The people here, I dare say, are really friendly and nice. Knowing they have so much respect, care and concern, they always look on to you with a smile bringing little topics that soon divert to more details. I was on a jog and I met this group of old men sitting down having tea. As I greeted them, the first thing they asked “Jogging ar?” and I was like, “What do you think I’m doing? Swimming with the dolphins?” Haha! So I just nodded and soon that greet turned to them asking me more of myself, where I am from etc. It was a brief moment of getting to know the people around that soon led to acknowledgement and understanding. I mean, isn’t that the Malaysian way? While you are eating, someone you know or barely know who wants to start a conversation asks you “Eating?” and instead of “No, I’m drinking!” we nod and hence a conversation takes place.
It is funny how we Malaysians sync so well by asking the obvious question only to start a conversation. But, in a way, it introduces a sense of warmth and welcome to allowing us to feel less insecure in starting a conversation with a person we barely know. It gives us a sense of accomplishment in a way that we are introducing ourselves indirectly, and while this is a good thing, it could also spell something bad. You see, people respond to courtesy and cheerfulness. And beneath that smile or handshake is something hidden with an agenda. It could be a lure to some unfortunate event and when so much crime is decorating our headlines, we think twice to respond to such warmth. Sometimes we ignore their gracious acts. Sometimes we just nod and move on, giving an excuse to escape. At other times, we just reject them with such certainty.
And hence, what is made out of it? Do we accept or do we reject?
Do we accept kindness and repay their deeds, but facing the risk of welcoming hidden agendas?
Or do we reject forcefully ignoring the honesty and purity of such hospitality?
I only have one explanation to this. Test the waters and if it is safe, take a dip. And when it isn’t, move away. And when you are not sure, play safe. The last thing we need is a raging crocodile.
I hope you get what i mean.