Drinking at the bungalow


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Asia » Malaysia » Negeri Sembilan » Port Dickson
September 17th 1982
Published: October 1st 2017
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Geo: 2.5228, 101.8

In the evening, Dad, Barney and I drove to Ling Kee Restoran -- but not for dinner. We waited about an hour and a half, until about 8pm, when two uncles, two aunties, and four little children came. I had never met them before. All (except one uncle) are Chinese-educated and speak no English, so I couldn't talk to them. Anyway, we all drove to Port Dickson to stay at the Banda Raya bungalow. Reached PD about 10pm; had supper at one of the stalls there. I needed to use the loo, and never would have known where it was if not for the stench. You see, this was no sit-toilet, nor squat-toilet, nor even a hole in the floor. It was just ... the floor. You just step into the middle of a pool of uk and ... well ... go. Charming, what. And then there's that ever-present desire to wash your hands; I still haven't adjusted to the no-tissue method. Anyway, I managed bravely and no one at the dinner table had the least idea I was squeamish.

From there, we went on to the bungalow, and, as I settled down with a good book (I was reading Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy), the aunties and uncles began their drinking session. I managed, through literally laying low, to evade the first bottle of brandy but was eventually snared. Since I loathe the brandy and water mixture with a passion undisguised, I was allowed brandy and 7-Up (still disgusting but not nearly so flat). I did the round of "cheers" with my one glass -- everyone likes to drink with the mat-saleh girl -- then faded into the bedroom.

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