About 25 years ago, I was visiting (for the first time) a girlfriend I had just hooked-up with. Since we had known each other only for a short while, there was no way I could tell that she came from an incredibly wealthy family. The address she gave (somewhere near Jalan Duta) should have been a dead giveaway. But being the clueless sod that I am, the significance of the address completely escaped me. As far as us MRSM’ers were concerned, if you lived in that area – chances were – your father was probably from MCKK. But that was OK: Rich folks were human, too – even the ones from MCKK.
When I arrived at the main gate, I found that the driveway meandered off almost into infinity before finally connecting with a speck in the distance which, I can only assume, was the house where my girlfriend lived. Though it was not quite obvious to me at the time, this was yet another sign; one that should have told me to pack it all up and run like mad. Again, being from MRSM, after having been brought up to believe that danger was limited only to particularly effeminate boys who were unfortunate enough to find themselves in an MCKK dormitory on a cold dark night, I pressed on with my initiative by pressing the button on the intercom.
After 10 minutes of talking into crackling static, I finally came to the conclusion that the intercom was not working. Why anyone would install a defective intercom was beyond me. I was about to leave when I noticed something that looked like a golf cart come scurrying down the driveway. Eventually, it arrived at the main gate and out popped an old man who looked terribly like a Coliseum Cafe waiter (except that he was Malay) in his white tunic and brass buttons.
I decided to in introduce myself: “Hello…” I said. “My name is xxxxx and I’m here…” The way looked at me made me stop mid-sentence.
The man with the brass buttons had kind eyes. Not exactly a complete imbecile, I was sensitive enough to discern that there was pity somewhere in there, too. But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why. Did he, somehow, think I was from Victoria Institution? He shook is head with sadness and spoke:
“Nak, rumput dah potong… ” (translation: “Son, we’ve already had the grass cut”)
The man with the kind eyes reached out as if to shake my hand. Instinctively, I reached out, too. That was when he slipped me a RM5 note. Before I could protest, explain, or whatever it was that I wanted to do, he was gone – speeding off into the distance on his golf cart.
Perhaps I should dress better the next time I intend to visit a girlfriend. Perhaps I should just dress better. Period!
Unless, of course, I am in dire need of RM5.