exordinarily ordinary

A tail of a girl..

Monday, September 18, 2006

Superiority complex

There has been so much talk of inferiority complex, where someone always feel that they don't quite measure up, no self confidence if you wish. However, I've had my bouts of what I like to call superiority complex; where I feel that I am so superior, I would just ignore the people that I feel is inferior to me.

Hold your horses, I'm not being lan-si or class-consious. It is just a defense mechanism.

Example in point:
Last weekend, I met a friend's girlfriend, whom upon realizing that I am Malaysian, mentioned in all seriousness that I might eat her pet tortise. Then she asked me in all seriousness again if I had tried fish and chips yet. It was the first time in my life I was gobsmacked - is she for real???!

If I did not adopt the mantra that I am superior to her culturally-wise, exposure-wise and wisdom-wise, I would get really cross at her for being totally and completely racist and patronizing. I can't even credit her being ignorant due to the fact that she is a village girl and had no further education than O Levels (comparative to Malaysia's form 5). She had actually worked in Malaysia in my old company for 6 months, and being lucky enough to be afforded the chance of living in a different culture for 6 months, should realize and rejoice in cultural variety. I can say I do not know of anyone who had not had fish and chips before.Even my grandmother.

Now picture this. My beloved cosmopolitan KL vs. her small town farmyard with the nearest shops being 15 mins drive away. Who is the superior one now? Do I rib her for being so quaintly rural?I am not saying that farmers are thick or inferior, but I do feel just a tad boiling mad when small town idiots treat me like TingTong Macadongdong off Little britain; the stereotype example of a thai/philiphino/russian mail order bride. Hey, I don't even want to live here in the first place! I earn nearly double of what she earns -even whilst I was working in Malaysia and earning RM, still earned more than what she gets here. But she will always treat me as inferior to her farmyard-minded racisim

Her bf,whom me and Bacon met whilst he was working in Malaysia, being nearly as blinded as her, bought me some 'strange and wonderful' food to try. She started squealing because it is apparently 'disgusting' and utterly inedible. Guess what the strange and wonderful food was?

Good ol' american beef jerky (tasting deliciously like bah kua; chinese sweetmeat). Not realizing I had lived in California for 3 years - heck, I actually tried beef jerky whilst living in Bruxelles before I went over to california.

I don't think I'll be making that hike to hicksville to visit them again. If you've ever encountered racism - just remember, you are a better person than them, therefore it's just like leaving a mad dog to bark against a tree…barked long enough with no reaction,will realize that his racism is futile and stupid.

PS: I'm not sure if her blatant display of inconsiderate-ness is due to true racism or just pure ignorance - but since she's lived in KL for 6 months, is still unforgivable irregardless.

PPS: I also happen to think that most English are now sufficiently exposed to foreign cultures to embrace it rather than acting like a total schmuck being racist - this is not an attack or generalization of all English/British.

11 Comments:

Blogger mooiness said...

"Prease Mr. Dudrey, prease!" Hee hee.

You are right about the mad dog barking up against the tree. The best reaction is indifference, or mild disdain mixed with a little hint of boredom. ;)

9/18/2006 04:38:00 PM  
Anonymous LPC said...

I feel your pain... we just don't know what to do when people act or react this way. Where have they been? I now take a lot of the ignorance with some humour and a quick exit strategy.
When I was studying at UNC Chapel Hill many many years ago, I met someone (can't say who) who's from the Deep South, a self-made man, a from rags-to-riches story. He kept yelling at me and talking very very slowly but loudly, as if turning up the volume would somehow help my understanding of English. He rambled on and on which I was fine with, since I was tuning out... and then he asked, "So, I heard you're from Singapore. Where is Singapore in China? South or North?"

9/18/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger mishellz said...

O, I totally get what you meant regarding the 'if you're Asian especially of Chinese descend, you eat any animal that moves' stereotype. Its okay when it is really meant as a joke, but it gets to a boiling point when it is said so crudely with a disgusting facial expression included. Or ‘What, you can’t read Chinese?’ or ‘Heat shouldn’t be a problem for Asians’ etc. But I once knew an idiot who insisted that Thailand and Malaysia are in China. Dumb blonde syndrome?

9/18/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger sourrain said...

Moo/lpc:
It's frustrating isn't it, this craziness.I waver between wanting to whack them, laughing at them and just stare down at them.And it's not only 'migrants' who get this.

A british born chinese friend used to work calling customers over the phone, and upon hearing her impeccable english,would pause for a min,then congratulate her on her command of the language (due to her name being typically chinese).SHE WAS BORN ENGLISH!

I do find that mild disdain work perfectly.But she just left me so...speechless. At her stupidity,at her ignorance.

This is why when meeting new people Bacon like to (kinda) blow my trumpet by announcing what I work as and where I've been - it sort of quell some of the stereotypical picture of me with pigtails behind the local takeaway hawking Sweet n Sour chicken.

Another thing.I realize that alot of British/Americans do not have a good concept of geography - all they can think of SEAsia is Philiphines & Thailand (due to the vast abundance of erm, ladies of the night)

9/18/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger mishellz said...

lol..I just posted before I saw LPC's comment... That guy's American right? That so called dumb blonde is American, makes me wonder what do they learn in school.

9/18/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger sourrain said...

Thus my comment that americans/british don't have the best geography:)

BUT again, we should refrain making generalization of the whole country.this should not be a stereotypical picture, most americans that I've met previously are quite happy being corrected by me, that no,Malaysia is not indonesia nor thailand.

A good example would be loyal reader and part-time contributor Skippy, whose political comments of the world's leaders amazes me no end.

9/18/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aiya... Next time, bout the pet tortoise, yes you do eat them, boiled in fine herbs like "bouquet garni" as soups and the chinese has been eating it for centuries, and of course we are more sophisticated as our range of cuisine ranges further than fish and chips with anything with 4 legs. By da way fish n' chips wasn't even an english cuisine it was concocted by some jews who immigrated to the east ends yonks ago with left over fish fm the fish monger!!! And dun forget aso, potatoes was an import from south america, potatoes not native plant of engerland. All brits ate was sloppy gruel made from barley. Any encounter with some ignorant person likdat just stay away fm them. They are just the equivalent of ah lian but these days msian Ah lians are getting good open eye exposure, sophistication as they aso travel alot, thanx to air asia.

9/20/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Otto said...

I'd say in all seriousness, "Oh hell no... pet tortoises are nothing compared to the delicious yummies during birthdays, weddings and funerals. I come from a hilltribe somewhere far far away, not even on any map. These days, we no longer practice cannibalism of course.... but we do feast on thick people during wedding banquets."

There was a few times when people asked me if I was a mail order bride and my reply was, "Yes, mail order bride. Me happy here, cooking cooking for old husband... he old, die soon. You want marry me too?"

Works like good medicine each time.

Have to give the British some credit though. Majority of the people are fine, especially the older generation. The younger people in areas such as Birmingham and villages in Scotland are not as exposed to different cultures, so like you, I do practice my superiority complex too =)

9/20/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous alf-drey said...

i eat cats.

9/20/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger sourrain said...

The funny part is, even food that is relatively native/near enough to the brits are considered eeeew by a good portion of the brits.

Like faggots.Or scottish haggis.Or my cute pickled rollmop.They find me quite disgusting - eh, I'm only eating food that's native to them.

What I hate most are the people who likes to pretend that the meat they are eating do not come from an animal ; boneless skinless pieces.Not suprisingly, the ones i've met had all been british.I remember running around the hawker centre seeking for boneless skinless chicken dish for my exboss.Suffice to say, it was a failure.

I think it's just the people I meet that are oh so very ignorant. Its very much different in London.

9/20/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Otto said...

Sourrain,

You do know that it is your sheer duty to highlight their ignorance like a torch in the night? I do it all the time. Perhaps that explains why I havea "HATE OTTO" campaign going on. But heck, it saves me from emotional baggage. Keep the precious and trash the garbage.

I asked Alex what he would do in your weekend social context. "Don't ever visit them again," Alex said, then shrugging his shoulders in the most nonlanchant manner.

9/21/2006 09:46:00 AM  

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