It's interesting to see how people get stereotyped all the time, much like in the West where demonisation of Islam is so complete that the mere mention of this faith brings forth spectres of fanaticism and terrorism.
I would have thought by now hijjab-clad women in Malaysia is as common the garden snail that pigeon-holing was non-existent. I was sorely mistaken, as what happened at the Royal Lake Club today proved.
After attending a wedding kenduri in Keramat, Pak Abu and I made our way to the Club for tea with England-based blogger 'Anak Si Hamid" aka ASH (Kak Maz in real life) and her husband Iain.
ASH and spouse have always had one foot in KL and the other in Leicester and return often. Their trips have become more frequent now, since dear Iain is undergoing treatment at Tung Shin Hospital.
After tea, Pak Abu and I adjourned to the karaoke lounge for a couple of hours, before having dinner at the poolside terrace, after which we proceeded to the Club surau for solat maghrib.
There were four middle-aged women and a jeans-clad young lady in the surau when I entered. From their conversation I noted that one neatly groomed, immaculately dressed woman of ample proportions was the mother of the girl.
Whilst the other ladies (amongst them two Club workers whom I knew) finished their solat and left, the duo remained a while longer, to do their face. In the mean time, I proceeded to take my wudhu and prayed.
I was donning my tudung when the woman, perhaps to show her affirnity with the hoi polloi, turned to me and said: "Baru habis kerja ker?"
It dawned on me that she had mistaken this rotund, tudung-clad makcik in lime green baju and grey long skirt as an elderly Club employee, perhaps a kitchen helper or cook or even the changing room cleaner.
Naturally my ego was dented, albeit slightly and momentarily. I gave her my best smile and answered: "Tak, baru habis dinner dengan husband." With that I gathered my handbag and 'tapau'ed bag of satay and sauntered out.
Pak Abu guffawed when I related the episode to him. Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, we both could see the funny side of it... :D