NMadasamy
The Other Malay
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We arrived at Subang Jaya Airport almost 9pm, immediately took the cab and instructed the driver to send us to the nearest hotel. We have not made any bookings as yet. How to, as soon as we landed at Changi Airport from Heathrow, straight away book the shuttle flight to Kuala Lumpur. “No need booking” she reassured me. “Sure there will be hotel available”.

Subang Jaya Airport, also known as Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport was located in Subang, served as Kuala Lumpur's primary airport. It was opened to traffic on August 30th, 1965, and supposedly had the longest runway. It had three terminals - Terminal 1 for international flights, Terminal 2 for Singapore - KL shuttle flights and Terminal 3 for domestic flights. Subang Jaya is a suburban city of Kuala Lumpur in the neighboring state of Selangor and one of the fastest growing towns in the Klang Valley. The nearest hotel from the Airport is The Subang Jaya Sheraton, one of the many ever growing five star hotels emerging in the region.

“Oh! Come on... let’s pamper ourselves… “ She remarked. Seems like she could read what’s I’m thinking of. “I still have 900 pounds with me, so not to worry; we can more than afford to stay in this hotel” as she wave at me the money all neatly rolled up.

“This is just for tonight. Tomorrow we check out and look for more reasonable one, preferable in central KL or maybe at Pudu Hotel okay” I nodded. I’m too tired to argue with her. All I want is to have my shower and get something to eat.
We managed to check into the double room. She paid them cash for the deposit and as soon we got into our room, she rushed into the shower, dressed up and off she went into a waiting taxi. "To meet some people" she said. Invited me to come along, but I said no, I wanted to be on my own and yes! I told her I will be okay. After she has left, went down to the lobby to look around. Feeling rather hungry, hoping I could grab something, looking for Malay food I’m familiar with. I missed my food. Western food is okay, maybe once in a while but everyday, three times a day for 1 week, now that is too much for me to handle. I could almost hear my stomach screaming for mercy.

“I am trying to contact this person…..” I showed the note to the receptionist, a guy who is on the night shift, as I was coming back after taking my dinner at the nearby serabat stall down the road. No more restaurant food. Road side food stall is as good as any restaurant as long as they’re clean. They serve fantastic teh tarik. White rice with Asam pedas, fried kangkong and sambal belachan, now that is my food.

“You think it’s possible for me to go there... a bus or taxi that will take me there?” He looked at the note and remarked “No madam... this place is too far from here. No taxi will go there and moreover it’s too risky for you to go alone”

“Then maybe somebody will be able to send a note to this person for me?”

“One of the boys will be going off duty very soon… let me talk to him” and he disappeared into the office for awhile. I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing; somehow I just have this need to meet up with him. It has been a long time since we communicate. I’m not sure how he will react.

“You’re in luck… this boy said he will deliver the note for you”. A thin Malay boy in his early 20’s came forward smiling at me.

“Can you deliver this note to this person for me. The address is written there….”

“Is there anything else you want me to tell him”

”No don’t have to tell him anything… just make sure he get this note personally”. And I took out a $50 SING dollar and hand it over to him. “I only have Singapore currency with me right now….. Is $50 enough for the fare to take you there?”

I could see his face lighted up “more than enough madam…. More than enough” took the envelop and the money, and within minutes he’s gone.

Now all I have to do is to wait. If he’s somewhere out there, he will respond and will either call or come. Took the lift and walk back to my room.
Almost 9pm when she got home. It has been a long day. Left the ward at 3pm, had her lunch at the hospital canteen, then to the library to catch up with her readings and thereafter to SIM for her class. Only one session today and its Business law. As usual she got pick three times by the law lecturer. Why does he have to call me all the time to answer the questions? She laments as her team member sitting beside her smile at her sheepishly.

”I think he likes you” said Mark, The Team leader working with Queenstown town council as Maintenance Manger. “Otherwise why he keep on asking you all the time” And they all laugh. She doesn’t find it amusing at all. From day one of their business law lecture held at the auditorium where the management students join with other students, the lecturer keeps on calling for her to answer questions. There are so many students around, and she must be the one to be picked all the time. Business law is one of the compulsory subjects in the Management studies.

“Hey! You know him ah!” Mary one of the team members commented after the class.

“Nope first time” she responded.

“Aha! Mark is right you know maybe he likes you” they tease her again “goodlah for us. He will give us chance for our project”

“Not funny!” she is getting irritated now. She wish they would stop. She has tried several times, pretend to be the last one to enter the auditorium and hide herself behind other students, but as soon as he starts, his eyes start roaming around the hall. “Hmmm where is Noorie. I know she is somewhere here” and everybody turn around to point their finger at her “there she is”

“Ah! Maybe Noorie would like to start by telling us the …… of the law of contract’

“Damn!" She gave a long sight silently. “Why me! Why me!”

She will be meeting the group again on Saturday afternoon at 4pm at SIM canteen to discuss about their other project. They still have not decided yet which company to choose as their case study. She is very much interested in Creative Technology. Their track record really impressive and she have read they are in the midst of getting themselves in the Singapore Stock Exchange. She has collected all the information about Creative Technology especially from the Business Times and various other media. One of the team members will do the presentation.

Tomorrow she has to do case presentation after duty, and she has choose the topic on care of paraplegia. But right at this moment, she is hungry. All she wants to do is to go home, to have her dinner and thereafter sleep. She has already told her mother that she will be back for dinner. So better keep the promise or the mother will get very upset. Mother has been very sensitive last few days, lamenting that she do not like home cook food anymore.


They were all there sitting at the dinning table as she walk in. She recognizes them all. They are from the Publishing House: The Editor, the Assistant Editor, the driver and Zaini, her neighbor who is staying at the fifth floor in the same apartment block. He is an ex policeman. The last she heard, he was doing some business but have never been close with their family. Meet them once in a while in the lift. The conversation usually casual and superficial. She knows him obviously having stayed in the flat for more than 10 yrs. He is 2 yrs younger than her and close to her brother Johan than her. “Why is he here?” thinking to herself. “What’s he go to do with all these people.”

“Oh! Good you’re back” her father stood up when he saw her coming in “you better join in and listen to what they have to say”
It was almost 12noon when she walked out of the Rehabilitation center. It must have been raining earlier. The grasses still wet and the air smells fresh. She walked slowly towards the bus stop with her eldest daughter, Zawiyah. She is the one who has been accompanying her for the monthly visits to the Center. Her other sons, simply not interested to even talk about them what more to go inside the center. “You should just let them rot in there. Why bother to visit them.” They would answer her when she calls them to accompany her. They feel embarrass. She is the mother, no matter how embarrass it is, these two are still her sons. Hurt and the pain they have caused, the number of nights she have shed tears because of them, but they are still her son. How can she have the heart not to see them, especially when she keep on receiving letters from the younger ones... full of sorry occasionally philosophical and with promises that he will be good. He will stay away from it once he is out. She wanted to believe so much those words, because she knows they are just promises. How many broken promises there have been, she have lost count. They mean nothing to her anymore. But they are still her son, her flesh and blood.

This visit is just not any ordinary visit. She comes today with a purpose, to get their approval. Its not that she need it, but she wants to make sure they are aware of it and she wants to see their reaction before she makes the decision. So far all her children approves of it. “It your decision mak… if you’re happy we will be happy.” So they say. She wants her other two sons who have been in the rehabilitation center too know about it and their approval means a lot to her too.

It has been so long, as she talks to herself. She has been widowed at 46. Her husband died of heart attack. And all those years, she has to struggle to bring her 6 young children up. With no education, she cannot be choosy. Any decent honest job comes along, she grab them. Sometimes she got offered as helper in the kitchen, then when request for ironing in somebody’s house, anything as long as there’s income to help her to sustain her family. He left her with no savings but just a HDB flat and a huge loan. Many a time she has to leave her children behind to care for them selves so that she can go out to work. They learn to take care of each other. Never did she think the two of them will end up as drug addicts. She accepts it all with sadness, often blaming herself for not doing enough. Her neglect that lead them to drugs.

It has been such a long time, she reflects back. She never has any other thoughts but the worries of the bills to pay and her children, until one day her old neighbor from the Kampong came to visit her. This is not just an ordinary visit, but a proposal. It’s not that there were none, several especially a year after her husbands’ death, but she rejected them all. She is not sure how her new husband to be will treat her children. They are all still young. There’s still taboo about step father/mother. She doesn’t want her children to be the victims.

“I am already old, Nah. Who wants me” she told them when they came with the proposal.

“He is a good man kak. My own cousin, like my own brother too. We pity him kak. He is lonely especially after his wife sudden death” said Masnah

“Ya kak, you’re just nice for him and will be a good companion for him. He is not a fussy. He is very simple. Easy to get along kak” Zarinah, the other kampong friend of hers. They all grew up in the same kampong, Lorong K near Teluk Kurau. Even after they have move out and stayed in the HDB flats, they still maintain contact. Often they met at the mosque during their religious classes with Ustazah Kamariah.

“What about his children? Who he is staying with?” she asked. Not that she is interested, just curious.

“Right now he is staying with his two children, youngest daughter and son, but they are okay. Both working and not at home all the time. So my brother always left alone at home. He already retired from his job. I pity him kak. It’s good if there’s somebody to take care of his food and what’s not. You are the best person we can think of”

“His other children?”

“They all married and staying on their own. One, a girl in America with her husband. His eldest daughter owns a hair saloon, still single but staying on her own. His eldest son also married with one child. Second elder son, works in Singapore Telecom, also married.”

“You say he got seven. What happen to one more?”

“Oh! That one. He is there somewhere…….nobody knows where. So better not talk about him”

“The main thing now is you .We pity you too. You work so hard. You deserve better. Once you’re married to him, you don’t have to work anymore. His pension is enough for both”

“I’m afraid, Nah... Maz”

“Afraid of?”

“They are all so educated…….all successful in their job... unlike my children and me. You see the two in the rehabilitation center. How am I to explain to his family if they come to know? And look at my youngest. Few months time he will complete his national service….. I keep on asking him start looking for a job, or go and retake his O level, but No…. he prefer football and his DJ. I don’t know what to do with them. I am so embarrass”

“No you shouldn’t think that way. His children are all nice. They will understand. You don’t have to remain like this for the rest of your like kak. Let somebody else take care of you too”

”This is my fate... I accept it with open arms… but let me think about it lah… I will have to talk to my children first” Maybe they are right, she began to think to herself. How long is she going to go on like this? There are occasion she wanted to give up, but she can’t. Somebody have to put the food on the table. She doesn’t want to burden her other children. Too all have their own family to feed. She can’t expect too much from them. So as long as she can work, she prefers to go out herself and earn her own living. But maybe change too is good. She could feel heart beating faster as she thought about it. I’ve been such a long time. There has never been any other man but her late husband. Can she now the door to her heart be open once more? She stops at the bus stop and waited for the bus. The excited voice of her son, Osman keep on playing in her mind… “Wah! Man will be getting a new father!”
….. And then it was her turn. Phew! She gave a soft sight. All this waiting is driving her nuts but she still has to wait for her turn to be called weather she likes it or not. She's got to go through this process even though personally she has no intention of pursuing. She has promised her nursing officers that she would attend the interview. They were so persistent and she does not want to disappoint them. They have been good to her giving all the moral support including the recommendation. “We have put you as highly recommended” Sister Chew told her, the senior nursing officer “you will definitely be chosen this time”. Don’t know... maybe… hopefully, she can only respond but that is only for her to hear. She has lost it that is all. Maybe last year when she so convince that they will choose her, but what she got was just an interview. Disappointed she was but that didn’t stop her from diverting her attention towards other means of better herself. That is how her computer studies come about. As soon as she got her “A” level results, she signed on for computer studies at the local computer school. It’s no use of waiting for something you’re not sure you will get. If they do not want to choose her, its okay, she will find other means. There will be other Nursing Schools particularly in UK or Australia that will take her in.

Her main focus is to complete her computer studies and then off she will go to UK to pursue her nursing there. She has already got several responses from UK nursing schools. She needs to choose the right school but right now she has to go through this interview. A personal request by her Senior Nursing officer. Wondering why are they so persistent about it. Does it matter? She've already made up her mind, she’s leaving where she know she will have better opportunity.

Her plan was to get into the student nursing program thereafter continue with the degree and who knows if everything works well probably master to follow suit and subsequently her PhD in Nursing. She has it all plan out. That is her goal, and all she has to do is to put her mind to it, she's confident she will get there.

This interview must be done and over with, then has got to go back to the computer lab which is located few blocks away from the interview venue. She has got to complete her project by this week, then begin with the documentation and thereafter concentrate on the exams. She estimate the interview will take less then 5 mins the most 10mins. They don't normally take that long, that is based on her previous experience. There were several other girls before her and few have came out in less then 5 mins. The lesser the better she thought to herself. What there is to talk about. You just answer yes and no. Today is her day off and she intent to spend the time at the computer lab. She hope when she gets back to the lab after the interview she still have the computer at her perusal. Many times she have to wait because other students using the computer. She’s been saving for the past few months so that she can buy her own computer, then she doesn’t have to be at the mercy of other people. The money she has save all from her own monthly salary has been use to buy books, to pay for the tuition and the exam fees. They are not cheap. Then she needs to pay for her own insurance and other expenses. She still gives some to her mother even though mother never asks. Mother has more than enough, but as a daughter she feels it’s her duty to at least give her some, not much, maybe $200 per month, but it not meant much to mother but a lot to her because this money is from her own effort and nobody else.

It has always been this way. Even her “A” level exams, she paid for herself. Somebody told her that she can try to go to MENDAKI to get student loan but she is totally against it. She dosen't want to take money from anybody and even though MENDAKI did offer, she is able to afford to pay on her own. MENDAKI should be for those students who really cannot afford. It’s just her pride nothing else. She doesn’t want to burden anybody. She has always been independent. Lets other be her shadow but she will never allow herself to be the shadow of others.

……her mind is still preoccupied with her project and the computer labs as she walks slowly to the interview room.
There was silence as they left. Dad accompanied them to the door. Mom sitting near the living room on the sofa lost in her own world. Mother has not been herself for the past few weeks. She has been observing her all the time as those guys talk. “Does mother knows anything about this?” she thought to herself “Did she know where he is now?”

Manisah, second Sister, who is working in the Bank, too was there but she has not said anything. They all have been very quiet; listening to what those people from the publishing house has to say. What ever discussion going to take place will be only for the family to know and will only happen once these people have gone home.

“When was the last time he called?” She asked as soon as dad came back to the room after making sure that those guys have gone into the lift.

“Wednesday afternoon about 2 months ago. He called saying he wanted to drop by for a while to have lunch. He said was on his way to the airport…….” Dad trying to recollect the conversation he had with Johan over the phone.

”and……….did he say anything else?”

“No... Nothing, just said he wanted to stop by to see your mom and me.”

”And.?”

“He never come. I thought he must have changed his mind”

For a moment all of them were lost in their own thoughts. She's in hers, each trying to recollect the events that have happen right after this. There’s so many. All the constant argument she had with Johan and Mother. “Please take this money out of this house… I do not want to it in this house” as she hurl the suitcase at Johan. “Because of this money, there is no peace in this house”.

“What is wrong with you?” Johan shouted at her

“Get the money out of this house I say... I do not want it in here” She shouted back. Mother didn’t say anything. She just sat on the sofa chair looking at Noorie and Johan not wanting to take side. She has her constant argument with Noorie too. Money have change Mother. She has become a different person.

“Just tell me how much you want… your brother can more than afford to pay for the car. How much did the hospital pay you, he can pay you double. Just resign from your job and help him in the publishing house” mom remarked.

“Nor do not want any of his money….. Nor know where those money comes from and they are not from the publishing business... this is from another source and Nor do not want to have anything to do with it.”

“How can you say that? He is your brother, and he needs help, why don’t you help him? He even is willing to pay you much more than the hospital. Just say how much you want for salary, he will pay”

For that moment Noorie almost could feel her anger rising. She has never been so angry before particularly towards her mother, but mother have gone berserk, has gone too far. This is the first time anyone ever question about her salary. All the time she has never really bother so much. Her devotion towards her nursing career is not just about money. It’s much more than that, would mother even understand. To even think that she could be influence easily through money, is an insult. It’s not that she does not want to help him in the business but she is not interested. She knows what going on and she is not happy with it. She’s been there for a while right after she came back from UK and she knows then that business particularly publishing business is not her cup of tea. All she wants is to go back to Nursing, which have been her life force.

She has too many things right now. On morning duty tomorrow and after duty she has to catch up with her business law. That lecturer is causing her constant nightmare. The last thing she wants is to stand there before the class not able to answer his questions which indicate she has come to class not prepared. Or maybe she should just do that, Noorie thought to herself. Why not one day she should just say “Sorry, sir I am not prepared”. Or “I have not read” and see what will happen. “Aiyoooo he will call you more often lah! Don’t take the chances” Jenny cautioned her. “But I just want him to get off my back”

She must try to complete this course no matter how difficult it may be. She has spent so much on it. The books alone are killing her not to mention the course fee and other additional expenses that come along. Often she tried to supplement her income by working as relieve nurse for the private nurses nursing private patients. She normally takes home cases so that nobody in the ward or other hospital will know that she has been moonlighting. Nurses in the hospital have been warned about moonlighting. Well as long as you’re discreet about it and does not compromise your care in your routine, she sees no harm in it. After all she needs the money and it’s an honest work, her own time and effort.

“Maybe both of you should go in there and find out what happen” suggested dad. She just looks at him. How can she say no to him? She could see the disappointment in him as he spoke those words. The Publishing House has been the pride of the family. All of them including her have put their share in the company with the hope that it will eventually take off. It all started as a small venture. Johan assured them that his experience in the yellow pages as account manager gives him the courage to start on his own advertising company. They supported him and gave him some money as a start off capital. It all started well until one day he came back to tell us that he wanted to start another business, this time publishing business, to publish a Youth magazine. Supposedly the first Malay Youth Magazine in Singapore. And the family believes him. They gave him the money he needed and then …gosh! Too much to think about it all, Noorie sight to herself.

Why it have to happen now?

…….. We took the tube to Covent Garden, situated at the west end of central London. A beautiful place and we walked along the Piazza and Central Market supposedly one of the most famous market in England. We didn’t buy anything as we’re not very much into shopping. We want to walk and enjoy the London streets. Earlier we were at Trafalgar Square, and took the tube from Charing Cross to Covent Garden. Since our time in London we spend a lot of time walking. I love the weather here in London. Suddenly she stop, took out the map from her bag and look around her. She turn back and walk, then walk forward again. I followed puzzled with her sudden action

"What happen?" I asked

"Shsst!" she put her hand on her mouth as a signal to me to keep quiet. I stood aside and watch her. She did the same, walk up and down, look at the map and then at the shops and the streets around her. She crossed the street, then cross back to where I've been standing. Nobody seems to pay much attention to her except me.

"Can you please explain to me what's this all about? You're driving me nuts you know!"

"Give me some time, I will explain to you later" and so I wait, watching her action not saying anything further. 10 mins later, she held my arm and pull me along to cross the street as soon as the light turn green.

She continue to look at her map and the streets around her as we walk, then stop and look back. "My last trip, something happen here. Right here where we are. You see this map.. the markings on this map" as she showed her map to me. I saw the read circle on the map.

"What happen?"

"I came her alone.. walking just as we're doing right now. I cross the street like everybody else, then suddenly when I look up to the streets especially the name are different. I took out my map and check, the street's name not the same as the one I have in my hand. Everything around me change. Even the shops are different. I've walk this place several time during my last visit but that particular evening, they're not the same"

"You're sure about that?"

"Of course I'm sure. Why do I want to make these things up?"

"What did you do?"

"I got panicked. I continued to walk.. the street's name got wierder each time. For the first time I don't know where I am. I've always been good with my map reading. I've travel around London with my map and I never get lost. That evening for the first time I'm lost. I dare not move further. i stood there .. and look around me for some familiar sign but there's none"

"okay then..."

"You could see how frighten I became. Then suddenly I heared a voice... an old lady voice. I turn around, this old lady.. all in ragged holding a worn out cart with old boxes and papers standing behind me smiling

"okay what did she say?"

"You look lost love... can I help you?"

"and...?"

I told her "yes I'm lost. I don't know where am I" I showed her the map "I know I'm along this street. I came from this and I walked along this, but when I crossed the street, they're all gone. I don't know what happen. Where am I?" I asked the old lady

"what did the old lady said?"

She just smile at me and held my hand "there! there! my poor love... let me look at your map again. Such pretty map you have there..." She said

"she sound exacly like the wolf in the story The Red Riding hood" I started to laugh.

"Not funny... I'm serious. It happen. I'm not creating this one up. Something happen during my last trip here. This very spot. What ? that is why I am here to find out...."

"that's the reason why you're here.. back in London?"

"no.. many but these are one of them"

"okay! I'm sorry, so what happen next"

"she's such a sweet and pleasant old lady. Gentle and when she held my hand, I felt something. Her hands were so cold. I got distracted for a moment by a sound coming from the shop nearby then when I looked back again at her, she gave me back the map.. you are exactly here my love...and point the location in the map. Now if you take that road, cross the street over there, you will find everything the same again" I thanked her and do exactly as she instructed me, when I'm about to cross the street, I looked back, she's gone. No sign of her at all. "now how did she walked so fast" I asked myself. I walked back to the same point we're standing before, there's no side road. The whole street all shops. "where did she go?... There's not many people walking the street that day. You could definitely able to see an old lady pushing an old cart filled with boxes and old newpaper... but she is no where to be seen. Where did she go?

"Oh!" I looked at her hard. Thinking to myself she's definitely not making this up, but... how can you rationalise what she just said

"Look I know what're you're thinking. I'm making all these up to tease you, but I'm not. I'm serious this time. Something happen that evening. Who is that old lady?"

"I believe you... I believe you but you know how people are. Not many will take such stories seriously. Perhaps you're tired that day.. and you now how people mind are when they are tired and hungry etc"

"I am not tired or hungry that day.. I know what I saw. I am careful who I talk to when I'm alone here in London."

"I'm sorry... so what happen next. Did you cross the street as she intruct you too?"

"Yes!"

"and....?"

"suddenly there streets become familiar again... all of them as in the map"

"oh!" as we continue to walk in silence.

She didn't bring up the issue again and I pretend I've forgotton about them

Yesterday we went bus hopping. And that is precisely what we did; we hop from one bus to another. In the middle of the street, we get off from one bus, chase and aboard another bus. I couldn’t imagine myself doing it. It was her idea. The best way to see the town she said. I’ve heard about pub hopping, where one hop from one pub to another, but bus hopping. When she suggests it that day, I thought she’s nuts, but we did it. It was fun.

On our first day in London, as soon as we arrived at Florence place, dump our bags, change and off we went out. Florence was in the afternoon duty and can only join us later after 9pm. We took the tube [and I can’t even remember the name of the place. All the names are rather new to me] since the time I step foot in London I’ve been overwhelmed more of a cultural shock. This is my first trip so far away from home. I’ve bee away but usually somewhere near to home like Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei but London? I could never imagine traveling up here so far but look I am here, and all because of this dear friend of mine. It’s all her idea. Right after our Malaysia trip, few weeks ago when we met she suggested “let’s go to London”

“London?”

“Yeah… London as UK or whatever you want to call it”

“But it’s so expensive. I don’t know I can save that much”

“Aiyooooo girl. Try to think outside the box lah…. if we share the cost like we did for our Malaysian trip, it will not be. We’re not there to seek luxury... but adventure... moreover I have a friend, Florence; a Singapore nurse now working there. We can lodge in her apartment that will save our lodging. The rest we go on public buses, the tube or walk. It’s nice to walk in London. Weather not that hot as in our place here”

“You’ve been there?”

“Yeah… last year, for about 2 months”

“Oh! How much will the air ticket cost?”

“We will take Czechoslovakia air”

“What air?’

“Czechoslovakia air, one of the super cheap airlines, you must try this airline….. Really a great experience you will remember for the rest of your life” she laughed… then she began with all the logistic as I sat and listen to her.

“N………………..” suddenly a voice scream out of nowhere. We were in a very busy street I know not mostly dominated by Middle Eastern people. Women in their black burda, the smell of kebab and all the smoke. You can just feel as if you’re in one of the Middle Eastern country and not London.

“N…. the love of my life is here… she is back!” the voice again. I looked around trying to find where the voice come from. She walked towards a shop along the rows of food joint. There were so many such shops along the way… We were being greeted by a guy, looked like from Middle Eastern country, dress in white attire and an apron around his waist. Slightly taller than her “oh! You’ve come back…. I know you would come back... come come meet my friends…hey guys... this is N…. remember the Singapore girl I told you all about” and they all wave at us. “He’s from Morocco.. The owner of this restaurant” she whispered to me.

Suddenly a guy with a glass of not sure what, dosen't look like beer to me, stood up and shouted on top of his voice “Lee Kuan Yew! Lee Kuan Yew! … May he live a thousand years” and they all laugh. “Let’s drink for Lee Kuan Yew” and he gave the famous Nazi salute.

“Oh my goodness” is all I can say. I’m speechless.



“Love of his life?” I asked her while walking back home to Florence Apartment.

“Ah! You know these people sometimes shiok sendiri… so you just play around. But this guy is nice….. We met at the speaker’s corner….”

“Oh!”

“He was intrigue by me… said the first time he come across a Malay girl traveling alone particularly in London”

“Really”

“Yeah don’t know how true that is…. If he says I’m the first Malay girl, so I must be… but who cares…. Initially I though he is joking… about knowing the Malays etc… then he brought me to the Malaysian Student Center. Said he goes there often…. Don’t ask me why… he brought me there and introduce me to several Malaysians at the center… One of the officers there was nice. Gave me his number said if I needed help I can contact him”

“Oh! Did you”

“Nope….. I have Florence remember, so I do not need them. Better stay away from them Malaysians”
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