11 Jul 2009

meeting old friends

Lena is here from Perth, Australia so it was a good excuse for all of us to meet up once again. So there we were - 12 middle aged ladies having a ball at the Green Dragon Chinese Restaurant. To say we were noisy is an understatement! Everyone is talking - asking questions, updating news and generally yakking about what they had been doing for the last year. The last gathering that we had was sometime in 2008 - slightly more than 9 months ago. Then we had Seok Ching, Judy and Florinne with us too. Today's group is smaller, mainly those who are still in Malacca although Kathy Idros came down from KL. Looking at them brings me back to our school days. Never mind that we're now grey haired and weigh at least ten kg heavier - the way we were all behaving no one would have thought we were way past 50! Everyone teased Jullian who goes to bed at 9 pm every night, even now. Jullian blushes but smiles and tells us she doesn't enjoy watching television and there isn't much for her to do at night which is why she sleeps early. This brings on more teasing - this time of a sexual nature, which Jullian accepts cheekily saying she needs a man maybe! Everyone shrieked with laughter - not just a man, but a young one with a high performance index!
Then amidst the laughter someone mentioned that Rita has had a biopsy and the atmosphere turned serious. Rita isn't with us. The restaurant staff - two young Malay girls in tudong looked at us in wonder. Everyone is talking in English. There are Malays and Chinese and we are all eating in a Chinese restaurant, laughing about things we had done in the past, things we are doing at present and talking about travelling in the future. This scene can only be seen among people our age - where all races can mix freely and mingle as equals. In today's scenario, with the present generation, things are no longer as simple as this. Malays do not mix as freely with other races,mainly because many of them do not speak English and the Chinese will not speak Malay except when necessary. For all the government's talk of unity and harmony, there is precious little of it among the younger generation. Maybe Najib should look back at the past and at our education system then (60s and early 70s) to find out what is wrong with the education system now and why we are breeding little 'undercover racists'. Is it the politics of disunity that is causing this?

Anyway enough of this retrospection. Finally at 10.00 pm, we had to get out of the restaurant, so we adjourn to the nearest Kopitiam cafe - there to continue with our get together. This time , out in the open air, we had a roaring good time. Lois had lots of stories to tell about her travels, Kat Idros talked about how she met her husband and Yan Lin went to get Rita to join us. When Rita came there were more jokes about boobs and biopsies and everyone had a good laugh when Rita said hers are still intact. Finally at 11.00pm we made a move home though to some the night is still young. At the Kopitiam next door a couple sing a blues number. There are lots more young people there - young families with small children, and groups of students in black t shirts playing a guitar,more couples. I smile at this place that was once a sleepy hollow - no you can't say Malacca is a sleepy hollow any longer. It is very much a hip town - what KLites would call a 'happening' place.

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