While in Malaysia, there were three minor things (it starts with the small things, right?) which struck me and got me to thinking about how similar our experiences are as human beings, no matter where we may be.
First, traffic jams. For example, when foreigners come to Manila to visit, they may ask us: "How far to get to Makati from Manila? The typical Pinoy will then say: "With traffic, about an hour." Traffic is really a misnomer since I maintain that traffic signifies movement, not the lack of it. While we were in Malaysia, we were asking an analyst from a rating agency there how to get from this place to that and she answered: "With jam,..." Which is more correct, if you ask me.
Next, shopping. People living in another place automatically assume that tourists will want do the rounds of the malls and other shopping centers. With Pinoys, that's almost always true since we need to go for those "pasalubongs." Tourists or business colleagues visiting Manila, though, have also asked about Megamall or where they can get some nice native items for their partners or kids.
Third, the desire to get rich and hit it big. We were at the fastfood area at the bottom level of Lot 10 in KL, buying our dinner, when what should we hear but some strangely familiar music. "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" My officemate guessed it correctly and quickly. As we shared our dinner cost, 50:50, we were part of a crowd with eyes glued on the TV set. Never mind if we didn't understand the language. No one was going to ask us, the audience, anyway. So, we wrapped up dinner, hurrying home to our hotel, ready to phone a friend (more like a hubby and a kid in Manila).
So go those little things that bind us. If we could only work on the bigger items. Then again, as when we were still children learning how to walk, we take those small steps first...
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