Interesting! I have always joked with my close Chinese friends that I think Chinese are one of the most racist people around. Some agree with me, but than they are my close friends, where jokes are taken light-heartedly.
Yesterday, I arrived KLIA from KK and my wife from Phnom Penh, after visiting our daughter and grandchildren there.My wife's plane arrived 20 minutes earlier but she said she would wait for me so we can take the same taxi to our hotel.
I bought a ticket for a limousine at the airport. More often than not, most limousines that I can remember taking before have had Malay drivers, but for today, we have a Chinese driver.
On our way to the city I noticed the driver constantly talking in Chinese to his friend over the VHF radio. Half way to the city it started to rain heavily and my wife started talking to the taxi driver in Cantonese. There was a moment of silence and a slow response from the driver and I can't help noticing that blood have rust to his head, he was red-faced and shocked.
I asked my wife what she said that have made him blushed so badly, not that his colour is much brighter than pale. She said she asked him whether it is always raining in KL and told him to drive carefully as the road might be slippery. I asked why he looked shock and almost speechless?
My wife said "I will tell you when we get to the hotel."
Here go the story.
While this guy was talking to his friend on the VHF radio his friend asked him whether he is taking passengers to Genting and he said no, that he is going to the city and that his fare are two lalat (flies), husband and wife going to a five-star hotel. He didn't realise my wife fully understands the exchanges in Cantonese all this while.
My wife is half Malay and half Chinese and speaks fluent Cantonese, Hakka and Mandarin. I scowled her for not telling me while we were still in the car and she told me what she did was more appropriate than me picking a fight with a low-life taxi driver.
She told me she purposely spoke to him in Cantonese to embarrasse him, which she did well to impound his rudeness without being rude herself and probably taught this low-life a good lesson that there are non-Chinese looking people who understand and speak Chinese.
This brings us back to the subject of stereotyping all Chinese as being racist, which I believe is more cultural than actual racism.
To the Chinese, anything they find repulsive will constitute name-calling, which bring us to Chinese against Chinese.
Insults swirl as Hong Kong Chinese called mainland Chinese locusts and complained that mainland tourists bring their less-than-refined social habits and women on the verge of childbirth into the territory.
The Hong Kongers only want their bulging wallets but not their fetishistic bad manners.
The common Chinese term for anyone not Chinese is kui, the lesser beings to the Chinese eyes. No other races are spared from the kui, including the kwailos that once ruled Hong Kong from 1841 to 1997 and one that have taught social finesse to the Hong Kong Chinese, who now feel, theirs, are of superior culture than the nouveau riche mainland Chinese.
Kui is less repulsive than flies or locusts, one that carry diseases and the other one eating everything in its way.