I have to go get ready in just a bit so I thought I’d blog something before scooting off. Barely five minutes ago I was on the crapper and my mind wandered to a thought of this person I used to know and talk to all the time and she had since moved to Europe.
I grew up in a Malay household (I have to add ‘very Muslim’; I went for religious classes almost every day: 3 or 4 days were for Quran recitation and 1 was for learning the Islamic principles). I wouldn’t say I was or am religious but my parents made me go for all those classes. I enjoyed them.
I went to a local primary school, which had about 50 other Malay kids in my grade, and I was friends with maybe 3 girls. One of the girls’ parents and I still bump into one another from time to time, and we always exchange pleasantries and news. The rest of the Malay students I never really cared for and I could safely say they saw me as ‘weird’ or ‘quirky’.
Somewhere around May 2013, the Malay classmates from primary school had a reunion of sorts
(but it wasn’t a single event), and being naturally curious I turned up to all those gatherings. They had like 3 or 4 of those. I attended all.
I am sometimes easygoing. Easygoing meaning I don’t rant about work (which I think about, and am at, all the time) and I don’t think about whether I would be uncomfortable being seen hanging out with particular people (uneducated, Malay speaking, crass jokes sorta people).
Anyway to cut an unimportant story shorter, through my interactions with them I didn’t feel at ease because everyone was always talking about another person/other people behind their backs. We had a WhatsApp chat group with thousands of texts going back and forth each day. I can’t remember the topics because I would participate only when I was available, and sometimes I could not really follow. And I’m a smart person if I could say so myself.
Some of the things I didn’t like about people:
That sort of person who would one-up anyone. If you had to care for a sick cat, they had 2 sick cats plus an old hamster somewhere to care for. If you broke up with your boyfriend and were feeling a bit upset, you’d never understand the one time they were a passenger in their boyfriend’s car around Singapore, got kicked out of the vehicle, got dumped, and then ended up in jail the entire weekend. You have $20,000 debt, they have $50,000 debt. Their stories might not necessarily be true or even realistic, but trust them, they have had it worse.
I do this a lot with my friends. I see something I don’t like, or find hilarious and take a screenshot and then send to a friend and then we laugh at how mean we are. However, I don’t think I’ve ever taken a screenshot of what someone else has said about someone and then purposely sent it to the let’s say.. a victim.. (the person being talked about). It happened a lot and there were times I reacted negatively, and got all gangsta and “call me call me i’ll show you something to talk and screenshot about!!”. I have moved past this stage I don’t generally care about these things anymore and I refuse to join any group chats. Unless they’re about exercise or we’re related by blood.
Appearing Interesting or Successful
I have a friend who is currently experiencing some form of quarter-life crisis, and he is experiencing it in his early 30s. I experienced this crisis around the time I turned 19, and from ages 19 to 24 I went back and forth thinking about offing myself. These kinds of reunions aren’t good for certain people, because we blossom at different stages in life. In 2013 I was gonna turn 26, and I had not achieved any success in my professional nor personal life. I had nothing to show those people I went to school with 20 years ago. Because I am generally a straightforward person I didn’t really bother putting up appearances. If we were gonna walk to the coffee shop for Indian I would be in my jammies and tousled hair. I’d wear shorts to smoke with them. I generally didn’t talk about money. And then the people who kept up appearances ended up looking like frauds because people are mean. They will pull you off layer by layer and see you for who you are. Not because they care and want to know or understand your core, but because they have nothing better to do with their time, so they will mess with your life.
It was exhausting. But this is the Malay life.
I got sick of the whole charade, got out of the group chat, went back in a few days, got back out, deleted some people, and moved on by being wise about selecting who I would want to associate with. The Malayness of it all creeped me out, but I learnt some important lessons and chief of those is to not hang out with people I don’t like. Hehehe.
OK vamos baby I have to go.