It's Not Nag, It's Just Me

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Culturally Lost?

I can't believe that i'm having late lunch or what Malaysians would called, a Tunch for the third consecutive days. It all started last Thursday when I had a proposal presentation at 1pm while we are still making last minute adjustment to the deck at 12-ish. Yesterday was more of a planned late lunch though we didn't realised that it would be that late as we only decide the venue on a very last minute basis. And today? Well, i was waiting for my bro's friends to call so that i could pass them their train tickets. Said would called around 12-ish or 1 but till 2, I still find myself lazing over the sofa at home. And for the second consecutive time, I fall asleep while watching The Date Movie. Anyway, I finally met them at around 3-ish, and so here I am at McD with my tunch.

And this is what this entry will be about. No, not another round of bashing on McD crew. I'm not that cruel. But while ordering my food, I overheard a tourist of Indian nationality giving her orders. She was mumbling this burger and that burger and finally she said '...and a vegetarian'. I think the crew was a bit surprise with the last order. And the funny part was, she too was surprised by the 'do not have' response. The fact that both the Indian tourist and the crew continue to deliberate over the 'Vegetarian burger' made it more funny and enlightening. Even after the crew showed her the full menu with pictures, she still tried her very best to ask for a vegetarian burger...'what about cheese', she said. The crew happily guide her towards 'Cheeseburger' of which I wish I could laugh out loud.

Firstly, the crew is of a senior position, i believed a supervisor or manager. Therefore, his ignorance of the customer looking for a vegetarian meal, had me wondered his ability or competence. While it is of nobody's fault but generally cultural difference or cultural ignorance from both parties but I believed the crew could have at least made an effort to explain as well as to offer the fresh salad.

And as a tourist to another country, one should at least be prepared to accept the non-availability of items and always have alternatives in mind. This will at least make sure that you are not to be totally disappointed due to such situation. While we could be familiar or have some knowledge about the Western culture but we normally tend to show the lack of knowledge of the culture of the Asian countries, including our neighbors. While most Asian tend to have one main core value, however, that doesn't mean that our culture or lifestyle are very much the same despite the relatively close distance and at times sharing similar religion.

Perhaps instead of learning more of the Western culture, (in fact, do they have one?), we should learn more of the cultures of different Asian nationalities which I believed is rich with diversity and colors.

And had learning, adapting and following the Western culture had us, Asians culturally lost?

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