How we talk

July 21, 2005 9:57 AM

I have to credit StarryLuvly’s post about her encounter at a restaurant here in Perth for giving me the idea for mine. Thanks! 🙂

I’m talking strictly from my own personal experiences but I’m sure this has happened to a lot of you out there. The way some of us S’poreans/M’sians, especially the elder folks talk can be quite grating sometimes. And I know the grammer is bad, but it’s actually how it is. Don’t know what I mean?

When meeting another S’porean/M’sian for the first time …

  • Oh, you are from S’pore/M’sia too? Which part? How long have you been here? You like it here?
  • What are you doing now? Business? Where you working? Your wife? She stay at home now?
  • You golf ah?
  • Where your kids studying? Oh my son/daughter/nephew/niece/bastard child is studying at so-and-so university.
  • What’s yours studying? Oh mine is studying to be a doctor/lawyer/accountant/engineer/dentist. (the holy quintet of career choices for Asian kids)
  • How do you find the food here? Food back home better yar?

When you have nothing better to say and you bump into them at a …

  • Shopping Mall: shopping ah?
  • Restaurant: lunch/dinner ah?
  • Out on the streets: hahng kai ah? (literal translation from Cantonese: walk street?)
  • On their travels in a totally different country: sek fung ah? (literal translation from Cantonese: eat wind? To mean: out seeing the world)

Ah then?! (Duh!)

When all else fails, talk about the kids …

  • Wah, how old already? So big/tall/handsome/pretty har?
  • When I last saw you, you were so small only. *gestures with hands*
    Remember uncle/aunty or not?
    (not literally “Uncle” or “Aunt” but a term used for your parents’ friends or elders)
  • Got girlfriend/boyfriend already or not? Aiyah, don’t be so picky lah!
  • How long you with your girlfriend/boyfriend already? Wah so long already ah? When you getting married?
  • Married how long already? About time to have kids huh? I’m sure your parents would like some grandchildren by now.
  • *sees my mobilephone/watch/misc. bling-bling*
    Wah so nice yar?
    *to my parents* Kids today so lucky isn’t it?
    How much ah?

You got more? 🙂

14 thoughts on “How we talk

  1. ~*Starryluvly*~

    no problem – I’ve never been considered a muse before. lol.

    More things which the elder folks say:

    Oh, you’re studying arts ah? What do you do? Painting???

    Wah, you put on weight ah girl! (of course this is followed by…)

    Eh girl, why you eat so little? Eat some more lah!! You on diet is it??

    (exceedingly common in my situation – I’m Muslim by birth) How? What does he think of the religion? Is he converting?

    (if you’re single) Actually, aunty’s friends cousin’s sister-in-law has a son *insert list of supposed qualifications/achievements here*. Wait I call and ask ok?

    When you buying a house? Last time aunty buy, sooo cheap *insert real estate ramble*

    If you don’t mind, I’m linking up to you =)

  2. mooiness

    starry: hahahahah classic! I love the “doing arts = painting” comment the best! 😛

    And yes the islam conversion thing. “Is he gonna *make cutting gesture with fingers* ??????? ” Hehehhe….

    Yeah yeah link me up! 🙂

  3. ~*Starryluvly*~

    well, from what I’ve heard, it isn’t obligatory. I mean, it would be quite traumatising/daunting to go through it as an adult, I would think. Especially if its a requirement for marrying your girlfriend! lol.

  4. CW

    I was going to mention the how much ah? factor, then I went and read your previous post 🙂

    I was once chastised by my grandmother for buying her a bag of mung beans for 65c instead of 60c.

    Aiyaaaa why you didn’t buy from Lucky? Coles too expensive!!!

    At that point I swore never to do her shopping for her ever again.

    Starry and Mooiness, you are talking about circumcision, right? (Ooops was I not meant to spell it out? Hehe)

  5. cherryripe

    Oh, lordy! Starryluvyly, it’s true!!! Why do they say you’ve put on weight and then insist you fill your plate? I’ve been trying to figure that one out for years!!

    Good post, Mooiness.

  6. ~*Starryluvly*~

    cherryripe: It’s not just about them saying you’ve put on weight… they also try to phrase it in a nice way… which just makes them sound even more condascending. Two which I’ve heard (being told to me *boo hoo*)

    Oh, you look so healthy now!

    Oh, your face put on weight ah? I don’t know about your body, but I know definitely your face put on weight.

    I felt like bitch-slapping the person who said the second one. Too bad she’s my mother’s friend.


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