When white people say “How’s it going?” they don’t really care about your day. It’s just a greeting.
This was a note that I saved on my phone in June last year. I realized that when I was traveling a lot for work and everybody would say that to me. Initially, I’d respond by telling them how it was going. “Oh, I’ve been very busy.” “Oh, life’s alright.” and so on. It took me to realize that it was just a greeting and people didn’t care about how my life was going. I thought that was pretty funny because nobody does that here in Malaysia. In my experience, if people ask you how’s it going, they want to know how things are going with you.
Not many people in the remainder book industry that I met were smokers. The handful who smoked, I got along with pretty well, sharing cigarettes and conversation out in the cold weather after meals. Not sure if that helped with lowering the prices for the books we purchased, but I’d like to think so! Smoking gave me time alone which was good. It was nice to take a break every now and then, especially when you were traveling with the same people for a month straight. I cherished the breaks I had. It allowed me to recharge. Dr. Pepper in one hand, cigarette in another.
Driving a car in the UK was also a fun experience. For the first few days, I was worried about my car stalling whenever I had to stop. Eventually, that fear went away and operating a manual car became second nature. Except when it came to roundabouts. Man, I clenched my butt cheeks every time we arrived at one. Fortunately, we did a lot of night driving so traffic wasn’t a big issue. I used Google maps to navigate, so I never got lost getting anywhere. I was definitely a much slower driver than my boss then, but I guess it was expected – I don’t even speed when I’m in KL.
No idea when I’ll drive again in the UK, but for now I’m content with KL’s roads. Especially for the next week, when all the immigrants go back to their hometowns for Chinese New Year. Kek. I’m probably going to lose money gambling, but sitting around a table with friends is worth the entrance fee.
Isn’t it great living in Malaysia? We get way more public holidays than we deserve – but I’m not complaining about it.