The Politest of Propositions

Cameron Highlands Travel Blog

 › entry 60 of 115 › view all entries
"Excuse Me." The voice comes from down the hill, over my shoulder. I stop and turn and see a twenty-something Malay bloke following me up the steps leading to my guesthouse. It looks like another English language student, eager to practice, has caught me, or maybe he wants to sell me something. Not sure I'm really in the mood for this; I've just spent the afternoon walking in the Highlands and I'm sweatier than a 3 ferret rumble in a wrestler's jock strap.      
"Hello," he says, catching up to me, "You are staying at Fathers Guesthouse?"

"That's right." I force a tired smile, patience Salad, patience.

"I see. Well, the thing is, I want to be your friend." He beams. 

"Riiiiiight," I say, whilst thinking: 'bloody hell - I've got a right one here.' He seems to notice my reticence and holds out a hand to be shaken. I oblige and he seems encouraged.

"My name is Damien."

"Nice to meet you Damien. I'm Dave. Now, I don't want to be rude but I've been walking and, right now, I'm going for a shower. My friend and I will be eating in town a bit later though, if you want to join us then that's fine." That should sort things out for now; I don't mind helping him out with his English later on, although it already seems like he speaks it pretty well to me.

"Your friend, is this a girl or a boy?" he asks, sparking the first inkling in my tired brain that this may be about more than English practice.

"It's a boy. He's gone to book a bus ticket."

"You have known this boy for a long time?" Whaaaaaaaaaat?

"I met him here. We are friends, we have been walking today." This seems to knock Damien out of his stride somewhat. He  looks down and shuffles his feet a little. A few seconds later he looks me in the eye and finally comes clean.

"You see, I am looking for someone to sleep with me. I am gay. Are you gay?"

"No Damien, I'm not gay." I shake my head and he retreats visibly, the shutters coming down to blank away his hopeful expression.

"Oh. Ok." He seems unsure whether he is about to be lambasted for his sexuality and half turns to leave.

"Nice to meet you though Damien. Goodbye."


I offer him my hand, he shakes it awkwardly, then takes off back down the steps. I turn the other way and resume my tramp up to the top, where hot water and a less awkward evening are hopefully waiting. On the way I consider just what the Islamic government of Malaysia means for Damien and the gay population of the country. I suppose it can't be great for them, growing up in a country where being open about their sexuality could lead to imprisonment or caning. Malaysia seems to be modernising at a rate of knots. I hope this applies to attitudes as well as the economy.

But I won't hold my breath. 
Vanessa_Mun_Yee says:
I am very surprise that a Malaysian Gay man would do that, I mean asking for "friendship" and let people know that he is gay so openly. You must be dead gorgeous!
Posted on: Mar 05, 2010
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Cameron Highlands
photo by: forevert2