And so, the past 10 (!!) harrowing lessons culminate in tomorrow’s final test. I am utterly terrified.

I can’t say going to driving school hasn’t been a rather pleasant experience. Eye-opening! I’ve met and chatted with so many people from many awfully contrasting backgrounds, of all races. Some a mix. Haha. How cheesy, but a Multi-Racial Community (I hate this phrase) is really quite fascinating–especially when you consider their income group. After some thoughtful observation–watching the way they carry themselves, and finding out bits and pieces about the backgrounds they come from…what different lives people lead. And how unfair life can really be! Really. All these years, yet what would I know? Good school, good family, living in town, after that, to RJ of all places…what have I come to be familiar with besides my bubble of elitism and aircond and internet and textbooks?

I must say. So far, I feel the luckiest–no offence to anyone. I might rant on and on about how life is unfair to me but really. I wouldn’t trade places with any of them, and taking it in their context, I should be perfectly happy and grateful where I am.

(However, I will forget all that once I start worrying myself sick over applications and scholarships again)

Anyway. Singaporeans. You are lucky people too (: Those I know la at least.

People I’ll remember:
1. The Indian girl who conversed in Mandarin with me.
How ironic. Her Mandarin was more fluent than mine :p Well her mother is Chinese but I really couldn’t tell! I think some other learners were taken aback when she asked me how my pre-test went, judging from the looks we got haha.

2. The Malay girl who looks Chinese, and has a sister who is married to a Chinese.
Well. Need I even explain?

3. The Chinese girl from a Chinese sec school (NDC) who looked intimidatingly grouchy but turned out pretty nice. Though she has an intimidatingly deep voice.
Reminds my of my cousins and the awkwardness that ensues when I make conversation with them :S I just don’t gel with Chinese-ed Malaysians. Honestly. First of all there’s of course the language barrier. Then comes the gap in interests.

4. The Chinese boy whose background is probably most similar to mine (English-educated, skipped P4 and blah blah blah)
He watches South Park. What else is there to say?? 😛

5. The Malay boy from an elite Malay boarding school (Kolej Melayu Kuala Kangsar)
And by golly, could I tell the striking difference between him and his less…intellectually-inclined peers from the…underdeveloped areas of Malaysia. This is cruel, but true. He even laughs differently. He even GRUNTS differently. And there is a politeness and quiet confidence in the air he exudes that shines in comparison to those loudmouthed brutish posers that overrun that driving school.

There are others, but there is nothing too striking for me to write about.

Many of those I met go to local technical/vocational learning institutes, and a handful work as operators in factories. They obviously can’t speak English. They wear clothes like they are extremely fashion-conscious and are clearly aware of raging trends among their fellow…people. Realistically speaking, people who have to wear tudungs can’t like the same stuff as us so they have to develop their own fashion. I mean…tunics and minidresses?? I’m sure. Haha. And even then, there’s a huge difference between what high-end town/city people and kampung folks wear. Kimono tops v.s. loud-print shirts with atrocious spelling, leggings v.s. badly cut jeans…things like that. And the way they talk! The girls are perfectly fine, sweet even, but the guys swagger all over the place and whoop and catcall like their granddad freaking owns the land we step on. (Actually, that is kind of true. Lol) And the trademark loud, invasive RnB ringtones.

I actually wonder if they feel inferior or superior. The impression I got was that from the way they act, they are most likely on one or the other side of the spectrum. So I really feel that most of these young people are either ignorant or insecure.

But alright. Despite any reservations that I might hold about them, I think that those I talked to are genuinely amiable and caring people. It’s true, you know, they are really really generally more approachable and caring unlike us reserved and nose-in-the-air Chinese. I don’t know. Maybe it comes with simplicity in expectations.

But oh well. How interesting (:

What really struck me, in spite of everything, the niceties, the pleasantries, everything, was how separated I feel from them. They’re the kind of people whose existence, once I graduate and start on my bigwig corporate job or whatever, I expect to forget. They live in a world of their own, and I live in mine. Period. It’s rather disturbing, actually, that people co-exist without actually noticing that they co-exist. That people live and die, and when they meet in heaven or something, they’d probably go: now, what the hell are you?

But still. A good exposure to people different from me and you reading this, before I start uni and go back to hanging out with high-and-mighty intellectual people once more 😉 And I really wonder whether I’ll ever be having such encounters again.

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