Saturday, June 12, 2004

The weekend

I am still getting used to the idea that the weekend here is on Thursday and Friday. When Saturday comes I inevitably refer to it as Monday. Old habits die hard it seems.

It has been quiet in the "killing" front, but the damage is done. Many expatriates have sent their families home. Others are counting the days to their summer vacation and may not be coming back.

Went to an Embassy do last Wednesday, it was to celebrate the Agong's birthday. It was definitely interesting to see more Malaysians and their views about living here. The bulk of the Malaysians here are nurses. As one nurse told me, the difference in salary between here and Malaysia is 7 times. So much so, they are willing to leave their family behind and work here. Most are women, very few were men. In fact, you could have counted the number of men in that gathering. The Malay Malaysian men mostly were from the Telco industry. And the rest, including HR, IT, Chef etc etc.

One thing I really liked was that the people at the gathering had no airs about them! They were nice, friendly and chatty. I did have fun!

I did ask a few people if they were getting nervous living here. The general feeling I get is that yes, it does make them feel somewhat nervous but they felt that since we are not white, perhaps we would be less of a target.

Is that really true I'd have to ask?

The Philippines Embassy did produce an advisory on its citizens that the Embassy received two letters of threat to its citizens in the Kingdom, due to President Arroyo's support for the US.

And the people here think we are Filipinos. Even the Filipinos think we could be Filipinos; would the terrorist know any better? And should they decide to shoot on sight, then that would mean that we could be under siege too!

Another lady advised the denial approach. She said, don't you listen to the news. Just do what I do, go to work, come back and listen to the music. No point in making yourself upset by listening and reading the news. Relax.

Can a news junkie ignore the news?

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