Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Colour of skin

Having spent two thirds of my adult life abroad and frequent travel to most of the European cities, not once have I felt different from others. At school or nursery, I am just a regular mom who takes interest in her daughter’s progress and her friends. At workplace, I never let being a woman, or a single mother, stop me from achieving my potential or grabbing as many opportunities, of course within my limit.

The colour of my skin has also never been an issue. In fact, being a few shades darker makes me more appealing in this country, be it both men and women. Guys think I’m exotic whilst ladies feel I’m lucky not to spend any dime on tanning service. More often than not, whenever I travel to Southern Europe, people tend to speak to me in their mother tongue thinking I am one of them. In fact, once I was cursed for not being able to speak their language as this man, a shop owner by the way, thought I was a native and felt it was an insult.

Ironically, I’m comfortable in my own skins in predominately white or fairer places.

Much can be said when I go home or visit another Asian city. An image of perfectly white complexion is splashed everywhere thinking that it is a ticket to get a man, land a job or call for good customer service. My appearance becomes a benchmark by my fellow countrymen or regional-mate (er, is there such term?).

I have heard many horrifying stories on the way sales assistants treat when they see someone of a darker skin or people who dress casually entering their boutique. It seems they have been programmed that these groups do not have what it takes to splurge in their stores, thus unworthy to be given any customer service. A friend once went into a shop famous for monogram designs just after Friday prayers. Naturally he was without his jacket and wore those popular Japanese slippers. NO one bothered to serve him. Tired by the way he was being treated, he called the boutique manager, flashed his card and said he wanted 10 items from that shop pronto. Those sales assistants scrambled around, picked the items and wrapped them. Before he left, he gave them his piece of mind and I bet their face turned red.

Another friend had similar incident. Married to an European and used to casual attire, she decided to go to that famous towers and entered a boutique. She wanted to have a look at a handbag but they said it was for display only, with a very irritating tone of voice. Furious by their attitude, she left only to return the next day looking very posh and husband in arm. They were speechless and tried to sell her a goodie but she told them off, saying she rather spent her money elsewhere.

It doesn’t help much when our other half isn’t bald or has very few salt hair, no belly and devilishly good-looking. Whispers of “the maid snagged the boss” probably played in their mind. They wonder how this “ugly duckling” got so lucky and start to make ridiculous assumptions.

Somehow they forget that these so-called “maids” happen to have world-class education, top notch career and not forgetting, the right charms and personality. They do not have to be a swan to nail a good man. Latte or mocha skin, it should not be a tool to judge a person.

It is just sad that I feel different in places where I shouldn’t. Never mind. Now where is my apron? The young lady is expecting warm puffs for her tea today

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Broken-hearted girl

We finally arrived yesterday afternoon and were greeted with beautiful skies and lots of sunshine, such a contrast to those we had a few weeks back. There was a slight glitch at the airport as only one seat was confirmed and thankfully within 20 minutes, the airline managed to secure another. This whole volcanic experience has given a new perspective to anyone who either directly or indirectly affected. Some were frustrated that Europe was grounded and thought it wasn’t necessary. Some used their creativity to find a way home while others made full advantage of their unexpected extended stay. Unfortunately, there were quite a number who were badly affected, stranded for days at the airport, sleeping on make-shift beds and hoping for distribution of free meals.

For both of us, we are thankful that we had a comfortable home to stay when it happened. There was nothing for us to worry except for missing school for the young lady which I am sure she can catch up easily.

The extended holiday gave an opportunity to spend more time together. As we entered into the 2nd week of our stay, I thought I might as well make it “homely” and tried to do routine work or as someone nicely put it, “a domestic goddess”. *smiles* The place promises good fortune but as like any other city, it does have its downsides and that alone deserves an entry on its own. By focussing on things that make it liveable and closer-to-home atmosphere, we could see ourselves living there.

Anyway, the song has nothing to do with the way I feel. It somehow became a theme song for us as it was played frequently in the car. The young lady has associated the song as ours each time we hear it on air (and on the plane’s playlist for that matter). It reminds the strengthening bond during our stay, the feeling of being a family.

Somehow London doesn’t feel the same...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The holiday

is being extended until nature decides to give us a break and clear the Euro skies.

Until then, let's sit back and enjoy the sunshine. The young lady is certainly having a good time with trips to the beach and pool.

Of course we miss our home, especially internet access (and blogging to keep my sanity) but since we cant do anything about it, why not just chill? *smiles*

Sunday, April 11, 2010

in hiatus...

Currently enjoying sunshine and beach.

Be right back. *wink*

ps: Limited internet access,hence unable to fix settings earlier.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Friday, April 02, 2010

Devil's food or retail therapy?

Finally I could see sunshine today but I bet it wouldn’t last long. Weather has been very temperamental these days and once, both of us got drenched while making our way to nearby shops. It reminded me of the typical rainstorms we have back home, agreed by the young lady as well.

I meant to write about something colourful like the recent take by the founder of net-a-porter, a place where you find exquisite goods at the comfort of your home (or workplace) but alas I haven’t managed to kick out the blues, leaving me to express a little bit of this dark and twisted head of mine.

By the way, I do love that website as you take your own sweet time to browse and find out more about an item without the pressure of purchasing. Sometimes nosy sales assistants do ruin the mood to splurge.

Now where was I? Ah, this feeling of ugliness and staying-in-bed-all-day-long is killing me. I bet weather is partly to blame but I am sure there is a way to take them out from my heart and place them nicely in a Pandora box, with a secured lock to go along with it. Perhaps I should indulge myself with comfort food, pushing devil’s food such as chocolate mud-cake and layers of ice-cream complete with whipped cream and sauce down into my throat. For each spoonful I take, it buries the feeling deep down, hoping it will never resurface.

As when it does appear, the unleashed emotions won’t be a pretty sight.

Looks like I have to settle with two cups of mocha with whipped cream today. How about checking out what’s new at that website? A little splurge will do me some good. Shoes or handbags anyone