Surprisingly, The Headscarf

We were in a private room for 10 or so. We sat across the table and he stared at me briefly just to pay some respect, I guess.

For some few seconds when I finally got my chance to speak, I tried my best to impress him. I spoke as clearly as I could, of course in English because he is Russian. I told him about some recommended destinations in Java for a short visit. Later I found that nothing was possible because his flight was the day after our meeting.

That night I was startled, and it was not about what we discussed. After I finished my brief speech (few seconds) about how beautiful Indonesia is, he didn’t respond promptly. He smiled, I remember. Then a silence.  It was the first line he said to me about his impression on hijab. I couldn’t remember the detail but he said something like “I see a lot of women wearing a scarf on their head… (and then I couldn’t get it, because he spoke more to the person on his side, not me).”

At first I thought I should respond, but then I remained silent. Maybe I gave him a polite smile but I couldn’t remember. This should be my next post in my blog, I said to a friend sitting next to me.

Nothing fancy, but when people notice you for what is on your head instead of what is in your head. Whatever you say, people don’t listen and was stunned by how you look, by how weird or strangely out-of-this-world look you display (I still think he doesn’t watch TV that much or doesn’t browse the internet outside his job). Then however good you are, the strangeness will leave a strong impact and change the way they treat you.

Some would comment on this as “I am beyond pretty.” It means some beautiful girls have much more to offer than just their physical beauty, be it her intelligence or her compassion or her skill. But what happened to me that night might not be an example of “beyond pretty.” Maybe it was a kind reminder to me that not everyone is aware that there is a religion called Islam and the woman believers wear a headscarf on their head. A reminder that my kind of people is not that famous. :)))

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