They seem to be very surprised at my English proficiency. Apparently, Malaysia seems to be a place where nobody speaks English in their minds.
I find it really stereotypical of them, especially since I doubt any of them have ever been to Malaysia.
One of my assignments is writing a journal every week based on questions prepared by the lecturer. One particular question was why some countries are called the Middle East or the Far East, and why military chiefs is the US is called the Chief of Staff, whereas warlord is used in other countries. I answered that it's Western dominance that caused this, to make everyone see things from their perspective.
I believe the same thing's happening here. To many people, if a European speaks no English, it would be because they're proud of their own language. When they do speak a phrase or two, their accent would be a turn-on. But when someone from a developing country doesn't speak English, they're dumb and uneducated. Similarly, their accents would be a 'sign' that their English isn't good.
Oh right. Now I know why we're always stereotyped.