The first question that my mother asked me when I admitted that I had boyfriend was..
"Is he a Malay????"
Not the typical question a mother would ask her daughter. But then, I was never a typical Chinese girl.
I attracted a lot of attention when I started wearing the baju kurung in the teacher's training college in 1990. I was the only Chinese amoi in traditional Malay costume in college, although I still remember that I actually owned only 2 sets of baju kurung in the beginning of the semester. My reason for wearing them, was because all the trainees had to do the taichi exercise each morning before class and the baju kurung was the safest clothing to wear as I bent and moved my body in public. Needless to say, I drew a lot of unwanted attention.
When I was posted to Kuala Berang after graduation, I didn't know that someone had been watching me. An MG [mysterious guy]. He didn't introduce himself to me directly but all I knew was that he was a police officer, a Malay and still a bachelor. Until today, I don't know exactly how he looked like because we had not formally met. He contacted me out of the blue by calling my rented house and asked to speak to me. Later I realised that he had asked my neighbour's children for the number, as my housemate was giving them tuition. Strangely enough, he had never attempted to arrange a date, preferring to chat on the phone at night when he was doing his rounds. And I had no choice but to answer his calls so that my housemates weren't disturbed by his frequent calls. He would talk and I would go 'ahh".."ya.. ohhh" most of the time. It was irritating and a waste of my time but then... I was a female stranger in town and I didn't want any trouble, especially from a police officer. I told him that I already had somebody special but he didn't believe me. It was eerie because he knew that I was usually alone, my name, my school but I knew nothing about him except his so-called- name. Nice way to tackle a lady, huh.
Finally after a few months and teasings from my housemates, I decided to ask my Malay teachers for help. The local gentlemen. I knew that I got the MG's attention because of my baju kurung but I wasn't going to stop wearing them because of him. Oh no, not me! I love my baju. Alhamdulillah they helped me solve the problem but not before a lot of teasings and 'good- humoured blackmails' [I was actually interested in one of them but he smoked, so sayonara laa..]. They managed to make him understand that I was no longer 'available' for him as I was about to 'get married'.
How did MG react? Oh, he was furious and jealous. He called and scolded me for misleading him!
And I calmly told him that never in any moment had I told him that I was 'single and available'.
So thankfully the night calls stopped. And I had a wonderful time in Kuala Berang for the rest of the year, although I continued to look over my shoulders when I was alone.
Why am I telling you this story?
Ahh.. will reveal in my next post :)