Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Neighbourly Neighbour

I didn't know whether to laugh or to feel insulted when my casual helper told me about her encounter with one of my neighbours this morning. I decided to laugh in the end. It's quite neighbourly in a funny sort of way. Helper told me the neighbour asked her why she was going back early yesterday (the usual discourse opener) at her usual going home time which is 4.00pm. Of course, being the chatterbox that she is, Helper told Neighbour that it was not that early, and plus "Mrs ada di rumah" (my employer is at home).

Neighbour, naturally took that as a cue to satisfy her curiousity of why the two cars in my house have been in the garage/parked in the driveway for the past few days. "Mrs ada operation itu hari" (my employer had an operation the other day), said Helper to Neighbour. Surprised, Neighbour asked what operation was that. Confidently, Helper told her that "Mrs ada ketumbuhan dekat tembuni" (my employer had a growth near the placenta)...I looked at her, and said, "kau salah cakap sudah itu, bukan tembuni, ovari. Tembuni ada bila ada baby dalam perut saja" (what you said was wrong, it's not placenta, it's the ovary. Placenta exists only when one is pregnant). She looked puzzled, but too excited to finish her story, didn't really pay attention to my correction. I decided to let her be. Who knows what interesting tale will go around in the neighborhood in the next few days? The neighbourly neighbour told Helper she would visit me later...I hope very much later when I feel up to entertaining visitors:)

Anyway, I told Hubby about the story, and we laughed over how by the next few days, words would have already spread that the mrs of hse no 7 had had an operation due to...and possibly they would say an unusual pregnancy, or all sort of things that are related to the word 'tembuni'. Hubby jokingly said they must be thinking that we have lost our jobs after seeing the cars being idle for 10 days, which was exactly my thought. Anyway, "it's a neighbour thing to want to know what's going on with the next doors, and what easier way to pry than talking to the helpers? You'd be wondering too were you in their shoes", he said. Well, maybe. After all, that's what a neighbourly neihgbour does, huh? I'm still working on being one though. Having been a not very sociable person in the past few years (perhaps I was younger and less wiser ;)), it must be high time for me to change.


Gunaqz on June 22, 2011 at 6:28 AM said...

Awww.. poor you!

I'm sorry, I can't help but laughing when I read 'dekat tembuni'. I assumed your helper is an Indonesian then. Probably 'tembuni' means 'ovari' to them. Who knows kan?

My Indonesian mates here never cease to make me laugh whenever we are out for 'coffee meetings'. Although, most of the time I'm laughing alone while they are staring at me, wondering what's so funny.

Like when one of them proudly praised her niece. 'Anak kakak saya selalu juara di sekolahnya', she said.

1st- 'kakak' is her brother.

2nd- selalu juara? ha ha ha! you can't escape being laughed at if you say that in tambunan.

I always ended up holding my laughter to avoid offending them. It's not easy, though. There are 'funny pains' in my stomach and throat when I do that. LOL

Verone on June 22, 2011 at 10:42 AM said...

Gunaqz- LOL Indeed, she is Indonesian. You could be right about tembuni being ovari in her vocab. It's going to be a big joke in the neighborhood. Oh dear, 'kakak' and 'juara' in a very different sense from ours? I bet you must be feeling like you are watching an Indonesian movie. Only, you are part of the movie! hehe


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