Friday, April 16, 2004

Kaki & Tangan

Kaki & Tangan

What do you do when you don't know what you are supposed to write? Well, you just write--which is what I am doing now.

I have itchy fingers--whenever my hands touch the keyboard, I'd want to type something. I learnt how to type using an old typewriter when I was a teenager: I spent hours filling blank pieces of paper with that famous line, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", which covers all the 26 alphabets.

Now, everytime I see a blank piece of paper or a blank Word document staring at me, that crafty little fox would leap out automatically from my fingers. Hmm...I wonder if people still bother to learn how to type with 10 fingers anymore. Maybe a quick and nimble thumb is more useful nowadays--to key SMS messages, and to play video games.

Sometimes I'm curious if I am actually born a southpaw. Technically I don't think I can be considered one for I write with my right hand. But the strange thing is that I do most of my other things with my left. I am also heavily left-footed--I played mostly as a left-winger during my footballing days. Which is why I enjoy watching players like Harry Kewell of Liverpool and Damien Duff of Chelsea.

My tendency to use my left hand can sometimes be embarassing--in many Asian cultures, it is considered rude. Fortunately I have no problems using my right hand whenever I'm eating Indian banana leaf rice or Indonesian nasi padang, for I trained myself to do so when I was very young. They sure taste better without the cumbersome fork and spoon. But when it comes to handling money, I have a tendency to fetch notes from my wallet with my left. Perhaps subconsciously, I consider money as something "dirty"?

I also have a habit of using my hands too much to express myself. Even though it is considered good presentation technique to have hand gestures, too much of it can be a distraction to the audience, especially when the gestures are monotonously repetitive. It is so difficult to keep your hands quiet sometimes.

Indonesians are often mildly amused at the way we use the word "kakitangan" (literally hands and feet) to mean employees or crew members. "Karyawan" is the word they normally employ. To them, "kakitangan" carries the meaning of "lackeys"!

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