Wednesday, March 30, 2011


It is always a pleasure listening to the tales brought by the wandering nomads who stop for a rest in the grounds of Netherfield before heading for their next exotic destination. Nothing like seeing your own country, all the wonders and the horrors, through the eyes of a perfect stranger. From our affable neighbours who have flung open the doors of their own homes to provide gracious hospitality - to the more discourteous ones who have proven far less congenial.

Certainly reminds me of my earlier days of travelling as a pinch-penny student, though I have to admit I was decidedly less unkempt! Despite not having easily accessible amenities all the time, I still tried my best to shower - in all the unlikeliest places from an open well to a secluded sink in a railway station. Still I received very little hassle from the anyone - not even a fine for that brief bit of indecent exposure.

Where shall I go next?

Unlike the reception some female tourists have been receiving of late. Came as a bit of shock to hear from the travellers that female tourists in Kelantan were uncomfortable getting stared at by the distinctly unwelcoming locals. Some were even greeted by jeers and catcalls.

Nina : When I first arrived, I had a very bad impression of the country. After alighting the train, a group of men actually pointed at me, stared and called out what I assumed to be obscenities.
Paul : OMG.
Nina : And I was wearing a loose long-sleeved sweater and jeans, mind you. In case you're thinking I disturbed their sensibilities.
Paul : Disturbed them? I think they should be dragged out and shot.

Seriously. I am deeply ashamed of my countrymen for displaying such crude, discourteous behaviour.

Perhaps I have severely underestimated how fanatical the zealous freaks have been getting. Seems even the gracious art of hospitality in this region has fallen by the wayside with the austere advent of religion orthodoxy.

Wasn't it Abraham - or Ibrahim in the Qur'an - who once honored perfect strangers who approached his tent by saying this...

My lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. Let now a little water be fetched, and wash your feet, and recline yourselves under the tree. And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and stay ye your heart; after that ye shall pass on (Genesis 18:3–5).


sharman said...

the kelantanese are always an "amusing" lot. to the extremes of both ends i find.

Ryan L said...

hey there, drop by visiting. thanks for visit my blog. :) and i love your writing

savante said...

True enough, sharman! Hopefully that was a one-time incident!

Same here, ryan.

Savoir said...

the concept we're referring to now is hospitality, and that has a huge difference with religion.

Displaying xenophobic behavior not just shows that they're shallow and rude. In a way, it reflects the education upbringing our country has prepared for them.

Oh, I like your writing savante. But it seems the my blogfeed list can't update your posts. :/