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Getting rid of the one-armed lady.

Getting rid of the one-armed lady.

Is this a red-eyed eagle?

I do not suppose we get to see this bird everyday. I heard a rather loud squawking yesterday, and proceeded to look for its source. It took quite a while before I noticed a small, brown, head popping out from a hole in the fence, from a neighbour’s house. Wings flapping desperately, the bird dropped down onto the grass. It seemed to be having trouble flying off. Then I saw what was frightening it so – a white and grey cat, staring at it curiously, but not daring to venture close.

I took to scaring the cat off – however, as soon as the bird saw me approaching, it fell into the drain. Thus began my meagre rescue efforts to take it out from the drain, which was, naturally, to no avail. The drain was simply too deep – if I jumped into it, I would most definitely have to spend a night in it or something. I took a long piece of wood and tried to get the bird to hop onto it – unfortunately, my coaxing did no good, for I forgot that the bird could not understand any human language. I had to leave the poor bird there – I guess it should take a little rest after its rather perilous misadventure (bad cat!), and could only hope it would regain its strength.

I was relieved to hear that it managed to fly off safely a few moments later.

That probably did much good than picking up a pen dropped by a random stranger from the streets. I still do not understand how could you be labeled ‘friendly’ should you do so.

Probably the locals have already known that Kuala Lumpur was voted as one of the most unfriendliest cities in the world. How friendly could you be in the city? By giving up your seat for an old woman balancing packets of fruits in a bus? Helping a blind person cross the busy roads? And uh.. picking up a pen dropped onto the ground by a stranger?

I do not think that those are not acts of friendliness – they are merely good manners, and after all those years you spent memorising the nilais and its definitions in Pendidikan Moral, you should put them to good use. Or not? Being friendly, in my opinion, is to be sociable and pleasant – either to friends or strangers. However, I do not think we would generally smile to everyone, be it to the striking young lady dressed in red out in the streets (you could get a smack in return if you were a guy) or to the singing driver next to your car (he could show you the finger). Most probably they would think that either you are feeling too happy on that particular day; or you are completely off your rocker.

I would not say that we were being unfriendly by not smiling or greeting strangers. Hey, this is Kuala Lumpur after all. Anything could happen – if you were to readily help out someone stuck in the road with a punctured tyre to his car, you could next find yourself with a knife pointed to your neck, and an empty wallet as well. It is a busy city; everyone is always on the rush, walking briskly to get to his or her next destination (given our so-called Malaysian time).

You cannot blame us for being wary and cautious out in the streets.

On air now: Somewhere In The Middle, Dishwalla

Details of this entry.Saturday, July 12, 2003, filed under Blogger Archives.
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