My bliss of silence while reading and enjoying this view was shortlived when a group of upper secondary school students (five of them, three boys with long pants and two girls, no idea which school they were from) sat right in front of me and chat non-stop. Chatters aside (which irritates the heck out of me), the choice of language is 🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️ (where every other word is a profanity 💆🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️) and regardless the number of times they were hushed by others, they couldn’t care less.
They were asking for it when…
Girl 1: (looking at the boy on my right) Old already still read comics…
Boy 1: (looking at both the boy next to me and the other sitting diagonally) Ya sia, cb, come library read comics
(The two girls and two boys laughed while the other boy was busy playing a game on his phone)
Me: (was still reading my book and then looked up and stared at them with my resting bitch face) At least they come here to read… (making eye contact with each one of them)
All four were stunned and I was waiting for a comeback especially from Boy 1 who seems like a subject matter expert on profanity.
Me: (still staring) You all know this is a library right? Maybe instead of just making noise here or laughing at others for reading maybe you should each take an English book to read? (smile sinisterly then continue to read my book).
Boy 2: (said in Mandarin to the group) Malay, read Malay book still want to say…
Me: (stared with ‘daggers’ this time) Just because I am Malay, I read Malay book and speak English doesn’t mean I don’t understand or speak Chinese…
Lady sitting further on the right who was there before me and been reading her book: (hushed them again, one of those who kept hushing at them) I took a picture and video of you all. If you all don’t leave I report to the staff or post on my IG story…
When they left, can feel their glaring eyes despite me focusing on my book.
The boy next to me (he looked like either in upper primary or lower secondary, not in uniform) turned and smiled at me.
When I left, said Thank You to the lady and she simply said and laughed “Annoying brats. I just bedek never take any video or picture”. I replied “I also bedek, know Chinese a bit only”. And as I took the small flight of stairs, to go to the main area to exit, felt some heads turn.
Moral of story:
1) A library is a library, please respect the space and the people who is in the library
2) Never offend those who read comics, there maybe others who may not read one at the moment but could be an avid fan as well
3) Laughing at others is not funny
4) Don’t assume someone who is not your race doesn’t understand or speak your language
5) Don’t mess with a lady with a book
Seriously…A library is a library, it’s not Kinokuniya, Popular, Borders, Tower Records, etc.
Bedek: Malay slang/Singlish for lied, fake