Expat or not, Iím loving life
Kuching, Malaysian Borneo – Not too many other westerners live here in Kuching. Mostly they are Australians or British who work for companies manufacturing or assembling various components for computers. They are the managers who ensure whatever they are making proceeds smoothly.
I have asked if I could view their manufacturing process. The answer is always “no” because they think I may be an industrial spy who will steal their trade secrets. I promised I wouldn’t, but they all know I am a writer and fear their company cryptonic (made up word) information may be published on TheTentacle.com.
Speaking of spies, one of the expats has been spreading rumors that I am CIA. He asked my help with a relationship problem and it backfired to where I was the one at fault. The couple reunited blaming me for all their troubles.
I retort to those who ask me this CIA ludicrous question “of course I am” and all my discoveries that I feed back to Washington are in my book “available at stores everywhere.” I tell them to purchase the soon-to-be bestseller but not to tell anyone because its contents are known but to me and spy headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The local expat community loves to play Bridge, a card game involving a tremendous amount of skill. I view it as a group gathering to discuss the native uprisings, problems with domestic help and the latest news from back home as if the Internet never existed. So Joseph Conrad and colonial.
I am not asked to join expat group activities or am rarely invited to their homes. I believe the problem lies with the wives. I am married to a drop- dead gorgeous native girl and I think the female partners don’t want to give their husbands any ideas.
Their perception is I am married to a slave who cooks, cleans, throws capes over puddles and, god forbid, gives sex on demand. If their husbands ever found out about this utopia, he would divorce them because they do not provide any of those things.
Truth be told, our marriage is like any other one with mutual love and sharing. The ladies come from a generation once removed from abject poverty, back breaking work in the rice fields and scouring the jungle for food. No man, white or otherwise, is going to tell them what to do or when to do it.
I do associate with other expats who have married into the local community. We have a very exuberant life participating in the eloquent customs of the Malay and Bidayuh cultures. We have become part of the births, marriages, deaths and the problems of the huge extended family. I have yet to sort everyone out but I do know the main players.
I have decided the other expats can keep their life of playing bridge, going to the ritzy Sarawak Club and flying to Singapore for the social life there. Give me a kampung where I can eat with my hands basking in the unbinding love of the real people of Borneo.
. . . . .life is good. . . . .
For other columns on Malaysian Borneo and how to purchase the spy book please redirect to www.borneotom.com