"Yang, these bananas are for frying."
"So? I like eating them raw. It's healthier to eat bananas raw anyway."
And he looked at me and laughed. "I think that's an excuse for not having to fry them, hahaha."
And I smiled back.
Really, I don't see why certain bananas have to be fried before they can be eaten, here in Malaysia. Just because it's the norm to eat pisang goreng awak, pisang goreng rastali or pisang goreng abu, that seeing somebody eat them raw, unfried, is unusual?
If everyone has to fry bananas in a certain way, or to eat bananas in a certain way only, then life would certainly be very boring, wouldn't it?
We live in a judging society. We are judged by the way we look, the way we walk, the way we talk, the way we are dressed, etc etc etc. We are expected to conform to the social rules, unwritten but still very much imposed on each individual. And it's hard to break free.
Sometimes they're good. We shun homosexuality, foul languages, extra marital affairs, etc because we have been brought up to believe that they're bad. They're ingrained in our minds.
However, at times, the rules are unhelpful and restricting.
We become too rigid. We find it difficult to accept other people's point of views, values and new ideas.
We stick to the same way of life and the same pattern of behaviour because we've been brought up that way. And sometimes we have problems adapting to the new ideas. We insist on our old ways, despite being told that the old ways are no longer suitable or religiously correct.
The Malays have a saying, "Let the child die as long as the tradition lives on."
My Chinese family still continues with some old traditions although only the elders believe in them. The younger ones dare not voice their objections for fear of being scolded and accused of being unappreciative.
"You wouldn't be here if not for your ancestors' sacrifices," the grandma and grandpa would say. So the younger generation keep quiet and follow along although they don't understand the rituals involved.
Me? I'm the prodigal daughter :)
And he looked at me across the room.
"Aliya, I hope you don't mind that I use you as an example during the meeting. "
"Oh, not at all. Besides not many people know what they have to do if they're having the same problem as I did."
And I smiled at him, who seemed to look relieved at my answer.
And his comment made me wonder, would someone else in my shoes, be angry with him if he spoke the way he did during the meeting? Otherwise he wouldn't have apologised, would he?
Perhaps he was worried that as a woman, I'd be angry with him for 'embarassing' me during the meeting. For me, it's something he had to do, and to inform others how to act if they're in my shoes, so I'm ok with his actions.
Nahhhh.. I'm no longer entertaining those thoughts anymore.
I've passed that stage ages ago :)
I'm living a calmer and happier life now, alhamdulillah.