The other night, after almost two years since our first in the flesh meeting, I welcomed Tripluca back in Kuala Lumpur. The setting was the welcoming Grocers Guesthouse in China Town, and the mode reminded me how I greeted The Mentors Doc Heathen Scum a few years back when I fetched him from his hotel room in Milano. I just knocked on the door, and there Luca is, bare chested, putting on his t shirt.
“You lost weight!!” that’s what everybody’s telling me recently, when we meet again after a while. Yeah, rice and noodles make me this awesome effect, transforming me into a male model, and “ Damn, I expected to find you dressed up like a skunk, instead, you look so smart!” just because I was wearing a shirt and some black jeans that I bought at a pawn shop for 2 Australian dollars. Yes, I’m always a stingy bastard.
The decent outfit was imposed by the fact we met in KL on the day of Hari Raya, the Muslim celebration of the ending of their fast, something close to our Christmas. Something very important, a national holiday and a religious and family event, and our friend Fulvio managed to snick us into one of the “open houses” to join the celebrations. It was definitely a very nice chance to dive deeper into Malaysian social life.
And here we go, the four dagos on the commuter train: Monkey Motherfucker, Tripluca, Fulvio and Federico, my young friend I met in Darwin while I was living on a boat, and he was a prawn fisherman. What an exciting sea wolf life!! We approach the Subang Jaya district, get in a cab whose driver give us a pretty unfair price for the 5 minutes drive, but being Hari Raya, what can you do, and we get in front of a majestic villa, all shining in white from the dim lights adorning the floor and the walls, and the gates open up, letting us in. There is a huge swimming pool with a waterfall on my right, but wait, that’s not for humans, that’s for fish. A few gigantic carps are making circles in the water, swimming slowly, opulent in their missile shape. We take our shoes off, and we are welcomed by a couple Chinese girls in traditional dresses to make our way in: the house is just huge, and gorgeous, and populated by a fauna of girls that look like as if they been taken from Heaven Hill and transplanted in that side of suburban Selangor, Malaysia. They sit on some white couches, talking softly, and just notice us when we come in and introduce ourselves for a few moments, before going back to their soft, indecipherable angelic talks.
I was hungry as hell and looking forward to the feast, which happened just seconds later: it’s in fact a tradition for Malay people to open up their house for guests on the Hari Raya day and offer tons of delicious foods. I soon found myself surrounded by my friends and a few of these girls at a round table at the back of the house, munching on some supreme spaghetti with spicy fish sauce, and gnawing over some extraordinary chicken… yes, meat, because this was a particular celebration made to accommodate some foreigners as well, being the majority of the attendants participating in Couch Surfing, although we were the only ones there. And the only guys, as well, so we kinda felt special on this Hari Raya day.
I met the host, Zara, a Malay girl who started telling me about her studies in Germany and how she will soon go to study in Australia, but I was better pleased by her mom’s cooking rather than her naïve rich girl talks, no offence. We got to taste a lot of traditional cookies that looked and tasted like many Italian ones, and I also snatched a couple Ferrero Rocher from a tray because I didn’t have one in over six months after Australia, and I felt a little bit closer to home. Before we left, I could peek more closely into the secret life of Malaysian spoiled rich teenagers; Zara took us upstairs, and showed us her room, which was probably as big as half of my house, but the best thing was a small mini golf course she had parked on her veranda…I started feeling somewhat awkward, while Tripluca was shooting videos all over the place and Federico looked like all of that womanity totally had a big impact on him. I was pleased, but not impressed, because I learnt a long time ago that usually rich people are the least interesting characters you can find in this world.
And when we finally left and my cellphone started to ring and my dear Kit Yeng was talking to me on the other side of the phone while buses and cars were running on my right side, shoving puffs of black smoke in my face, I felt more at ease in my own street world. It was definitely great to be part of this, but at the same time I (and I guess Luca too) had a quite weird feeling about this, the same feeling that a monkey has when you took it off her tree, and put it in a cage.
So off we went, with some beers and peanuts, and ended up our Hari Raya in style getting drunk on the roof of the Grocers Guesthouse, and I wish Luca now is feeling ok in that far away country of Italy that gave me birth, and now can just give me the creeps.