TV Smith's Dua Sen. The politically incorrect irregular columnist combines
his idiosyncratic observations and tangential commentary into a blog...
by TV Smith
I was talking to my friend Jean
at the open car park of a shopping mall when a burly guy appeared around the corner
from nowhere. He was shouting profanities and gesturing angrily, as he walked
aggressively towards us. I looked at Jean and inquired gently but tactfully as
to whether this unfriendly stranger was one of her many demented ex-boyfriends.
She asked if I had borrowed money from this guy instead.
the worst, we instinctively jumped into her car, locked the doors and hoped to
make a quick getaway. Unfortunately, like many other women, Jean decided to have
a quick check of her hair and lipstick before starting the car.
before meeting our maker, we noticed the raging lunatic beeping a vehicle remote
and getting into an expensive model parked next to us. Hey, what do we know? Hospital
Bahagia escapees now drive sleek German cars! It was only then that Jean and I
realised that he was actually having an intense conversation on his mobile phone
while connected to a tiny hands-free kit. We had freaked out over nothing.
a hands-free kit outside a vehicle is becoming fashionable. Day, in day out, we
see more people talking to themselves loudly in public with tiny tethered or cordless
earpieces. How the useful little device emerged from the private confines of a
car into public places like banks, shopping malls and restaurants, escapes me.
What I know is that with such equipment, people tend to walk around in circles
and speak at twice the normal levels. The irony is that Malaysians adopted the
word handphone instead of calling it a cell phone or mobile phone
as in most other countries.
other unique Malaysian peculiarity is that we have replaced the gentle greeting
Hello with the intrusive question, Where are you? Every
mobile conversation almost always starts with that, no matter the language or
appears to be another glaring hazard. The keypad and screen illumination on cell
phones are getting brighter with each new model. Some are so bright, the owners
dont need to invest in torchlights ever again. Maybe I am unlucky. I always
end up sitting near someone with one of these blinding phones in a darkened cinema
hall. Fortunately, most Malaysians have now become accustomed to turning off the
ring tone when watching a movie. So, silently a beacon of light will appear in
the darkness and blind you for the few seconds until the call gets answered. I
can put up with someone whispering on the phone 20 seats from me. What I cant
stand is the visual distraction of someone in the seat in front engaging in a
prolonged SMS conversation with a torchlight.
course, such inconsiderate behaviour is not unique to us. Handphone etiquette,
or the lack of, plagues every society with a mobile communication network. Hospitals,
restaurants, concert halls and theatres, worldwide, are now forbidding or dissuading
the use of such devices within their premises.
even install jamming devices to disable the phones. Sounds like a very appealing
idea, even if it is illegal in many countries. At every conference or seminar,
there is bound to be an idiot whose phone will ring loudly when the speaker is
in the middle of an important presentation. Of course only idiots use the most
irritating ring tones and bury their phones in the deepest part of their pockets
may be annoying but at least it is not dangerous, like the other newfound and
increasingly popular Malaysian habit reading and sending text messages
article also appears in print and online
in today's StarMag (The Sunday Star).
Link to this article: http://www.tvsmith.net.my/duasen/150804_fonefears.html
See also: ONE DAY IN DAMANSARA | PEEPING
TANS | TURNSTILES OF THE MIND | BODY
to TV Smith's Dua Sen: http://www.tvsmith.net.my/duasen/