June 28, 2017

strangers of the world

I’ve came across many kinds of people in my travels for both work and leisure. Some good, some plain ass bad. Thought of writing my personal impression of them here.

Taiwanese
Best of the bunch. I love the Taiwanese. I’ve visited Taiwan twice in my lifetime, and both times, I was impressed with the hospitality given to me. The Taiwanese people are polite, courteous and most of them would go out of their way to help a stranger (I’ve encountered twice of such situation). Hell, even the taxi drivers are awesome (that’s rare)! Have you ever heard of a taxi driver giving you a discount because he feels like doing it? I once came to a total TWD 1.2k on the meter, and the taxi driver would just go ‘no dude, just give me TWD 1k and enjoy your holiday’. In Malaysia, you’d be lucky you don’t get mugged by a fucking taxi driver.

Balinese
I find them laid back, professional and friendly. As a Malaysian, I have to admit that I sometimes do stereotype the Indonesians in general as ‘not trustworthy’ – given the stories I hear about Indon maids abusing children and how some of the unemployed illegals committing various crimes in our shores. But the Balinese, are nothing of that sorts. I feel safe around in Bali and the whole Balinese society gives me the impression that my personal space is respected – although one can tell that they’re a little bit biased to be nicer to white travelers.

Germans
Germans are best described as apathetic. They like to mind their business and it’s none of your business. They seldom smileI believe most of them older folks do not like Asians, and they’re just being content with whatever shit their government left them to deal with. I once walked into a beer garden, a few of the tables stopped whatever they were doing and stared until we had to bail the place out of sheer uneasiness. I mean, what the fuck?? I did meet a few friendly old folks in the countryside though, but they were speaking German to me. When I was there, I did not feel welcomed at all (esp. in bigger cities) and we’d be very selective where we eat lest we’d get into an undesirable situation.

Singaporeans
I’ve been to Singapore shitloads of times, even lived there before. Singaporeans remind me a lot of the people of Penang, although we’re really different. They’re as apathetic as the Germans, and everyone seems to not care about anyone at all. They’re fast paced and feel self entitled to everything. The younger gens tend to look down upon Asians (especially if you’re from Malaysia) and their charm will be cranked down 150% to ensure you get a shitty attitude treatment if they have to deal with fellow Asians.

Chinese (China)
I’d call them – ignorant. They can be loud and excessively annoying. They’re well known to be rude as well. They’d jump queues, they’d push you away to be in your spot and the ladies scratch their poontang and pee overtly in public. At China, the people there give you the feeling that everyone is after your money. I do not feel safe in China at all. But I believe this only confines to those people who do not get much education and from rural kampung areas. Those from big cities will probably be little bit better.

Americans
The Americans can be as ignorant as the Chinese and as self absorbing as the Singaporeans. The older folks can be racists, they especially harbor a lot of ill feels towards the Asians (like the Japanese/Chinese/Koreans) – as testified by one of the Irish descent guy I met – it’s because they lost a few wars to the likes of us. I don’t know how true was that but the younger ones seem to be free of this issue. In big cities, I don’t feel safe wandering into areas that I do not know.

Hongkies (Hong Kong)
The Cantonese tend to be apathetic and plain rude. They do not seem to believe in courteousness. Try to ask for directions on the street, you’d get shunned. Try to deliberate on the menu inside a restaurant, you’d get shouted at. It’s rare to find someone in HK that would go out of his/her way to help a stranger. I speak fluent Cantonese and is familiar with the place, and yet I don’t feel welcomed at Hong Kong. It is a place you’d only enjoy by simply ignoring its shitty inhabitants inside. I fucking hate the Hongkies (more than I hate the people from China).

Koreans
The South Koreans are friendly and professional. Hospitality is as good as the Taiwanese. They have a high functioning society and everyone is considerate towards making Korea a better place. Place is spot clean (I think Korea is cleaner than Singapore). In comparison, I wouldn’t deem them as the type that would go out of their way to help a stranger like the Taiwanese, but they’d help if requested (as opposed to the Hongkies, which would avoid even eye contact when help is requested).

Thai
Land of smiles. Yeah they’re friendly, make you feel welcomed and all but, you’ll get the feeling that they’re doing it for the money. Their friendliness is in proportion with the money you’re going to spend there. Not as bad as China but, the feeling’s present – that your wallet is in the watchful eye of the friendly people there. They’re courteous alright, but you don’t get the feeling of trust around in Thailand. Something seems to be off. I do not know why.

benchmark – Malaysians
I generally hate people so, don’t worry about me being biased towards our own countrymen. Malaysians are average. They’re friendly, not rude (exception on some hawkers in Penang) but they can be annoying sometimes. The taxi drivers here are not trustworthy, and like Balinese, they’re a little biased towards treating white folks better. Some small Chinese merchants still overcharge the foreigners just because they’re from abroad. Despite all that, I’d feel welcomed and safe around Malaysians, but would still practice common sense caution from roaming into dark alleys or lest visited areas.

I’ll add more as I travel…

michaelooi  | characters  | 

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