I decided on a career in Psychology after volunteering in the hospital for 10 months, in the year 2006. And I decided on Canada way back in 2003 because my parents were happier that I would have family there, and the fees are more reasonable. And I find that people's response to these are generally the same =)
Perception Number 1
1) Lecturer in Inti:
She: "So, Daphne, which part of the US are you planning to go to?"
Me: "Oh, I'm going to Canada".
She: "Oh, very cold"...
2) Taxi driver in Penang, whom I befriended, because I always called on him:
He: "Eh, which country you going to? Australia ah?"
Me: "No lar Uncle. Canada".
He: "Wah, very cold wan".
Me: "Oh, you've been there? Cool!"
He: "No lar. But very cold. After your nose also you cannot feel".
3) Veterinarian, whom I bring my animals to:
She: "So, where to next, girl?"
She: "Aiyoh, God bless you. It's very cold there".
*And she asks me the same question every time I bring my dogs. It will be followed by 1) What are you going to study, and 2) Which part of Canada...
Come to think of it, the only person so far who hasn't exclaimed how cold Canada is (when hearing I'm going there to study) in the course of the conversation is Tun Dr Mahathir. *Lol*
Perception Number 2
1) While chatting with the uncle who cleans the market...
Uncle Lourdes: "Daphne, what are you going to study? Medicine?"
Me: "No lar Uncle Lourdes".
2) At the Roti Canai shop today, where I've been eating for the past, 10 years? The man there always talks to my mum and dad, but he usually just smiles at me. Today, he addressed me:
Him: "Sekarang sudah belejar mana? KL kah? (Where are you studing now? KL?)".
Me: "Tak lar. Sekarang cuti. Nanti August baru sambung balik (No lar. Now on holiday. Will only continue again in August)".
Him: "Belajar apa? Medic ka? (Studying what? Medic ah?)"
Me: "Aiya, tarak lar Uncle (Aiya, no lar Uncle)".
3) At the dentist today, where this new dentist, a sweet thing, was seeing to me...
Her: "So what are you going to study in Canada? Medicine?"
Me (with mouth open, and some metal poking at my braces): "Nah uh"
Me: "Nah uh"
Her: "Veterinary Science"
Me: "Nah uh"
Her: "Ling, so Foo-Chow. Must like money. Banking, economics, accounting?" *I'm actually Hokkien*
Me: "Nah uh"
*She never got it, even till my mouth was done...;) *Lol*
4) At the hospital, when I was warded...
Neighbour: "Girl, you study what? Medicine ar?" (In Hokkien)
Me: "No lar Aunty" *How on earth do you explain Psychology in Hokkien???*
I addressed the daughter instead, telling her what I'm studying. The daughter scratches her head for the term, and finally tells her mother...
Daughter: "She studies the brain"
Me: *Smack head*
Neighbour: "Wah, even more fantastic than medicine".
5) While attending the funeral of my grand-aunt a week ago, my mother's cousin (My aunt) declared to all the other distant relatives there, in Hokkien:
Aunt: "Wah, you know ar (points to me), she very smart one ar. Going to become a doctor"
Ling family: "Eh?!?"
Me: "No lar Ah Ee, I'm not doing medicine"
Brother: "Yeah smart aleck. Now you have to figure out how to explain Psychology...in Hokkien"...
Either I look like a doctor/medical student (dishevelled hair, maybe?), or that's the only occupation anybody can think of...
Perception Number 3
1) At the photo studio, where I often go to get my prints...
Owner: "Ah girl, what are you studying? Medicine?"
Me: "No, I'm studying Psychology".
Owner: "Wah, dangerous. Can read minds".
2) At the orthodontist...
Dr L: "What are you majoring in?"
Dr L: "Dangerous. I'm not talking to you". (She was teasing me)
3) At the hydrotherapy pool, where I volunteer...
Mother of special child: "Dik belajar apa? Doktor ya? (What do you study? Medicine huh?)"
Mother: "Eh, dahsyat tu. Bahaya, boleh baca minda orang (Eh, dangerous. Can read people's mind)"
The best? The one where people combined all three perceptions...
At the computer store, while browsing for a notebook...Two salesmen (S) were with us...
S1: "Where you going to study?" (We were discussing the International Warranty)
S1: "Wah, very cold!"
S2: "Studying medic ma?"
Me: "Nope. Psychology lar".
S1 and S2: "Wah, dangerous lar you"...
Aiyo, studying Psychology doesn't enable you to read minds lar...Cos the first head I would attempt to read, would be,well, mine...;)