Monday, October 08, 2007

Brothers syndrome and unexpected treatment

Aroengbinang shares his thought on the "Brothers Syndrome" post: "Many people believe that relationship between Indonesian and Malaysian is or should be like relationship between brothers or sisters. They are wrong. Indonesian and Malaysian were never been brothers nor sisters. They were born from different mothers. They have different fathers as well."

Thus, there are some expectations of being brothers - like respects or special treatment. Expectations that often are not met.

(people here like to use OK as filler) :)

This morning I had to come to the Immigration Office (Jabatan Imigresen) in Putrajaya. A new policy calls for foreign expatriates to be present in person for thumbprint scan. (people in the U.S. might call this an abuse of human rights?)

Aside from driving quite far to Putrajaya (and the highway roadsigns that are placed after the exits), things were nice. I admire Putrajaya for its buildings' architecture. The immigration office is clean and the officers are quite professional - totally different experience than my afternoon at Deplu on Jalan Medan Merdeka two years ago (when I finally gave up and called a connection).

All right.

A while after dropping off my passport, I was called up and asked to go to a (nice) room and do the business there. "The queue is too long here," said the man who looked like a pretty high supervisor.

"Oh shit, I don't even know how much the standard is," I thought.

But it turned out to be something else.

It was a sincere help or nice gesture, because, I believe, I'm an Indonesian.

So we talked about Hari Raya. I found out that his Datuk (grandfather) was from Minang. And other things.

We simply "connected".

So based on this experience, it is there - the brotherly feeling. And it's nicest when you don't expect it.

Just like what Aroengbinang says: "... a healthier relationship may be built as no more false expectations..."

This is true, especially because while it's nice to get the special treatment, being an Indonesian in Malaysia can also lead to relatively-poor treatment (or just that nasty look). This is where a little bit arrogance and American accent help. (why American accent? Because fewer people have it here - many Malaysians go to U.K. or Australia for their study). :)