April 24, 2012

Speaking In Speaking out.

I recently took my sons to the barber after Friday prayer. It is a very small barber shop the size of maybe 10x10 feet. It can only accommodate 2 chairs for hair cut, and 1 chair for waiting customer. There used to be only one barber but because this is the only barber shop in town the owner had employed another helper 

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We were the earliest customer on that day, so my sons occupies both the chairs while I used the waiting chair. There were only one barber at that time as the other one had gone for lunch. One couple came in, probably Iranian with his African girlfriend or wife maybe. He was told to go around and come back after about 20 minutes. Then came an African man, the helper told him to go around too. He chosed not to, and waited at the corner of the shop just behind the door, trying as much as possible not to stand too close to me.

I would have waited outside, because there are benches available...unfortunately on that day a Friday the pavements around that area are being used by traders at the  flea market, so even the benches are taken. The owner finally came back from lunch and attended to my other son. Then came in a Nepalese who wanted a haircut too (brisk business yes?). He decided to wait too in that small confinement.

Seeing so many people waiting the Iranian couple just now decided to come in and wait too. Can you imagine the situation, how uncomfortable it is for me being the only lady besides the Iranian girlfriend or wife?  The helper finally finished cutting my son's hair and ushered the African man to take the seat. I mean this is unfair, the Iranian man should be first. They asked him what's going on, the helper said, "you didn't wait, the African man wait, so he first" in broken English.  Then he started explaining in Tamil to his boss. 

I was like, shock, I wanted to say something but the words just did not come out from my mouth. It was obvious that he told the Iranian couple to come back, its just that they did not wait because the place is too small. Since they did not wait they were forfeited of their turn. They left, without the haircut.

I am still wondering what happen to me. I used to be outspoken, before I got married. If anything is not right I would voice it out making sure everybody understood what I meant. I am so timid now, is it because of marriage. A wife can become introvert because they want to be obedient to their husbands. How is this situation for those wife that are working, would they become reserve and not speak out? Does this reflect the kind of marriage when a person change from extrovert to introvert? We must not assume, what do you think? should I have made my voice heard at that time or remain quite as what I did.