An hour ago, my parents were engrossed in the soft porn on national TV, hiding their secret interest with well managed exclaimations of disgust.
It was their first discovery of S&M.
“Is this a movie or series?” Mum asked. She’s now asleep for the 2nd time today. The jet lag sedated her well. I could use less lectures anyway.
As I glanced at my wide-eyed dad with amusement, it dawned onto me how different this place is from my home land.
They have basins in the hotel bedroom, not just the bathroom. 30 channels and more on the idiot box so far; everything and nothing on the whole wide world. It’s about 28 degrees Celcius in the summer, their sun can compete with its Malaysian version, and though you have to walk everywhere to get anywhere you’d barely sweat at all.
Their walkways, boulevards, whatever…just lovely. Their trees are as green and thick as the movies. Their squirrels are fat, furry, and squishable, unlike its skinny balding Malaysian brothers, and they wouldn’t think twice to stare you down.
“Maybe that’s why Disney could draw them so cute,” Dad remarked. He has just chuckled to Days of Our Lives. Seemed quite taken, the old chap.
And the people. I would never get tired of remarking how friendly these country folks are. You can just go up and talk to anybody about practically anything and they wouldn’t even suspect you of snatch theft. They’re the kings and queens of small talks. Yesterday, I saw this girl Skyping away on the sidewalk. Alone. Like whoa. The cars stop exactly behind the white line. They’d come to a halt upon your arrival to the curb and they don’t even budge, all of them, until you step right up on the other side of the curb.
Talk about model citizens!
These Bloomingtons are so amicable that you can’t tell if someone’s hitting on you or not. Yesterday, I went up to this tall, slender, and cute enough guy to ask the location of the cafeteria we were in, in the map, and he went into a full fledge tour guide, showing me where I should check for my major and all.
Maybe it’s a I’m-pro-minorities thing.
And after walking for more than half an hour back to the hotel under the hot sun (after hours before), my parents and I could barely smile.
Yet, the receptionists smiled. As if they met just the persons they wanted to see.
They ordered us pizzas. Room service. Voluntarily.
Such hospitality reminded me a big reason why I wanted to leave Malaysia in the first place: I didn’t want to be one of those people who get so caught up in the rat race that they can’t smile any more; those whose smiles don’t reach the eyes.
And for a double double room that costs $106 per weekday night, I don’t think I’ve slept on a bed more comfortable.