I like to think Malaysians are generally a patriotic bunch; at least the ones I know are. We always talk about the beauty of our country – the abundance of good food, the beautiful sights, picturesque islands and of course, our hospitality.
Not everyone agrees with me though. At least not the cab driver who took me to dinner at La Mar in Mandarin Oriental Miami.
“Where you from?”
“MALAYSIA? Yo where’s your plane?! What’s wrong with your government? Where’s all the money?!”
(feel free to insert a WTF emoji on my behalf)
I was caught by surprise and to a certain extent, embarrassed. The cab driver has never been to our beautiful country and all he knows about Malaysia is a missing plane and poor governing. The journey to my dinner place took 20 minutes and he spoke about all he knew about Malaysia – mostly negative.
What he doesn’t know about our country is how amazing (most of) our people are and how much we love Malaysia. It’s a pity really, how our country is making headlines for all the wrong things and carrying a Malaysian passport seems to be a bane (you go through extra questioning at the airport) rather than pride.
It wasn’t only the cab driver that had this opinion about Malaysia. A head waiter at the clubhouse my granduncle frequents had the same thoughts and his first sentence to me was, “What happened to your 370?”
And the counter staff at Macy’s when I was registering for a privilege card, AND my chauffeur who took me to the venue of Haig Club Miami. We were caught in traffic so I spent a good 30 minutes trying to convince him that our country isn’t all that bad. At least I think it’s not that dreadful.
What about you? Have you encountered what I have when you travel abroad? Do share your experiences with me! :)