Monday, July 17, 2006

Swearing And Driving

That birthday party really took out all the steam off me that I was quite unable to do anything or cook anything much in my kitchen even after three days of ‘rest’. But now, I think and hope that I’m back to normal for I am typing this quite speedily and without any breaks so I suppose that means that my mind is functioning again. Back to normal, I guess!

And perhaps also it is because of something that happened today that made me feel totally annoyed that I had to write something in this blog.

Apasal lah perempuan hitam ni semua kurang ajar??

Of course, I'm generalising. But at this moment, it does feel that way. I have refrained from writing in this blog about a previous incident I had with these people because I was afraid that people would call me a racist or even, from a different perspective, 'a pushover' because of that previous article I wrote about me being ‘bullied’ at my son’s school. But I cannot refrain myself any longer. Twice now I have been annoyed as such by them and I think I should do something about it. Yes, indeed!

Once I've written about it here, somebody will know, at least, of what I feel.

As if that might help...

It was raining heavily. My husband ran to our car while my sons and I waited at the entrance of the supermarket with a trolley overflowing with bags of our weekly shopping. My eldest was hungry. It was 6 pm and he always takes his dinner at half past five and he’s starting to act up a bit – he usually does that when he’s tired and need to refill his tank after a tiring day at school.

After a while my husband came up to the front of the entrance but too many cars were also there to pick up their family members and friends who were also waiting, like us, to load their shopping into their cars without getting too wet. Thus, my husband had to move on further to the side of the supermarket where there was some space for him to park and the awning of the entrance still stretched that far so we could still safely load our kids and shopping without getting wet.

Only, there was a small car blocking the threshold between the entrance doors and the side of the supermarket where our car was parked.

Obviously, the people in that car was also trying to load their stuff without getting wet and their small car fitted quite nicely there while they loaded their stuff. That’s fine with us, of course, after all we could very well understand their need to do such a thing – who could not in such a weather? But then they went inside their car and 5 minutes later, the car was still parked there.

Blocking our way. Specifically, blocking our trolley’s way – all of us could have passed through beside the car without any problems at all but our trolley needed a few more inches of space to be pushed through without scratching that car. My husband got out of the car and was handling the children who, as I said, were not exactly behaving themselves and so it was I who had to ask that woman to move her car just a few inches forward so that we can push our trolley through.

My knuckles rapped at her window screen once, twice, softly and when she didn’t react, I rapped very loudly a few more times. The women lowered her window screen and I said, politely and a little apologetically, “ Sorry, could you move your car just a little bit so that we can push our trolley through?” I said, motioning with my thumb and forefinger to stress ‘a little bit.’

And how did she respond?

She screamed at me: “What’s the matter with you?! Can’t you wait? I just started my f***ing car!”
“I just need you to move your car about 3 inches forward!” I said, my voiced raised a little. I was tired too and stressed, as I always would be when my children are crying and acting up.
“Can’t you just f***ing wait for 1 minute?!!” she said and went on about something and something else, rudely, of course, adding the F word here and there, the word that the people here seem to be so fond of using, before lifting up her window screen once again, saving herself from any moisture from the rain.

I couldn’t listen to her rudeness anymore so I just went back to where my husband and children were standing, just behind her car and told my husband about her rude response.

And my husband was very annoyed. He couldn’t understand what the problem was and so he went there rapping again at that window screen, his expression normal and pleasant. The rain was still pouring away like it was the monsoon season in England complete with the thunder and lightning all in the package. I couldn’t hear their conversation but after a few minutes my forever patient husband’s face turned black as the thunder that was rumbling overhead when I heard him say;

“Shut up you f***ing bitch!”


And a few seconds later that car was gone. I didn’t even bother to try and catch what other insults my husband coughed out for the benefit of that woman’s ears. I busied myself with the children carrying one to the car and leaving the other at the trolley unguarded, but with my husband nearby and with everyone else around us looking on curiously. I wondered then, is that the only way to deal with these people? My husband is normally a patient man, but did he understand what I did not - that you must fight the fire that came out of that dragon's mouth equally with fire?

The truth was, she needed to smoke a fag first before driving - she was trying to light a cigarette when I rapped at her screen. But can’t she move her car just a little bit forward so that other people can get to their cars too – for goodness sake? And why, why, why can’t these people respond politely to politely made requests?

And then there was this other incident today when in an underground parking lot, my husband overtook a car in front of us which stopped in the middle of a slow moving line of cars queuing to find parking. My husband thought that the car in front stopped because they’ve spotted a soon to be vacant parking space and they wanted to take that parking spot. Rightly enough, that was the case, but little did both that car's driver (a black woman) and my husband know that actually 2 cars were competing for that same spot and when the woman driver in front of us realised that there’s another car waiting for the same spot, she wanted to move to the right and overtake that waiting car. (Compris?) Too late, my husband has already driven around her car and when we were side by side, I heard that woman screamed; “What the f*** do you think you’re doing??!” At the time of course, we just realised that there was another car already waiting for that spot, so I responded truthfully, “ We didn’t see the other car.” – meaning we thought they were indeed taking that spot so that’s why we overtook them. But nonetheless she screamed, “F*** you!” To which we just kept silent, drove on and I saw the white male driver who was leaving the coveted parking spot chuckling at her furious face.

Now why would anybody in their right mind want to swear and curse due to something so trivial? And they say we Malaysians are rude? I don’t know how the Brits ranked in that particular survey but personally, I think opening doors for other people is the least of one’s concern when determining rudeness. As horrible as Malaysian drivers can get i.e. honking and swearing a little bit here and there but mostly under our breaths and perhaps giving the finger, I don’t think it’s as bad as screaming and shouting the F word at other drivers. I dunno, maybe I have something against that particular word? Why do these people like to use that word, anyway, for venting anger and frustration when they enjoy doing the physical act so much? It’s quite mind-boggling.

Coming from Melaka myself, I’m very used at listening and using 'bad' words. But gone are the days when you can show that you are way more 'cool' and 'daring' if you use more swear words in one sentence and gone are also the days when you thought swearing at others can help to vent your frustration and even alleviate you in any dire situation. In other words, I have grown up and to me, using these bad words are for children and people who cannot articulate themselves better than a simple ‘F***.’ Of course, to me, there are certain words that one just cannot get away from like ‘celaka’ and indeed to many of us from Melaka, that word is almost an endearment.

It’s not just these awful incidents that made me categorise these people as rude drivers. Once in a while when you do that other driver a favour by letting them drive pass first, the least they could do is lift a hand in acknowledgement, right? It doesn’t even have to be a whole hand, it can just be a finger to tell the other driver that you appreciate him letting you pass first. But no, don’t expect that courteous gesture from any of those drivers, ever! They will just pass by like they’re doing YOU a favour instead. Indeed, common courtesy amongst those drivers does not exist at all, I am certain.

So, I ask myself,
what do I do now when faced with a ‘battle’ with one of these people? I cringe at the thought. Not because I am actually scared of them but I just hate the commotion they like to cause by screaming and swearing like that. Poor old me, I need to plan what to say during these occasions because really, I’m not good at lashing at people for such trivial matters. Do I swear back at her and say something like “F*** yourself first!” or should I talk nicely and tell her what I think about her rudeness? The latter appeals to me most, I think. What I definitely will not do again is just turn around and ask my husband to settle the matter, like what I did that first time. Yes, I’m determined to say something like, “Look, I’m asking you nicely to…so there’s no need to be rude.”

NOW, to wait for the right occasion to say those words...


krapus said...

Sabar jer lah.. the best thing is not to swear back... tapi kalau dah over sgt tu.. maki jer la dalam BM.

FloweRinTheDesert said...

omg...wassup with these brits??? no dear, i think they swear with the F word when they're angry becos they're frustrated they're not getting enuf of it. So tak cukup puas kene tambah verbally plak la, biar betul2x puas! gila ke apa...

halwafy said...

Spot on Rin! heheh... Anyways, hubby just called me to say he witnessed another incident involving one black woman and she got so angry that she stopped her car to swear at another driver! And it was actually her own fault! Hahahahaha.....

Ayu, yelah..must try to be calm. But tak pandai la nak maki2 org...even in BM..recommend a good swear word will you? :D

halwafy said...


I was touched when my good friend funnybunny said she missed me after reading this entry - she could imagine me telling her this story in person!

I miss you too babes..

krapus said...

contoh2 yg sesuai, for me la at least:
1. Oi samdol! Apsal ko tak reti bahasa? Bagi makan sambal belacan kang baru tau..
2. Oi, awat hang ni bodo sangat? kecik2 tak pi mengaji ka? hang ingat jalan ni pak hang punya ka?..

well.. itu jer lah..

halwafy said...

Kih kih kih...I'm imagining forcing some sambal belacan into one of those women's mouth..padan muka dia!

Might just try use one of these next time...

funny bunny said...

mmmmm i luv sambal belacan... yum yum.

yes yes, mmg sejibik as if u told me urself while i was driving u to serdang komuter ;)