.. and they ended speaking their languages like locals. How cool is that? :D