03 February, 2011

Creative Bitching

There's a girl I loathe in my creative writing class. I didn't like her last week for no good reason, other than that (1) she took care to tell us all that she'd had a play of hers put on at the Birmingham Rep when she was at university and (2) she insisted on being called Ro, instead of her actual name, which is Rohini, "because she hates the name Rohini". So I thought, she's boastful and she's ashamed of her ethnicity, neither of which is a trait likely to endear a person to me. Oh, and she has bad taste: because what kind of a name is "Ro" anyway? That's not a name, it's a verb, or something you eat as an appetiser on crispbread.

Anyway, this week unfortunately I was seated next to her, so was forced to listen to her tedious off-topic piece about the Bulger murderers, which I politely managed to find something positive and detailed to critique about. She then managed to find one thing to say about my piece and then went back to talking about herself. So now I've decided that as well as being boastful, alienated and tasteless, she's also self-obsessed and banal.

Worse still, I found out she's half Malaysian. This is very odd. Most Malaysians - apart from me of course - are immediately likeable in a social context: they come across as warm, open, friendly, modest, straightforward folk. They do NOT come across as vain pretentious graceless dooks. Well, she's not really a Malaysian, let's face it. She was brought up in this country and it shows.

Notice how much I know about her. Apart from the aforegoing, also that her mother was from Penang, her father lectures at UM, she's a lawyer and came to this country when she was 2. You know how I found this out? by showing a polite interest in the person I was talking to. How much do you think she knows about me? I'll tell you: NOTHING. She doesn't know what I do, where I went to university, what my parents do, where they're from - nothing.

I came home and was sounding off to LSS about her and he said, You should write about her for your next assignment. And I actually CAN write about her for my next assignment, which is 500 words on someone I've met who has made a big impression on me, whether good or bad. Of course I'll cunningly disguise her, by making her a half-Ugandan Indian male architect, rather than a half-Malaysian female lawyer (these are both professions populated by people who think nothing is a greater treat for their interlocutor than to listen to them pontificate about the wonderfulness of them for hours on end), but otherwise no holds will be barred. Tee hee hee! I'm going to enjoy doing next week's assignment.

This week's assignment was really difficult. It was supposed to be an autobiographical piece from our childhoods about being "in trouble". Now, I'm a middle-class Malaysian Chinese. We don't get into trouble. My whole life has been designed to not get me into trouble. I've never been in trouble. The biggest trouble I ever got to when I was a kid was being sent to the headmaster because I forgot to bring my ruler in once too often. That was a real challenge to write - and I still managed to do it without having to resort to sensationalist news stories completely unrelated to my own personal experience. Bah!

4 Comments:

Blogger Sir Compton said...

I thought you had departed this sphere. Will start reading again.

10:07 am  
Blogger FBT said...

why thank you, kind sir. Yes, I'm back at least intermittently and trying to pick up the threads of the blogosphere again. Although in the age of Twitter, it does make me feel rather antediluvian.

But then, everything does.

10:06 pm  
Blogger Sir Compton said...

Yeah, I tried Twitter once but didn't inhale. I think it has been proved beyond doubt that, as Mr Cameron said, too many tweets makes a Sally Bercow. Blogging almost feels like something from the old century. Hey ho.

2:04 pm  
Blogger Foamier said...

Why don't you write 500 words about that old fart Ulie?

8:06 am  

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