Three utterly strange and incomprehensible episodes in my last city visit

October 5, 2015

I have lived for so long in the provinces, it is conceivable I can no longer understand the way of city life any longer.

My first strange encounter in the city transpired quite innocuously during mid afternoon. When I decided to take a short cut thru a back alley in Bukit Bintang. Since the haze was thick as soup. I was wearing a handkerchief as a mask. Hardly had I turned into the corner I saw three Tamil youths grouped around three girls. One of them was sporting a familiar gangster tatoo that I know well – so as a gesture of friendship I exclaimed….fate it seems has united us in the city. When these youths saw me, one of them intoned, ‘OMG it’s MGR! from the Kampung!’ That was when the rest began to implore me not kill their fathers and mothers, not rape their sisters, along with spare their lives…thereafter they promptly scooted off. Before doing so one of them thrust a samsung smartphone into my hands with the words…mercy!

And to think….all I wanted was directions to the nearest KFC! This is a great disappointment to me. As for the last two years I have been trying so hard to cultivate the softer side of my character. Now this only serves to confirm that I have failed miserably. If there is any fashion or lifestyle consultants in my readership, I would greatly appreciate advice on how to leverage further on soft power.

Thereafter the three ladies hailed me as their hero who had saved them from being robbed and accosted by brigands. They were very kind to me and one of them even offered to be my contract girlfriend for free. Naturally I declined the offer as I told them all in the authoritative and commanding tone of a landowner – since I have renounced my evil ways. I am now seriously considering a life of celibacy…hence such an offer (as tempting as it is) is simply out of the question, as my goal now is to conserve my precious bodily fluids for providence….they all looked dumbfounded…but that is only to be expected from city girls.


That same evening I was a guest speaker in a high society formal function organized by the chamber of commerce. The dress code was ‘formal.’ However the politics of city high society makes exceptions for planters who are perhaps the only category of men who are allowed to appear in such events wearing an unconventional khaki suit.

Since I was the only notable planter amongst a sea of bankers and corporate hanger on’s – and the organizers have been well briefed concerning my aversion to crowds. My dinning arrangement was cordoned off from the rest, where the menu consisted of Beluga caviar, Poulette creme lashed with truffles in a Pinot Noire reduction with lashings of the finest of Chardonnay. Since I was separated from the crowd, I couldn’t help but feel like a desolate shark infested island in the middle of nowhere amid the crowd that was separated from me. But this was the very peculiar manner in which my dinning experience was so conceived by the event organizers and my dear friends the plantation ladies….who all looked on imperially as if feasting their eyes of on some wild animal in a gilded cage…all the while stealing glances and murmuring to each other in hushed tones…I will have you know, they still duel over there..while added, yes, they are very attached to their dogs..only for another to inject, they do look so quaint and old world in their ridiculous bush jackets…while they laughed…only for all of them to look on at me as if I am from another world.

I felt sad. A profound and indescrible sadness like a tear on the cheek of time. It was then that a terrible thought surfaced like some mysterious creature from the depths of my consciousness – it’s conceivable I will never be able to fit back home again….Singapore….Singapore…..Singapore…how I miss you. You see…I have changed irrevocably…terminally…that was when I realized…I am an exile. Suddenly the very thought of Singapore seems so very faraway from me that it might perhaps be a forlorn place in some distant world.

I must say the city is definitely a very very strange place indeed.

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