Today I went looking for a spin cap. I remember seeing one on display at an electrical shop in Jerantut town. I had to replace my old worn out [koyak rabak putus dua] spin cap used to cover the spin tub of my semi-auto upper load washing machine. I had used it since 1997 and the machine is still fine except for the spin cap.
The shop I went to: no longer sell the spare spin cap. The wife of the shop owner kindly directed me to where I could get it.
It was a 'work' shop - a shop where all the broken electrical gadgets were piled on top of the other and the 'pomen' worked in the back.
A lovely Indian girl greeted me - 'Cari apa?' in perfect Bahasa Melayu. I thought she was a customer [judging from the side of the table she was standing].
I showed her the broken spin cap not knowing what it was in BM. She took it and disappeared into the back door.
A few minutes later she came out waving a new spin cap. I sighed with relief because I thought I might not be able to get one. However, there was one problem. She couldn't tell the price because there was no tag whatsoever. She went on to explain that if I want to buy it, then I would have to wait for her 'tokeh' to come back from fetching her son. I agreed to wait because I really wanted it and doubt if I could get it elsewhere in Jerantut.
While waiting, the 'pomen' came out looking for his log book to log in the service he had rendered earlier to another customer. He couldn't find the log book and started badmouthing the 'tokeh'.
After sometimes, I got quite agitated waiting and asked the shop assistant if she could call her 'tokeh'. She refused on the ground that her tokeh prohibited the use of telephone [there was one around].
We lapsed into silence. The girl tried to make small conversation. She asked where I was staying and said I looked familiar. Turned out we have meet before under a very different circumstance. I conducted a motivational course in her school when she was sitting for her SPM in 2005.
I was amazed at her flawless BM. I blatantly asked her if any of her Indian friends who deserved to further their study, failed to do so all because of the race. She firmly said no. I purposely brought out the racial segregation issue and asked her in plain words, did she at any point in her life [she is 20 yo] feel marginalised in this country. Again she solidly answered no.
I looked at myself and I knew I had never treat any Malaysian differently because of the race. It saddened me to find out recently that I actually am a 'dagang merempat' for I lack M130. I am not the child of the soil.