Thursday, March 31, 2005

When in Rome..

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Easy enough to understand, right? It is also easy to follow. But some people just don't have the decency to follow the age long rule. When you are in a foreign country, respect the people there, by respecting their customs. But some people, particularly a person here in my student-apartment, doesn't know how to respect other people.

The place where I'm staying here on campus is called the International House. It's for local or international postgraduate students. In this International House (IH), there is a public TV room for students to watch TV, particuarly cable TV (ASTRO). The TV room here is also air-conditioned, meaning that one has the option of staying there to enjoy the cool air as opposed to the hot, humid and stifling air outside. As with any room meant for relaxing or lounging here in Malaysia, everyone takes off their shoes before entering it. But there are several idiotic and unrespectful female foreign cretins here, who choose to ignore the dozen or shoes outside the room and just simply walks in with their shoes on!!! These female foreigners (there are three of them), I suspect, are from arab or persian descent.

There is no notice on the door to the TV room that says everyone has to take off their shoes before entering the room, but can't this person see that other people there have taken off their shoes and have left them outside. It just takes common sense to see that shoes are to be taken off before entering.

My friend and I thought that maybe the culprits were blind or just didn't see the shoes outside. So my friend was going to tell them off the next time they came in with their shoes on. So, she did just that. two arab women walked in with their shoes on and my friend looked at one of them and said "Excuse me, could you please take off your shoes." I think we can all agree that the way she said that was quite polite. But the reply to that very polite request was extremely rude. This bloody rude woman said "So whatttttt (while rolling her eyes), you take off your shoes, so whaaaaatt. It's a public place, it's up to me if I want to take off my shoes or keep it on!"

How bloody, F*ing rude. My friend was fuming, she was stunned, i was stunned. We couldn't think of anything to say to such rudeness. I particularly found it offensive because, as a muslim, i've always been taught to respect others. Even other religions teach about respect for others. So why was this woman being so disrespectful?

She says that it's okay to do what she wants in a public place. So, I guess it's okay for me to go to her room and take her shoes in the corridor, which is technically in a public space and throw it, say into a drain or into a toilet bowl. If she complains, I'll say, so whaaaatttt, the corridor is a public place, so it's up to me to do what i like


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