And then we start talking and she's just the sweetest person ever.
We decided to meet up again the next day for lunch with her and Kak Su.
I was late though (so sorry Nisha and Kak Su!!) so that by the time I arrived, they had already finished lunch so we did what most self-respecting women would do when there's time left during lunch break - window shop!
Usual stuff - dress, shoes, make up. And since we hardly knew each other, we maneuvered around topics to get to know each other better.
On make up - Nisha has one of the most beautiful pairs of eyes - my pictures of her just do not do her justice - next time I meet up with her again, I'll take better pictures! We went eye liner shopping as she needed a new pencil. She likes the soft eye liner pencils and I said I used to use eyeliners but they get smudged so easily that by the end of the day I look like an owl. Her advice for me is, which I haven't taken up yet, is to stick to eye shadows! I asked her if it was a TG thing to know so much about make up and beauty. I almost kicked myself for asking her that. But she's so patient and takes it in her stride all the stereotyping.
On stereotyping - It isn't so much that it's a TG thing; it's a personal thing, some people do, some people don't. And it's only because there are not much other employment choices (given to more stereotyping and discrimination) that it's easier for TG's to get into the beauty industry. Here, both Nisha and Sulastri are quite vocal about being given recognition based on their abilities and not on gender. Which reminds me of another topic we spoke about.
On labels - So what is offensive and non-offensive? The most preferred is Mak Nyah. I looked up Mak Nyah to see if there was a history behind the term but couldn't find anything - the one that they had on wikipedia only gave the literal translation from Malay - Mak is mother and Nyah means to run from. Hmmm. And I learned a new term - transwoman.
On identity - Nisha has had a strong sense of identify for as long as she can remember. Despite what people around her told her. Despite the negativity. She remembers being jealous of her girl friends - she wanted big beautiful breasts and she worked hard to save up and as soon as she had the money, she went for an operation in, wait for it - good 'ol Johor Bahru! Who would have thought??? Hey (being a skinny not very well endowed Asian) I want big beautiful ones too, maybe I should drop by JB soon! OK, never mind.
On breasts and birth control pills - She took some and they made her breasts rounder, fuller and perkier. Her skin became softer and her body muscle mass rearranged so that her body got curvier. Interesting - I read up on birth control pills afterwards, and found out that it does the same thing for women. Some women reported growing up to 2 cups larger from taking the pills! Wow.
On being hormonal - But the pills also made her more emotional, more weepy, more sensitive - all the stuff of PMS. Yekk. And she got fatigued more easily. They gave her headaches, and made her skin break out. They contributed to her high blood pressure as well. So now she has switched brands and reduced her dosage, and they work perfectly for her!
I'm going to meet up with her again at her home and perhaps a (working) party or two - an event she's organising.
Can't wait! :)