Monday, February 06, 2006

Che Mik Su

CHE MIK SU pron., n. what is wrong?

This blog is slowly digressing into the land of random social commentaries. Let us return to the blog's original purpose: the pursuit of Hokkien Nirvana, where every citizen of the world understand and speak Hokkien. Kuching-style.

Today's phrase is CHE MIK SU.

This phrase has several levels of use. The most elementary level, is the compassionate use. Like a mother asking her child if there was any problem.

But Sisuahlai's level is a little more sophisticated than that. CHE MIK SU here means "what's wrong? any problem?" ala American-Italian mob style.

This is extremely useful in tricky situation. Almost similar to the function of TU SI A-NAY (see previous post). It is a phrase of utter defiance and complete disregard to social norms. Hokkien-speaking people are not usually taught in the fine art of reasoning like some so-called modern, Western-educated people (unless your parents are Maths teachers). So using the phrase CHE MIK SU saves a lot of reasoning time and thinking effort.

Examples of usage:

(1) You have clearly broken the rules. You drove without a valid car tax, you were seen using the mobile phone and you did not wear the seat belt. The police pulled you over. You stopped your car and walked up to the police instead of allowing the police to confront you.

POLICE OFFICER: (looking at you with a hint of fear, as walking non-chalantly towards a police officer itself is an act of gangsterism)
YOU: (in your most assertive voice) CHE MIK SU?

Now, walk calmly back into the car and drive off. If the police officer does not pursue you with the siren on, you win.

(2) Your teacher asks for your homework. And life for you is far more important than to complete some petty essay on "the importance of tolerance in a multi-racial society". You obviously subscribe to racial tolerance, absolutely and blindly, so you think wasting an hour of your life writing something so obvious is completely unreasonable and unacceptable.

TEACHER: Did not finish your homework again?
YOU: (in your calmest voice and in a slow patronising manner) CHE, MIK, SU?

And now look at your friends (if you have any) with your eyes rolled up. Do not worry if you don't have friends at school. You don't need peers. Subordinates do not count as "friends".


Ka pai. Sisuahlai.
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