July 29, 2013
Today I popped down to Taiping to run a few errands and stop by at the secretive Planters and Miners retreat in Maxwell Hill – which incidentally doubles as the Masonic lodge once a month – on Monday’s they serve a killer lamb chop with mint sauce accompanied with lashings of sherry.
I reckon the change of scenery would snap me out from my melancholy. Besides it’s a good opportunity to get out from my camouflage and boots into a bush jacket and laced polished shoes – I was hoping to play a round of croquette, enjoy a Havana on the balcony that overlooks Taiping town. Play a few rounds of billiards in the McCallum room, a hand or two of gin rummy in the library (that incidentally was featuring a rerun of Rambo that evening) – the lodge is nestled on the blind side of Maxwell Hill – hidden away by a row of tall cleverly planted Dama Minyak groves.
Nothing about the Planters and Miners lodge has changed in the last 135 years – not its plumbing or even its prewar electrical wirring with it’s rounded brass toggle switches – the only sign of modernity is the recently renovated conservatory which uses aluminum and tempered glass instead of cast iron and Pilkington glass circa 1890 – apart from this historical aberration everything about the lodge is like stepping into a time machine that takes one back to the age of polished leather, mahogany rest, sombre oil paintings of planters and miners of lore staring gravely down from high above – it’s really another world from another age.
Well that at least was what I planned to do – after visiting the photo shop in Taiping – that is operated by the ever efficient, eager beaver lady proprietor – super duper prim and proper, always respectably distanced and exuding absolutely zero sex appeal – Mrs Pang –
By accounts to the best of my knowledge as providence would have me bear witness for the last four years – Mrs Pang is the very definition of social correctness, decorum and as far as appearances go – a woman who has as much interest in the illicit thrill of sex as probably a penguin would have for the Sahara.
So it came as a great shock to me. When she placed her hand on my shoulder when I was editing the photos as I always do and asked in a whispering rush.
“Doctor is everything all right.”
I really can’t remember how the conversation turned to food and lightbulbs – all I know is the proprietor mentioned she needed a lightbulb in her bedroom to be replaced – she mentioned, as she looked into my eyes passionately – there was a school girlish glint in her eyes, when she mentioned her husband was away on a business trip in Indonesia – she wanted me.
I can tell. She was wearing perfume.
From this and other similar incidences – I can only draw the logical conclusion – women (only they can do it, not men) can intuit something is wrong with me – something is broken in me – they can sense it – as its the third time this week that this has happened with three separate women who I have always considered to be very correct in their demeanor for as long as I can remember – I must be sending out signals like a distressed fish that all is not well.
From now onwards, I need to avoid them.
They can sense I am weak. I need to run deep and silent.