Yesterday I went out with a studiomate Peah in pursuit of my hankering for an Awal Muharram Nasi Lemak. I drove back to UIA and was asked to stop by a Pak Guard. I showed my matrics card and thought all is well but I was asked to get out of the car. Apparently, the fuss was about my hair. He thought my hair was too 'stylish' for a student. I told him that it was my (literally) 'just got out of bed look' and I didn't intend to make it look stylish at all. He took my matrics card and told me to get it once the back of my hair is shortened. In the afternoon, I went back to the security guard post with the back of my hair shortened and asked for my matrics card back.
"Ini pendek? Awak ingat awak ni Naruto ke?" He said condescendingly, without looking at me. I tried to get him to look at me by sitting down so our eyesights are parallel to eachother. "Pakcik tengok Naruto ke?" I laughed.
That's all the 'kurang ajarness' he could stand. He began his belittling by telling his colleagues about my appearance. "Eh Jah, tengok budak ni, dier macam saper tu...." Jah the avid Mangga reader answered quickly. "Macam Adam AF." "Haah" the Pak Guard chuckled. "Dier main bontot, kau tak main bontot ke?"
"Ape pakcik cakap pasal ni? Saye dah potong belakang ape? Bagilah kad saye balik." I pleaded.
"Dier nak kad dier balik Jah, rambut macam artist..."
"Salah ke? Kalau rambut saye macam artist pun, saye dah potong belakang macam pakcik suruh ape.." I stood at the security booth for almost an hour, waiting for my card. He began to ask me about my girlfriend and my father's job and my loud car. I told him nothing because it was none of his business. His face reddened and took my card and put it in a cupboard and told me that if I keep this up and don't shove off, he will make a report to the Deputy Rector and I will be graduating at the far end of the queue. I told him I didn't mind, do what you have to do.
He began to make more nonsensical jokes and so-called lectures. Feeling that he was toying me with his authority, I asked him what else should I do with my hair to satisfy him. "Potong jelah semua, Mawi hensem ape!"
"Pakcik, saya akan jadi seorang arkitek. Sebagai arkitek, bangunan yang saya design kene sesuai dengan kawasan site. Same lah jugak macam rambut saya, side burn saye panjang bukan sebab saye nak jadi macam Adam tu, tapi sebab saye nk memanjangkan muka saya yang agak bulat. Pakcik kene faham, kalau saya nampak kelakar, orang takkan pandang serius."
"Ramai ape lepasanUIA yang kerja tinggi2, semua rambut smart."
"Smart tu pada pandangan pakcik. Smart pakcik lain, smart orang lain. Lagi lagi client saye."
"Kamu nak cakap pakcik bukan orang Kuala Lumpur lah?" His face reddened even more but was still unable to look at my face.
"Pakcik bukan tinggal dekat Kampung Pusu ke?"
I ignored his mumbling when I hit the jackpot and asked Jah which part of my hair should I cut to get my card back. "Belah tepi sikit." She was almost laughing at her partner's stuttering.
Before midnight I went back to the security post with the sides of my hair trimmed. The same Pak Guard, great, just great.
"Saya dah potong tepi rambut saye so saye nak card saye balik." I said with a stone of a face.
He took out my card and examined my face in the card. As he felt the groove of my card and folded the paper wrapping my card, he glanced at my face and looked at the card again. "Tapi macam tak cukup pendek lagi lah.."
"Woi! Engkau jangan main-main! Aku dah potong dua kali dah engkau nak tahan lagi kad aku! Engkau ni nak mampos ke ape!
"Nah!" He put my card into my pocket and got out of the security booth.
I just don't get him. I violated his image of a prim and proper and with that he think it is fitting to violate my dignity. With so little sense of civility, how could he be responsible of judging mine? Why does he think belittling students will get their act straight? And how does he define a good act? By their appearance? By their clothing sense? Hey, he wore a ridiculous green jumpsuit and I said nothing about it. I didn't act as if I was arrested by malay speaking aliens, didn't I. "Kami datang dalam keamanan..." or pretended he was Barney's sister and ran around the booth singing I love you, you love me, we are one big happy family. I respected his authority, answered some of his more appropriate questions and behaved. What more can he ask? Should I resort to shouting like a Mat Rempit when another Pak Guard approach me again. I don't know. Maybe I should.