Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Athens - on the way to the airport

On the way to the subway station, there was this middle-aged American guy who was sitting next to me at the bus stop ... he made a comment about how heavy my bags looked.... then i said something back and he was like...o0o0hh... ur from the States? Then I had to do the whole explanation about being a Malaysian but goin to school in the States.. then we started chatting... he seems to know a lot about Malaysia.. about how the Chinese are oppressed.. but then he was like what do u mean oppressed? most of the major businesses are owned by the Chinese anyways... I had to bring up that that wasn't the point! There's gotta be equal opportunities... the Malays won't benefit from the government spoonfeeding them... when are they going to stand on their own feet and be productive for their own country? Never! if it stays this way...

Then, he went on asking if I was traveling alone... and gave me this whole spiel about how dangerous it is for a girl to travel alone ... then, he took this to a racial issue... how being of a Chinese descent, it's so irresponsible of me to just set out on my own... how my parents should be devastated... blah blah blah.

What has race got to do with this????

He mentioned about some British girl who got raped and killed in Goa, India .. and that that case was only a small percentage of what really happens to young girls who travel alone... really, mister-I-know-it-all ... you're saying that even walking in the streets in Malaysia that for sure I won't get raped and killed? That if I walk in the streets in America, I won't get shot at? Be realistic now. I honestly have no idea what kind of bubble he thinks his daughters are in.

Really now? I'm sure he had the best intention but really... I thought it was really disrespectful of him to even use that intonation and say all these things to me... he added the in Greece "like in Malaysia" in families it's very the father should the one most respected... I asked him "Sir, what century are you living in?"

It was rude, no doubt about it... but this man has got to WAKE UP!! anyways, he said if his daughter did something like this (traveling alone) he would have taken to first flight to whereever she was and wring her neck.

Boy am I glad I wasn't related to him!

1 comment:

CaliforniaKat said...

M, I know you don't know me and I don't you, but I read this because I'm an American who has been living in Athens for 11 years, and this kind of person who spoke to you is one of those know-it-all tweakers I encounter too often.

I'm from California, and these types don't believe me because I don't have "yellow hair." When I tell them we don't wear red bikinis and run in slow motion either, they discount me as a smart ass. They admit they've never been to CA or even the USA, but of course they know better than me. Me, born and bred in CA.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with traveling alone, in fact I applaud you and your parents for honoring your journey as an independent woman. I've traveled in 36 countries alone, and not once was I in any danger, nor did my father come and get me. That didn't make him a bad person, just a modern man who had no choice but to face he had raised a woman who could take care of herself.

When I was in my teens, my parents did forbid me from traveling Europe as my brother had at the same age, and they frowned on joining the peace corps. I wasn't strong enough to face them down or defy them when I was 16, but I wish I had because I know my life would have been different if I'd had those experiences earlier in life.

So what I'm saying is good for you, and I hope you're having the time of your life. Carpe diem is so important because time is a precious commodity.