So yesterday we decided to go car shopping. Yes, ladies and gentleman, the rumors are true... the motorcycle is no longer welcome in this family.
Now car shopping in Penang is sort of a depressing little task because all the cars here look exactly the same. So it's like "Would you like THIS small, square-shaped, boring car with a lawn-mower engine? or THAT small, square-shaped, boring car with a lawn-mower engine? And I'm like, really? What's the difference? It certainly makes me miss the variety we have in America.
At any rate, yesterday's car shopping was even more frustrating than usual because I also got to experience my first real dose of racism here. It went like this:
We walk into a small dealership. A young Chinese salesman comes over to assist us. He has great English which is helpful. I am looking at a car that seems to be exactly what I want... only two years old, very low mileage, good price, excellent condition and then he says...
him- And you will be happy to know the previous owner is Chinese.
me- why would that make me happy?
him- well here on the island we have Chinese, Indian and Malay people (he obviously thought I just moved here)
me- yes, I am aware of that
him- well, (and he gives me this little smirk like he is about to share some secret knowledge with me) you only want to buy cars owned by Chinese...don't buy a car owned by an Indian (and he punctuates this sentence with a look of disgust...like he just drank spoiled milk)
So I am standing there picturing my beautiful daughter's face sitting in the back of that car...my beautiful INDIAN daughter...and I had the sudden urge to take a Louisville slugger to this guy's head. But because I have class that he obviously lacks (and because I don't want to end up locked in a Malaysian jail cell)...I simply say...
"Thank you for your time. I think we will look elsewhere."
You could call it grace under fire.
You could call it wanting to avoid jail time.
I call it "stupid racist idiot...I wouldn't buy a car from you if you were the last dealer on the island"
racist people suck