Well, I can't help it. Sometimes I forget she's royalty and I think that's fine with her, and with me.
When you're in the company of Raja Zarith Sofia you think you'd be talking about all that glitters and glitzy stuff? About that RM20,000 LV bag or that to-die-for Prada bag?
Fat hopes. Of course, this is not to infer that she has no opinion about these, er, classy stuff. She does.
However, more often than not, she'll take you on about the affairs of the world and the plight of the poor. Now, that would be after she tells you about what's happening in her "home" state of Johor such as the horrible floods that made scores of people homeless.
(The quotation marks needed because she is from Kuala Kangsar, Perak. Johor being the state of her husband, Johor's Tengku Mahkota.)
And no...she does not speak to impress anyone.
You know that it is from the heart.
The last we talked which was yesterday at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi, we touched on Malaysian politicians. Another time before this, we talked (in the presence of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who is founder of ASMA or the American Sufi Muslim Association and also Imam of New York's Masjid Al-Farah as well as author "What's Right With Islam"), about Islam, global perception of Islam and extremism.
And she was right at home giving her two cents worth.
Yesterday, Raja Zarith gave a public lecture on "Going Global:The Use of The English Language in 21st Century Malaysia" at UKM, Bangi.
The lecture was organised by the university's faculty oif Language Studies and Linguistics of which she is Royal Fellow.
She holds an MA (Oxon) in Chinese Studies.
In her speech, she said that learning English had nothing to do with glorifying our British colonial past.
"It has nothing to do with us being less nationalistic or patriotic."
Raja Zarith Sofia also said that we do not have to fear the English language. Studying the language won't change us from being Malaysian to being pseudo-English or pseudo-American.
Offerring herself as an example, she said she is a product of both the Malaysian and Englsih school systems.
"I didn't dye my hair blonde, I haven't started using blue or green contact lenses. I wear my baju kurung with a great sense of pride".
Bernama has the story here.
But what Bernama did not include was her take on blogs and bloggers with regards to the use of the English language in this century.
She acknowledges Malaysian bloggers and their reach - far and wide -- using English as their tool to communicate.
"As most of us are aware, for good or bad, we too have many bloggers -- ranging from ex-journalists who write about political and social issues, usually courting what is controversial, to the young housewife who tells us about her daily life, her children and,during Ramadhan, what she had cooked for the breaking of fast, as well as for "sahur", complete with colourful photos.
"It remains undeniable that blogging cannot be dismissed easily as just a new fad or a new trend of rumours and allegations".
Quoting Thomas L Friedman, she said a new blog is created every seven seconds.
"Technorati says there are more than 24 million blogs already and the number is growing at about 70,000 a day, doubling every five months -- from Iraqi bloggers who give their own take on news from the front, to bloggers who follow and critique golf-ourse architecture, to poker bloggers, investment bloggers, to just plain you and me bloggers."
"Writing as Malaysians for a mainly Malaysian audience or readership, why should Malaysian bloggers bother to write in English?" she asks.
And asserts: "Perhaps the reason to write in English is to get a wider readership. The borderless internet world that we are part of means that we can no longer afford to be the proverbial Malay katak bawah tempurung or the ignorant little frog hidden beneath the coconut shell. We have to try and be bigger frogs who are no longer ignorant and who are merely satisfied with that little world beneath the boring coconut shell. We can still argue and discuss local issues but let's be more daring and confident, and take our place in the global, blogal world."
Well.....indeed. Indeed. MarinaM, Rocky, Shar101 and I were there.
I don't know about them but I did fidget in my seat.
And that's Raja Zarith Sofia. Not your ordinary princess.
(Raja Zarith has a column "Mind Over Matter" in The Sunday Star. She used to be columnist - "On Common Ground" - for The Sunday Mail.)