Sunday November 10, 2002

Ah, to wake up and smell the fresh coffee brewing in the morning….wait. That’s all I could do. I am fasting.

I was slightly shaken yesterday to blog in yesterday. Many, many interesting things happened yesterday. One of them is worth pondering and going “Hmmm…”

Yesterday was picture taking day! I felt like I was in school again (you know, back in Sekolah Menengah school not AES school). For the Malaysians who celebrate Raya/Eid, we decided to take a picture and send it back home to Utusan Malaysia (newspaper). Why would anybody want to do that is a bit beyond me, but anyway, I joined in for the ride. Can’t accuse me of being camera shy! Anyway, got up that morning, and put on my baju kebaya (traditional Malaysian dress) and went off to Uni.

Aside from most people being about half an hour late to the shoot (including a certain most important person of the shoot who I shall not name to protect his identity), I really had a grand time. It was fun, even though I was freezing my butt off taking my coat on and off to take picture (take note of the coat, it becomes a motif in this piece). We weren’t very creative in posing, the girls attempting to look demure (yeah, right) while the guys…the guys were really just being guys. You can’t do much with them.

After a long shoot (felt like I was on Model Behaviour) and seeing countless of cameras, we decided to call it a day. Well, I decided to call it a day. I had to go home and study for an upcoming Econometrics test. That was my intention anyway.

Anyway, I’m at the main bus stop all by myself while I see most of the other Malaysians walking back towards Tocil. Some of them were still at Benefector’s car park. Refer to Warwick university website for further details of each and every person’s positions. There weren’t that many people at the bus stop. There was a bus coming soon, I sat on the ledge with my arms crossed. A few minutes later, a car drove by and some guys inside the car egged me, ruining my coat.

They didn’t even say anything. They just threw the egg and drove off. It hit me a few seconds later what this all really meant. It was a racially motivated attack. I was shaken by the entire thing. I felt so humiliated. I tried to walk bravely towards some of the other Malaysians who were still at the Benefectors. When I saw them, and tried to explain it to them, I burst into tears. I really couldn’t help myself. For some reason, I felt so ashamed.

As it turns out, the same guys tried to egg the other Malaysians who were walking back to Tocil. As David (coursemate) and Raj Rai (housemate) pointed out, it didn’t make sense for it to be random egging. I didn’t look very Malaysian or even Asian from where I was standing. I had my coat on and my lovely brown hat on as well.  The only other reasoning was that they must have seen us taking pictures. These people even turned their car around to try and egg us (the other M’sians) again!

I was really glad to be home after all that. Jo, Azzad and Eizwan were kind enough to give me a lift home. I was glad that David had decided to come over earlier and that even Raj R came home tonight. Didn’t feel so alone.

Looking back on it all, I think a lot of people were angry that it happened. Especially on campus. Some of them would really like it if those people paid for what they did. I guess honestly, if I ever were to meet those people, I would ask for one thing. That they’d pick up the tab on my dry cleaning. That’s all. I guess I don’t think I want them to do anything. I refused to be called a victim in this situation with a psychological fear of bus stops from now on. Victim would suggest that they have superior advantage over me.

I’m not the kind of person who’d let this bog me down. It makes some interesting story telling to friends but I love England, and I love Warwick. I never feel racially threatened here nor do I ever feel like anybody on campus have looked at me from a race point of view. It’s only a minority who I bet weren’t even Warwick students. That’s all they would ever be to me.

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