Colony In The Valley – Part 9.
After lunch, I went to get a stick of ice cream at a local grocery shop.
The kedai runcit was known as the provision shop to the English doctors and nurses during its heydays.
Today, it is the village grocer in the true sense of the word. A meeting point for villagers.
I call the lady grocer Leng Lui, like how her Chinese customers call her. Malay, Indian and Indonesian customers call her Ah Moi.
The lady declined to be photographed, so her fat cat will represent her.
She has 10 cats, all rescued as abandoned kittens. I asked her if the cats are spayed, neutered and vaccinated. She said every one of them are and it cost her a fortune.
She also feeds the other stray cats and dogs which she also gave names. How to not like her?
She’s naggy and motherly. Tough and street smart. Can lift two cooking gas cylinders and has a tattoo on one breast, bits of the ink showing teasingly.
I asked jokingly if I can see the full tattoo and she gave me an uncharacteristically coy answer; “My mother won’t allow that” she said softly. Lol.
When I picked a lime ice cream, she said you shouldn’t eat sour stuff if your tummy is empty. I mention that I was at a Taoist temple earlier and couldn’t get any info as not a single soul was around.
Leng Lui seemed startled and concerned.
She: OMG! You are very brave.
She: No one wanders alone in the deserted parts here!
Me: I usually work alone. Why?
She: You are lucky you didn’t get robbed! Recently two female reporters from Taiwan had all their camera gear stolen at knife point.
Me: Who are the robbers?
She told me the answer and it fits into the bigger scheme of things. Derelict houses attract all kinds of uninvited tenants, including criminals and drug-dependent occupiers.
To be continued.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 640, f4, 1/250 sec.
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