Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Shoop shop Shoop

Question. Which Cher is the real Cher?



NEITHER!

But hey, that was an easy one.

So then, tell me this: Which one is male?


I wonder what its like making a living pretending to be someone else.

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Let me tell you what it is like to be a chinese girl shopping with three Bangladeshi men at Mustafa Shopping Centre.

I followed Nazrul (who flies off to Bangladesh foreva and eva in about 8 hours) and gang to Mustafa on a last-minute shopping spree.

In the first half hour, he spent S$1,500++ on gold jewellery. I told him, in all seriousness, that I never had that figure in my bank account.

"Go find a job. Lah."

Right.

Anyway, the most standard response of people (99% sales staff) was to assume that I just happened to be standing behind the group. They would lean out slightly to take a better look at me, temporarily ignore the first-come-first-serve rule.

"Hello Miss, can I help you?"

Even when it was too obvious, they still thought that it would be safer to assume that I was on my own. I was standing between them at a counter, admiring a radio ("Only battery. No current. My house have no current.") for 15 minutes. Then later, I asked the sales guy, "You're giving them a new piece right?"

"Er.. yes. What about you Miss? Can I help you? Are you here to buy a radio too?"

Receipts and change immediately get handed to me after transactions even though I was not the one who forked out the cash, or the one who made the inquiry. In fact, I don't recall speaking much.

I was also accosted with a series of questions by a rude-looking Chinese delivery guy.

[In Mandarin] "Eh so why you following them ah? You're their tour guide ah? Oh I know, you're here to make sure they don't run off right??? Hahahahhaa. But hor, if they want to run, you also cannot stop them."

Dude.

I replied as neutrally possible, that no, I was not their tour guide, or their chaperon, I was their "friend".

Later on, the chinese guy got ribbed about talking to me. The (indian) guy over the counter asked "Why? he disturbing you ah?"

To which I said, "No, he just doesn't think its possible that they have friends who look like me."

Which in all fairness, is a damn unfair thing for me to say. Who am I to belittle his astonishment?

Let that be my one bad deed for the day.

And also, all the Chinese sales staff felt an urge to talk to me in Mandarin. Which I totally understand. I don't talk to taxi drivers in English, for some reason, and I'm always embarassed when I meet one which doesn't speak either Mandarin or dialect.

Photos will be posted in erm... half an hour.

Also, I woud like to print out a sign which reads:

"Dear fellow neighbours of Block 512. I would like to offer my symphathy to all those who have recently been hit with a crippling disease. I understand that it is this disease that forces you to crawl the few metres from your house to the lift landing to deposit your rubbish, often not contained in plastic bags, often strewn messily all over the place. I know that this is something which you would never do if you had the full use of your two legs. After all, we all know that it is such terribly hard work for four guys to have to go to every lift landing of 30 blocks everyday to clear rubbish.

Get well soon! #09-69"

Now I just need someone to translate it into Mandarin.

2 comments:

Lars said...

Dude, indeed......

Tym said...

Okay, I didn't even know that very many Chinese people work at Mustafa's.

But it's all about people's assumptions, right? Like when my friend from the US was in town, he's Chinese-American, so we would be walking in the crowd and he would be saying something with an American accent and you should've seen the looks we got! Just because of the apparent incongruity between how he looked and how he spoke. Sigh.

I wonder what people wonder when I go out with my parents :P