At 11 p.m., we suddenly realized we’d better print the Kuala Lumpur hotel booking confirmation we had just made online. Obviously, we don’t carry a printer with us (although I sometimes wish we did) so we had to find an Internet café.
We started walking along Geylang Road, a vaguely busy thoroughfare during the day that has a whole different atmosphere at night. Hawkers set up tables on the small sidewalk, people are smoking and drinking, sitting on plastic chairs, observing the crazy night traffic. We are in the red light district and you can glance at women wearing nothing but underwear in small, unmarked shops, that all have a small altar at the front—better be safe than sorry, after all, sinning is not as bad if God is watching you, right?
We walked one behind the other on the narrow sidewalk, scanning the neon signs for a “wang ba”, Chinese for Internet café. Eventually, Feng stopped and turned around to look at me, slightly amused. The Internet café was right there, on the second floor according to the neon sign that read “secret affair, Internet café, 24/7”. A steep stairwell with Playboy Bunny graphics images led to the “Internet café”. “What do we do?” Feng asked me. “You go ahead, I’ll just have a smoke downstairs” I replied. “Okay, wo kan yi kan” said Feng in Chinese, immersed in the Mandarin language.
A few minutes later, Feng came back without a prostitute. “It’s okay, it’s an actual Internet café, just people playing games”. The smoky room was indeed packed with men chain-smoking and playing video games online, paying very little attention to their surroundings. Apparently “secret affair” was in another room. Which shows that between video games and sex, men like video games better. Go figure.
But like I now remind Feng, he owns me big time. After all, I let him go alone for a “secret affair”. Which totally shows how open-minded I am.