During one of my lectures today, i finally caved in and whipped out my copy of The Economist to read. The lecture was agonizingly boring – every other student was busy burying their heads in either their doodles, iPhones or hell, like a couple of my friends, who were pitting against one another in Scrabble on Facebook. My friend seated beside me was busy reading the autobiography of Johann Sebastian Bach. Another was texting me from across the room, telling me how she was trying her best not to fall asleep. Why do lecturers not realize something is amiss? Because they are too busy reading off from their laptops to pay any attention to their audience.
After the lecture, one of my acquaintances walked up to me.
“I did not know you read The Economist.”
“Yeah i do,” i smiled, trying to partake in this social interaction.*
“You are like [insert name of one of the sleaziest guys in the cohort], he reads The Economist too!” he mentioned excitedly.
“Erm, please do not tell him that,” i said hurriedly, already foreseeing the unsolicited attention from a guy i rather not spend time in the same room with.
My acquaintance frowned then continued, “Are you into politics?”
“Oh, so you read because you don’t want to appear stupid?” he said (without any hint of malice or arrogance).
I stared at this guy in front of me, amazed at his ignorance.
“No, i read so i get an idea of current affairs and have a more balanced perspective,” i replied in astonishment.
I never knew that something as innocent as reading a newspaper could be taken with such ulterior motives.
“Oh i see,” he said.
*Don’t get me wrong. This is one of the rare guys whose company i enjoy – that is we can hold a decent conversation without me being bored or disgusted. But his mentality reminded me so much of the people back in The Homeland that i was astounded. Astounded because he had spent more time overseas in a Western country (at least a decade!) than me, and yet his attitude still retained such a Homelander attitude. Wow. Roots grow deep.