Thursday, April 07, 2005

Background

Earlier today I went to an Indian restaraunt. I was the only matt salleh in the place.

Now I sit in a coffee shop. I hear bits and pieces of Mandarin or Hokkien. Not that I could tell them apart, I just know that's the main dialects that the Chinese speak here.

I also hear bits of Bahasa Melayu. I do understand some of that but not enough to follow the conversations.

Once in a while Tamil is blurted out. It sounds nothing like the other languages.

Chinese business men surf with their wireless computers (as do I) and their headsets on. They break into English sporadically on the phone "I will check with my client.. bla.. bla.. bla...this, that or another."

Muslim women walk by donning their tudongs. Indian Women walk by in stylish skirts. Again, I am the only matt salleh in the place.

I don't ever remember going to a part of America that is predominantly another race (say, a black or hispanic part of town) and feeling comfortable. I dare say that the reverse is true. I bet if I were a black man and went to the pubs that I normally go to in the states I'd feel weird and out of place if not threatened.

That makes me sad. So much for the 'Land of the free'.

I am sure there is a lot of good culture to be experienced in the states that is somehow locked out of my reach by invisible rules.

My wife and I have no desire to live back home in Georgia. Interracial marriages are not as well accepted there, especially outside of the Sodom and Gomorrah of Atlanta and Athens (yep! some people actually see the cities that way in GA!).

What to do?

Sit here in KL, enjoy the coffee, hear the babble of conversations, blend into the background and watch life march by in its myriad of beauty and diversity.

-Matt

1 comment:

Callan said...

Gosh, this makes me miss being abroad. It's a beautiful spring day in DC, so I can't complain -- the cherry blossoms and 70 degree weather, bright sun, bikepaths full of people shaking off winter lethargy. Hmmm.