I went to Wisma Atria today to put my dead Sony laptop for servicing.
Because I no longer have a warranty and it is bought overseas (my dad bought it in Bangkok), the employee referred me to their authorized vendor for cheaper servicing. I thought, “Why not?” as it is in the same location anyway.
He was a friendly thirty-something guy, who in the first 5 minutes of knowing me thought I was Thai, like (and suit) the colour pink, white and other similar girly colours. I have to say that this is because my surname is not typical Chinese (courtesy of the Malaysian government), I was wearing my white dress, which I rarely wear due to the hassle of ironing it, and my pale pink Thai laptop. But, it is interesting to note that it is difficult to tell whether I’m Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, or now, Thai depending on how I dress or do my hair.
After that icebreaker, him telling me he knew Petaling Jaya, my hometown, and after my tirade of my issues with my laptop, and my usual explanation of what a bioengineer does (no one has a clue on what bioengineering is), he told me how he actually wanted to do life science but decided not to when he saw a documentary of how Australian cattle were exported and cruelly slaughtered. From that, he eventually decided to be a pescetarian.
He didn’t enter the life sciences as he was turned off by another video of a scientist forcing a terribly frightened monkey into a glass chamber where it was eventually gassed to death. Hearing that, I thought that was needlessly cruel, reminiscent of Nazi’s treatment of the Jews and Roma during WWII. But, I suspect that it is an experiment done decades ago. With the new scientific regulations, animal involved in scientific research are much better taken care of.
Naturally (I do this to every person whom I’ve met with a passion to help, be it people, flora and fauna, or the Earth), I asked him on why he didn’t he choose to do something social work-related instead. His reply that money was important to him was not surprising. He also said if he earns enough money, he would be in a better position to help. I understand that logic. My sister and I have the same mentality too, though mine has evolved a little.
The one thing that really surprised me was when he said that he believed that human beings are sinners. Although I said that there would always be those who want to help, he said that for every good person, there would be another who will do bad. And that, you only need one rotten apple to spoil the lot. I thought that was incredibly cynical and too skeptical of the human condition but, I didn’t say more.
He went on to talk about how learning increase our wisdom and that we are all still young until perhaps if we reach 50. He also touched upon how he will earn enough money to go overseas to find girls because Singaporean women were too independent and expected a lot from their men.
I didn’t know whether to feel insulted that he didn’t lump me in that modern almost-masculine (he used the word, ‘manly’) independent woman category or to feel glad and relieved that I still look and act feminine enough (I suspect it was because I was smiling a lot with my bimbo bag, dress and hair-band effect. Having a pink laptop didn’t help). But, he did comment that it is good that women are becoming educated and wise and not getting abused or used (thank God, or else, I would have labelled him as a sexist prig), but whether this reversal of roles of each sex will be good for society in the long-run has yet to be determined.
Well, I share the same sentiment too. I think no matter what, the woman’s touch in building a cohesive and caring society is very, if not more important than a man’s. And, to build such a society, it starts from a network of loving and trusting family and friends. And, with our natural tendency to be more emotional, empathetic and sensitive, we are natural-born social workers.
Anyway, from animal welfare to the human society, this laptop centre visit was a surprise. I like unexpected conversations. It was interesting.
And before I left, he said he liked my white dress.
I like it too 🙂