Pre headscarves days, I’m used to being asked if I’m Chinese or occasionally Caucasian (Yeap, I know. Go ahead. You have my blessings to roll your eyes).
They never get the ethnicity right. But that’s ok. Even I’m confused about myself! Bahahaha >.<
Ever since staying in England, typical questions I get is slightly different. They sound like, “(Are you) Malaysian or Indonesian?” The tone they ask in is a self-assured tone that I MUST be one of the two.
People don’t bother thinking about Singapore. At all.
After a few months, I give up and naturally reply, “Malaysian.”
Sorry for the white lie, God!
If I say ‘Singapore,’ I’d have to explain myself. Literally. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Gimme my fried chicken!
Last Tuesday has been an interesting day for me.
Act 1, Scene 1
*In a park*
We were taking pictures in the park and moving from one spot to another.
I saw a group of Muslim ladies shifting my belongings to the side of the bench to make way for her to sit.
I immediately went over to grab my belongings… you know…. to not be a nuisance is part of my life motto.
I smiled at one of them as picked my bag and my cousin’s coat when one of them asked, “Uzbekistan? (Are you from) Uzbekistan?”
My eyes just widened to my surprise and I politely shook my head. After exchanging smile, I left.
Not too sure which part of me looks Central Asian. The eyebags I guess. Bahahaha.
Act 2, Scene 1
*At a kebab shop, buying dinner.*
Staff: Are you girls from Bangladesh?
Well, that was clooooose.
Act 2, Scene 2
Staff: What’s your name?
Staff: Aqilah. Aaaa-qil-lahh. You muslim?
Adduusssss. *Smacks head*
Bang, Kebab tu cepat gulung. (Bro, can you please wrap the kebab a little faster.)
Taking deep breathe because I must’ve looked like a nun.
I guess, prior experiences with these funny questions makes me immune to em. But in some instances, like that day, will never cease to amuse me on how people try to figure out ‘what you are’ and ‘where you’re from’.
Gonna make a cape which says, “MUSLIM. SINGAPOREAN. MIXED ETHNICITY. NOT A TERRORIST,” and tie it behind my back as I explore a new city on my next travel. Wherever that may be.
Back to uni this week. Thank God no more Monday class – no Monday blues. 😅
Will update more on this trip later on. Till then,
🌎: Amsterdam, Netherlands.