My regular readers may remember me mentioning how straightforward the people of Palembang are. Well, my mother have met quite a few straightforward people over here in Malaysia too.
A family joke we have from when I was a child is that I was picked up from the rubbish bin. (No, this hasn't had any adverse effects on me.) I don't look very much like my parents at all. In fact, many people question if I am even the same race as them. I really don't mind this at all and have had lots of fun with it over the years. (Except for one Ramadan month in primary school when I was questioned for not fasting.)
Over the past week, my mother and I have been asked multiple times if we were related. Here are a couple of examples of what happens.
The first instance was at a hawker center. The lady who delivered our food looked at me and asked if I was my mother's daughter-in-law. When my mother said that I was her daughter, that lady actually spent a few minutes insisting that I couldn't possibly be because I didn't look anything like my mom.
Next was a shop assistant in a bookstore. After spending nearly 15 minutes helping us track down a book, the guy looks at us and says "How are you two related?" Once again, he's not satisfied with the answer and acts like we're pulling his leg.
So you see, people here in Malaysia are just as straightforward as those in Palembang. How could I have forgotten?
Anyway, the conversation that takes the cake for this sort of assumption and straight talk actually happened a few years ago.
My mother and her mother happened to drop me off at a cosmetics counter. I had purchased some product and the lady was giving me a free facial. So, as she worked on exfoliating and cleansing my face, she jumped straight into some sort of soliloquy of how it is a blessing to be adopted. I distinctly remember her telling me that it is because my mother loved me that she wanted to adopt me. She assured me that I shouldn't feel bad about this and told me that I should even appreciate them more.
Er....just because I purchased something from you doesn't make you my new BFF!
I know the lady only meant well and I wasn't offended at all. Just highly amused. She talked non stop so I didn't have a chance to correct her. At least she can feel that she perhaps did some sort of a good deed that day.