I never thought it would happen to a goody goody like me but we were kicked out of the Perak State Library. Yes. Aaron, my gray haired mother and I were all asked to leave.
I really didn't have high expectations of the place but we were looking for was the cool air conditioning.
We went to the children's library first in an adjacent building. It was more a store room with only half an air conditioner working there so we didn't stay long. The books were mostly old and in poor condition anyway.
The main building was spacious, neat and nearly cold inside. The books were old and both the Malay and English books were shelved together. I ended up settling down with a Reader's Digest and was very contented. Aaron was kept occupied with his coloring pencils and notebook. My mother browsed the shelves.
I was seated for barely 10mins before I saw one of the staff approaching us, slowly. The whole time, I thought she was going to say something about Aaron. Maybe he was too noisy or maybe kids aren't allowed there...or he wasn't supposed to use the chair as a little table.
Instead, she said "Excuse me. Actually, you aren't allowed to wear sleeveless shirts in here. Also, no shorts are allowed. If you want to wear a skirt, it will have to be below your knees."
And then she added "You're stressing my supervisor."
Whats that last statement supposed to mean??
Anyway, as I walked to look for my mother, I saw that she was being told to leave too. We were both wearing sleeveless t-shirts and shorts that were just above the knees.
On the way out, we saw this huge noticeboard listing all the items you are not allowed to wear or bring in to the library. Its the longest list of prohibited items I've seen at the entry to anywhere! Click on the photo to have a closer look.
Thats one side of Malaysia for you. The side where middle ranking people with a little bit of power impose their unchecked views.
I suggested to my mother that we should go again. This time, we'll carry blankets in our bags to cover up if we're told that our arms and legs are stressing the supervisor. She thought we could try going with long see through sleeves and pant legs.
We'll see if we have time. This was the state library and I want to go check out the municipal library too.