Have you ever heard members of a Chinese family speak to one another? Failing which have you ever heard of two Chinese persons speak to each other, yeah, even if it is conversation over a cellular phone.
I have known the Chinese to be raucous unless it is two Chinese love-birds holding hands and whispering sweet nothings to each other.
My ex-wife is Chinese so I am certified to make the statement that the Chinese are loud when they speak to each other, not as though they are standing apart on different mountains and enjoying the echo of their voice.
The louder the voice, the better. Like their famed fire crackers which are lit on the eve of Chinese New Year or a Wedding or the launch of a new business, loud sounds are meant to drive the evil spirits away. Hence, speaking loudly is to drive away the evil spirits away from the other person held in conversation? I doubt so. It is just the Chinese mentality that the louder you are, the more assertive and correct you are and of course everybody within hearing distance will know what a great hot shot you are.
But it is not only the Chinese who are loud as I later discovered.
On many occasions during my travel I found the Filipinos have upped the ante for the Chinese in this regard.
Take the airport as an example. I am tired and need a quiet place to sit and rest till it is time to board the plane. Uh-oh! what’s that noise? OMG, Filipinos conversing loudly nearby and it is only their voices that is heard.
Take air travel as an example. The Filipino chatter never ends. It just never ends!
On my flight to San Franciso, en route Honolulu, I had a Filipino seated beside me in Executive Class. Meal time and we were handed the Menu… Gosh! the Menu was all in French. I decided that out of the four meal options, I would go for the one that had the most flowery French names.
Meals were served and the next thing I found out is that my Filipino neighbor kept looking at my tray and started to ask what is this, what is that and I asked him if he wanted my meal he could have it. I felt relief when he got off the plane when we landed in Honolulu.
Take bus travel as an example. I travelled in a bus from Kuala Lumpur at night back to my hometown. There were four Filipinas in the bus who kept talking loudly for almost the entire 5 hours of road travel while the rest of us were sleeping or trying to sleep.
Take meeting Filipinos as an example. They’re all smiles and I notice the women keep raising their eyebrows up and down, something that I have never seen women elsewhere do that though I have seen monkeys do that. Later, I was told that when a Filipina raises and lowers her eyebrow, it is her unspoken sign of being in agreement with what is being said.
That was a digression. What I wanted to say is this. More than one Filipino speaks to me at the same time. Now even if I had more than one tongue, I would still need more than one brain to keep up with the Filipinos!