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Monday, July 26, 2010

Stare, stare, and Glare

July is a busy month for me; and things have been very crazy where I have been running around (as in traveling) and moving out.

It was yet another weekend in town, for a training and also on a personal reason; moving stuffs home.
After all that hustle bustle, we snuck out for a Sunday in IKEA, since it was on sale. (The whole Malaysia was on sale since 24th July; Saturday).

It was not a quiet Sunday in that area as well, and parking was like fighting for breathing space!
We were lucky enough to find a parking space in time, and we made a beeline straight to the IKEA cafe for a very late lunch.

Lucky us again as we managed to find a good spot (well, I found that spot) and we settled down. My parents helped us booked the seats while we went over to grab the food and drinks.

We started our meals; and there was this Malay couple sitting next to us while as usual, there were people standing and waiting for seats around (what's with all these people anyway, I can't believe the crowd at that hour of the day - it's almost 3pm, are they still looking for lunch?)

The Malay couple was done with their food and soon, their places were occupied by these three people; Chinese; a pregnant woman in her early thirties who sat diagonally opposite me and her mother and father(or maybe in-laws; well, they are an elderly couple in short) sat side by side next to my mummy.

They watched us eat; and my brother (who was facing the old man) was telling us how that old man kept staring at him and in fact, at all of us.
We were joking that they were just so weird and were they plain hungry?

The pregnant woman was also staring at my mummy and me, and we were starting to get uncomfortable (or I was the one getting uncomfortable).
It was as if they couldn't wait to shoo us out of our seats!

It got a little annoying to be frank; as we had desserts, and my parents were also elderly folks and my mummy couldn't eat fast.
They kept staring at our plates and watching us, and they seemed to be pretty sure we are leaving.

We chatted for a while, and mind you, we are NOT deliberately keeping the seats, but my parents just wanted to drink coffee, have the cakes and not in a hurry.

The woman and that old man stared non-stop and I couldn't help watching how that woman kept looking whenever one of us got up from our seats to refill coffee or tea.
It was really annoying!!!!

I felt they were kinda rude, and at the same time, I think they were just hoping we get out of there fast enough.

The rest of my family was not really rushing, but I always felt uncomfortable and I worry about keeping people waiting.
I know, I shouldn't, because we were not keeping the space for nothing, we still had food and we need to finish them.

When the guys went off to refill coffee, the pregnant woman started talking to the two old people in Cantonese and in a loud enough voice which I am sure she meant for it to be heard.
She was trying to explain to the old man that it is common scenario in KL where you always have to wait for everything.
Oh ya, she made it deliberately clear and she kept saying about having to wait and wait and how you just need to be patient.

I was feeling that she was being rather RUDE and inconsiderate herself, I mean, what on earth are you trying to pull?

Just as we were finishing, we saw a foreign couple who seemed to be having a bit of an argument looking for a seat and we decided to offer our seats to them.

My Dad beckoned to them and they looked grateful.
We got up from our seats, but my mum was still trying to finish her coffee.
At this point, it was only my mum left; she really couldn't finish it fast enough and it was HOT.

I told her to hurry up, I was the last one standing near my mum and at this point, I spotted the woman GLARED at my mum.
YES, she GLARED like my mum was some kind of mortal enemy to her and she kept having that look on her face that seriously, I can even remember until this moment.

I am always uncomfortable when people get nasty, but I felt angered at that look she gave my mum.
It was as if they think my mum was taking her own sweet time finishing her coffee or that she was probably pissed we gave up our seats to someone else?

I don't know, but that glare coming from a pregnant woman was really shocking and it was like some kind of visual confrontation.
I stared at her as well (not glare) and she looked at me, then glared at my mum and gave us all a look (as in my family).

I don't understand, have we really done something wrong?
I felt bothered by that incident, I know, silly me but I just can't understand why people do that, let alone, someone who is about to be a mother.

How could you GLARE at people like they were guilty of some hideous crime???

I tried figuring out where we went wrong (yeah, and I always wonder where I get the stress from!)
1. Did we deliberately keep the seats?
2. Did we take up too much time?
3. Should we not give up the seats to the foreign couple?

Yet at the same time, I thought
1. No, we sat there first and we were finishing our food
2. No, we have elderly folks too, and how can you rush five people to finish their food fast??
3. No, it was an act of kindness and to resolve a probably domestic argument (the husband was really annoyed with the wife for not finding a place first).

The key to the whole thing and how it could have been friendlier was that the woman and her folks could have just done this:

Yes, simple as that, they should not have looked that hostile and like our places belonged to them in the first place.

As we were finishing, they could have also talked nicely to us, and just simply ask us whether we would mind keeping the seats for them.

It is just as simple as that, but no, they chose the barbaric or rather their so-called subtle way by being sarcastic and incredibly rude to our folks.

My mum told me she even overheard the old man said while she was finishing her coffee, "I hate people like that, giving up seats to ghosts (rude Cantonese way of referring to foreigners) who do not speak our language"

I mean, are we seriously being such racists?

I don't know whether we are right or wrong, but I don't think we were very wrong after all.
It was perhaps a better choice to have given up our seats to people who deserve them more and are more cultured!

Tell me your verdict, and what you would have done had it been you in this situation