|Singaporean in Kuala
“So you’re going up to KL with her?”
“Good……she will be able to help you. She have many
contacts up there…..you have the list of
“You’re gals staying in hotel or her friend’s place?”
“She mentions about this friend of hers’ a Singaporean
who has been in KL for more than 5
years………. A ex nursing staff too… do you know this
friend of hers?”
“Oh! I know who she is referring to, it should be okay.
Better to stay with her…. She can drive you
around and help you to track those people in your
wanted list. It will be an experience. When you’re
out there with her, you will have an interesting
“You think so? You travel often with her?”
“Not that often. She travels alone most of the time. Our
last trip to Malaysia, we started off at
Langkawi, then to Penang, Pangkor, then move
downwards to Ipoh, made several more stops at
various towns and kampongs until I lost count, and
eventually end in Penggerang…you know the
small fishing village in Johor….then we took the boat
back to Singapore via Changi”
“That’s quite a trip. Penggerang? Never heard of that place before”
“It’s a nice place………maybe one day we will make a day’s trip
there……We can have our sea food session and go cycling”
“When you mention… ‘you’re sure will have an interesting experience’ what do you
mean by that?”
“Oh! You know this friend of ours…….she is full of surprises. Don’t know what’s in
her mind……. every time she will come up with something new…but it was fun and
sometimes funny; it’s like in a roller coaster. Our last trip we decided to take the local
bus instead……. You know how local buses
are like in Malaysia ….…..
……it going to be another long journey. The weather is so hot and we’re getting
weary. The road seems to be long and endless. I suggested to her earlier that we
should take the coach or the taxi
since there’s four of us, but no she said if we want adventure, take the local bus…
coach or taxi is no fun… this is the opportunity to meet the local people and get to
know them. The bus that we took
reminds me of the old local Singapore public bus I sometimes take when I was in
Junita and Mei Lan were sitting few seats in front of us chatting away… She was
sitting inside near the
window at the back seat, reading the local English papers, then suddenly…..
“Psst……..” she turn, came closer to me and whispher over my left ear. I was at the
verge of dozing off “look from now on… I am Nancy”
“Sorry?” gave her the puzzling look.
“That is what I said……. I am Nancy…and I’m from Hong Kong……..another I do not
Malay….. Not a single word, you understand”
“Why suddenly you become Nancy and what do you mean you do not understand
Malay…….just last night you were singing that Alley cat song in Malay on top of your
“Aiyo….girl…. just play along with me lah……just for this trip okay from now till after
“why…..suddenly you become Nancy” I look at her confused….thinking to myself…’
what’s she is up to this time?’
“You will know very soon…..now 1….” As she began to count slowly…”2….3…”
“Hello ladies” two male voices could be heard.
I look around…two guys were sitting the seat in front of us… turning to look at us,
smiling. They were not there earlier. I don’t remember seeing them at all in the bus.
Where did they come from? Or they must have been in the bus all the time but I never
bother to look at them. The heat is too much for me. I wanted to sit and close my
eyes. Didn’t get much sleep last nigh as I have been spending the time updating my
journal and sending post cards to Suresh detailing to him about our travels and
encounters. There’s so much to write about and so little time. I can’t wait till I get
home as I will have other things to update. So I must do it when I have the time.
“I told my friend here…..” one of them, tall fair skin guy with short curly hair cut...
pointing his finger to another who was sitting beside him. They remind me of Mr.
Jackal and Mr. Hyde “that you’re not
local…don’t mind us asking…..where you’re from?”
“Singapura…” I answered them in Malay and looked at her again. She gave me her
smile I am all too familiar now. Suddenly I got the message…..
“Ah! That is what I thought…. Only two of you?” the fair one asked again in Malay.
“No four… the other two is in front” I answered in Malay, pointing to the other two girls
sitting about few seats away from us. The two girls have stopped chatting... both
seems like dozing off... I could see Juanita’s head nodding from left to
right…following the motion of the bus.
“You’re friend here... from Singapura too?”
“She….” I looked at her....’oh! Man… how do I get myself trap in this?’ thinking to
myself “oh! She is from Hong Kong.... on transit from UK”
“Ooooooooooh! Hong Kong”
“Hello….how do you do? Your country is very beautiful” she responded in English
with the typical Hong Kong Chinese Slang shaking their hand. I stared at her ‘now
where that slang comes from?’ thinking to myself again.
“Is this your first time in Malaysia?” the other Malay guy asked her. Both their attention
focusing on her now. I suddenly ceased to exist.
“Yes... my first time. I like your country very much… plenty of trees and people are all very nice and
kind” she continue. I smiled along with her…glad I’m being ignored. I wanted to close my eyes…..and
just listen to the conversation particularly the slang.
“So where have you been... in Malaysia”
“I met my Singapore friends here in Kuala Lumpur. We went to where……the KL tower… and the twin
tower…now we’re going to where……., what is the name of the place again….oh! Wait wait…I have it
in my map...” she took out the map of places of interest in Malaysia and show the two guys “Island
“Langkawi….we’re going there too!”
“You are…….very nice... Can you tell me more about Langkawi?”
For the remaining part of the journey till we reach the jetty… the two guys were talking, briefing her on
the history of Langkawi…..the famous mythology etc……” all in English. As I sat there watching them
talk and pretending to pay attention to their conversation, I am suddenly reminded of Darwin’s theory
of Evolution: The Origin of Species. In Darwin’s’ theory, life is basically about two main things:
reproduction and survival. Much of our survival is about showing off, consciously or unconsciously in
various ways to attract the opposite sex and intimidate those of the same sex. In humans as well as
animals, both sexes engage in this. Men do it more than women.
At the Jetty she distanced herself from the guys “Okay thank you… I will remember what you told me…
maybe we meet again at Langkawi yes” she wave at them as she join us in the queue.
“Why you’re not with them…. They are inviting for you to join them…go lah… they’re in the front row...
may be they can get the ticket for us then we don’t have to wait in the queue”
“You’re kidding... did you see that... the counter girl asking for our IC/passport to record down. I can’t
be near them…….what if they found out” I laugh.
“You’re bad you know…. Vely vely bad... you want to tell us what’s that is all about… suddenly this
Nancy comes in...”Asked Junita.
“They want to practice their spoken English lah…..so I’m helping them. Nothing wrong right…. Did
you see that the whole journey…..they tried very hard to speak English……no Malay or
slang…struggle once in a while but overall I should give them a B.. They will be very proud of
“And how do you know they want to practice their English…”
“I overheard their conversation…..they saw us first... I heard one them say ‘they are not local…..the
other girl... reading English paper………..lets approach them… we can practice our English’…… so
suddenly this idea comes you know...……lets help them…”
“You eardrop on their conversation… that is not good...”
“Can’t help it... ..You see two good looking man talking, often wondered what they talk about….…do
you know who they are?”
“One is a police Inspector and the other a public persecutor... on a trip to Langkawi for a trial...they
were discussing about their case... we’re just a distraction for them” she laugh.
… And you wouldn’t believe it at Langkawi which ever place we go, we bum into these two guys
especially during lunch time…
“So did they found out…”
“Not until the last day at langkawi…We
decide to try the local food. Tired of the hotel
food… so went to this warong in the
kampong… she said she wanted to pay this
time….so she walked up to the makchik…
conversing to the old lady in Malay not
realizing one of the guy is standing behind
her listening to her speak.
“How was his reaction…?”
“You could see his jaw drop almost touching
the floor ‘Wah! You now can speak Malay so
well... So fast within 2 days you become
proficient’” he teased her.
We hurriedly move out from the warong…….
the two guys called out to us “where you gals
“Hmmm Pangkor….okay we might meet you
all there…..bye… have a good trip”