Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Day In A Woman's Life

I decided I could lend my time yesterday helping a group of wonderful, resourceful and sensible youths from EPIC at Subang Parade with their "Voice Your Choice" campaign that is getting as many people to register as voters - a privileged responsibility that we Anak Bangsa Malaysia should enjoy automatically yet it is not the case.

Like many malls, this has more than one entrance yet I was perplexed why can't we place our buntings at all entrances. So, I thought I should go to the other entrance (near TGIF) and divert anyone interested to our booth near Uncle Lim's Cafe. Shortly after that, I was approached by one Nepalese security guard asking what am i doing. I told him about our campaign booth and he said that the management does not allow me to do so and I should station somewhere near our booth. I walked back to the booth and Jon Ming told me that the management has informed us not to pester the shoppers for a long time. I took that piece of information personally and felt slightly disturbed because as a shopper myself, I know how irritating 'salesmen' could be (so, I told myself not to do that). It's only after 11.00 am and I didn't think we should continue doing this little.

After exchanging some points with well-mannered Chris who came all the way from Cheras to volunteer, I took his idea by writing down on a piece of paper "R U A VOTER?", clipped it to my board and started walking around the mall. I thought by doing this, I didn't have to open my mouth to send the message out.

Public's reactions

While a few like-minded shoppers nodded their heads and smiled at me, whom I thanked and smiled broadly at, most are just plain ignorant.

Some took their precious time telling me that they have registered and voted before.

Some commended that this campaign was a great service.

Some wondered if I was one crazy woman, which I proved them wrong by talking to them. Apparently, there is one doing that.

Some looked at me while having their meals. Once I have established the eye-contact, I walked up to them. I got a few signed up. Sadly, most of the friendly ones are not even Malaysians but still they took time to ask me with what I am doing.

"If you have no will to change it, you have no right to criticize it"
~Author Unknown

I circled around shops too. Three promoters signed up. They told me they didn't have time before to get themselves registered because by the time they finished their shift, the post office is already closed. One assistant manager in one of those fitness outlets helped me convincing her other colleague to sign up because she said he cannot continue being an 'armchair critic' when petrol and a glass of MILO increased in price. Too bad, he's so shy my charm couldn't convinced him.

I met one of my clients from work and he asked if this is one of my social responsibilities? I gleefully agreed. He told me he would look for me if his new company would require some Funds for Fun and I told him I'd be glad to be of service. Yes, that's my customer service 24/7!

God bless these souls

We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken
~ Fydor Dostoevsky

The first person I met that day was Adik "A". Both of us were quite unsure at first on how are we going to handle this thing. That doubts led us talking (hehhehe, most of the time i was the one busy talking). She is going to Carnegie-Mellon University doing Finance in August - what a smart young lady she is - and she was surprised I knew about the university. I told her that if we read Dale Carnegie's books, we definitely know about this great place. I shared with her about working life and some other stuffs. As we didn't station ourselves together (with me going around the place like a mad woman carrying "R U A VOTER?"), I didn't get to see her at the end of our shift. So, ever resourceful me (hehhehehe yea right), I 'pinched' her contact no from our log book. Later at night, I texted her, apologising if I scared her (or more of scarred her for life with my nation's real-life stories). What an angel she is, she thinks I'm so open-minded! We will definitely keep in touch from now on. Well, not because she sees me that way - because I remember what JFK once said, "Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder".

I met an elderly, Mr Shrivadas (and I left that piece of paper with his contact no. on at our booth - EPIC help me please), who is married to a Chinese lady, who called me up while he's talking to Peugeot's sales reps. He asked that chap to sign up and he told us he's only 19! I spent quite a time talking and listening to his words of wisdom. He told me about Law of Attraction that explained why he felt the urge to talk to me. He said the future of this Ibu Pertiwi lies with the young generation like me. We parted ways with me glowing like a star and felt like one too.

As I walked along the booths, I happened to ask Madam Judy, who sells brilliantly beautiful water colour paintings. She is the organiser for the booths on this level. A natural businesswoman, she brought me along to meet all the booth owners, asking if they have signed up as voters. Only a few haven't and that include one bank manager (and sadly she didn't look like she would do any way - how sad). She told me to go into the shops too. I was forever indebted to her. Not only that she showed me the way to approach strangers, she makes me feel proud that there are still women out there who think their votes count! I must pay her a visit soon.

Is it wrong to help others getting their right?

The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men ~ Lyndon B. Johnson

It's another one hour to go before I'm done with my shift when I heard someone called "Cik! Cik!" I looked around and saw a young man. He asked me what I'm doing and so I told him. He gave me a weird look and soon, asked me to step to a walkway that leads to the restroom. He told he's a policeman and showed his kad kuasa. I asked him if I have done anything wrong. He said no but he wanted to know if i am from any political party since "you know, Selangor belongs to PR" he said. With a straight face, I told I am not. He then asked me why I'm no longer smiling like before because he told me had followed me all over the mall. Well hell, "of course I stopped smiling because you're saying I'm trying to hide something from you and instinctively I don't (bloody) trust policemen".

What pissed me off was when he asked if I'm married. Like always, I told strangers like him, I am happily married (to some eerily crazy ones I would lie that I have three kids at home and that works to ward them off my way or out of the lifts). He had the cheeks to say that I should carry out my responsibilities at home instead of doing this voluntary work. I told him I have no child. "Oh", he said. Then he started telling me that he's a member to PKR and before joining PDRM, he was a radioactive technician with PET. So, I asked him why he quit such great-paying job. To cut the story short, he forgot about me and started talking about him. I walked away, free from him, with him saying "Good luck" and I told him to be a good cop!

It's cool listening to strangers

"Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day" ~ Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Trying to compensate for not spending my time with my parents, I took time talking and listening to some aunties and uncles telling me how far their hometown is that they would consider changing their polling stations. Some told me we were doing something good. Some shared with me about their younger times. Most felt better when they saw young people are doing something to make this Ibu Pertiwi better. I wish I could hug them.

It's hard being a woman

"Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weakness"
~Marie de Vichy-Chamrond, Marquise du Deffand, Letters to Voltaire

At times, some woman shoppers veered away from me thinking I was smiling at their hubbies.

Most young ladies thought I was intruding too much into their 'tak-apaism' with my clipboard. Well, I do understand why. We women think politics is really bad. Politicians in this Ibu Pertiwi are merely idiots that spend our money on 'harta, takhta dan wanita'.

The first lady of the ruling gomen says BAKTI makciks should attend overseas functions so they could learn more. I wonder why such remarks being made when many people are left with no meals for days, no proper roofs above their head, education and health service out of their ways. Don't you think it's damn frivolously selfish?

The first lady also asked her chubby hubby why our ruling kitchen cabinet does not have enough women representatives (well, Mak told me she was interviewed on TV recently to commemorate her first anniversary being the first lady). The hubby childishly reasoned out that it would be difficult for a woman YB to serve her constituency at night as her hubby won't allow her to go out at night! Er! I wonder this pakcik belongs to which generation and I am not sure whether I should cry or laugh like a hyena hearing that from a man that is supposed to lead this Ibu Pertiwi.

And here I am trying to spend a few hours of my free time for some voluntary works and I was told to stay at home and mind my own responsibilities!

"The tragedy of machismo is that a man is never quite man enough"
~ Germaine Greer

And it is even more difficult for an unmarried woman like me because I could see how this Ibu Pertiwi has lost its Anak Jantan. Your ability to impregnate a woman doesn't make you one Anak Jantan.

How could one spend the rest of her life and risk having children with a XY chromosome-bearing human when he could not even differentiate the rights from wrongs?

How could one hold on to him when he is only holding on to powers that hold his 'kejantanan', instead of his principles?

How could one be a human being when he is not behaving and feeling like one?

I guess that is why Hollywood comes out with a string of movies that portray women as the supreme gender eventually because those men have lost their 'kejantanan' - why do we need them anymore when they can't even serve their purpose of being one any longer?

So, the next time you see me, please refrain yourself from asking when I am getting married because it's bloody hard being a woman trying to do something good in this Ibu Pertiwi filled with men that lost their 'kejantanan'.

It's Hard Day's Night but I won't give up.


zorro said...

Fisha, this posting is going up on Friday as my Guest Blogger. Xcept for that foreign security personnel, there was little harassment like the security following you around on your tour of duty. That would probably over-zealousness on the part of that security personnel to do his duty beyond expectations of management. Some become irrational just to keep their jobs.

zewt said...

i tried to talk my colleague into registering... her response was... no one can tell that the opposition will not be worse than the current administration.

our country is doomed.

Fi-sha said...

Dear Uncle Zorro

Maybe I complained too much but thats my view on last weekend's new experience. Apparently, the surveillance room is located near where i was. Thanks anyway Uncle Zorro.

Dear Zewt

It's doomed but may we let it rise like a phoenix from the ashes...