Monday, 5 December 2005

Training My Thoughts

With robotic movements of the Stepford Wives, I joined other early morning commuters, hands clutching steaming hot take-away coffees, newspapers under armpits, to board the 0830 to Norwich. Unlike other days, today I had ample time to find a comfortable seat by the window to take in, for the last time (at least for now) the wonderful English countryside from the warm comforts of my window. Aaaah, the early birds get to choose – so many empty seats, with tables facing outward bound, where you can see where you are going or backwards, cos you can see where you’ve been.

I chose one in the middle carriage as it’ll be near the exit of my intended station and prayed that no one sat next to, in front of or adjacent to me. I was in no mood for small talk. And proceeded to bury myself in the morning papers.

Aaaah, what is the world coming to these days.... “Sex Slaves Gang Jailed” screamed the headlines in the free morning paper – the Metro. “Sex slaves sold at Gatwick” – revealed another headline. Young girls as old as 15 and sixteen are being lured from Lithuania with all sorts of promises of fun, excitement and probably the line that London streets are paved with gold.

So, so sad, I thought as the train pulled out of Liverpool Street Station. I hope the four caught will rot in jail...but I bet there are many more, perhaps in hiding, perhaps still running their despicable trade under a different guise! The door from the adjoining carriage opened and a couple sort of rushed in – the girl, a young lass of perhaps 16 looked around for seats and I prayed she’d give the empty seat next to me a miss. The gentleman behind her – no, I wouldnt call him that – he had this roguish look about him – somehow, he didn’t fit in with the early morning commuter crowd. Not like those I was accustomed to seeing these last few mornings, a bit dodgy, I thought, as I returned to the news that I was reading.

“We were promised that we will have a fun time at Halloween,” one girl was quoted as saying, “but as soon as we got here, our passports were taken and we were sold to brothels and pimps. And.....” I didn’t get to finish reading the sentence as I felt my space being invaded...by the young girl who had hundreds of other empty seats to choose but took the one next to me. But there was something about her. Her vulnerability, as she looked around wide eyed, timid even. No – scared is the word.

And...what about the rogue I saw behind her? I thought they were together but there was a certain hesitancy before he took the seat three rows away, facing us, his eyes never leaving the girl, I thought.

As the girl plumped herself beside me, I caught a whiff of her perfume. Hmmm, a bit too early for perfumes as expensive as this, I thought and I became suddenly self conscious of the scent that was coming from me. Its the minyak gamat balm that I had lavishly rubbed on my hands to ease the old joints in the winter cold. Instinctively, I pulled out my gloves and put them on.

But the strong whiff of gamat balm was still getting to my head though it worked wonders on my joints.

The young girl, still under the scrutiny of the rogue, which I now assumed was Lithuanian – from the Baltic region, anyway, was applying her bright red lipstick to those bee stung lips. The guy in pin striped suit adjacent to us looked up from his laptop and I thought - that’s not a look, its a leer, an ogle! And did he just licked his lips, those very lips that he kissed his wife goodbye with???? How dare he!

Aha!!!! I get it now! My eyes were darting from rogue man to young bee stung lip girl to randy pandy in pin stripes! I know why she sat next to me...she felt safe. May be she missed her momma back in Lithuania ( or perhaps her grandmomma!) and my motherly instincts took the better of me and I stared back hard at rogue man. I have read about things like this before. They ply the morning train to whatever destinations and pick up clients along the way. The pickings from the likes of pin stripe suit man could more than double the highly priced peak time return ticket to Norwich. Hmmm...

My heart was pounding. My coffee went cold and my almond croissant untouched. Having done her lips, young Lithuanian girl, for that was what I was sure she was, slowly lifted one shapely leg and crossed another shapely one, revealing her fish net tights underneath the knee-high leather boots. Gosh, they do get well paid in this business, I thought, making a mental calculation of the miserable hourly rate that I got plying this same route every day for the past two weeks!

From the corner of my eyes, without making it too obvious, I looked into her small mirror as she did her eyelashes, her red moist lips parting as she did so. Pinstriped suited guy had by now forgotten why he switched on his lap top and I swear he was drooling.

Rogue guy looked around uneasily and returned his beady eyes to Marlena – yes, that must be her name. Marlena – or it could be Veronica – names you see on small cards posted on telephone booths around London. He looked more than interested as Marlena or Veronica or whatever flicked her shoulder length hair back revealing long slender neck. I gasped! What was thatttttttttt? What have they done to the poor girl! A big blue, purplish bruise! Oh, how she must have suffered! She must have fought back. The reports did say they were threatened with beatings should they retaliate.

My head was racing and I knew I must act fast. I must save this young girl from anymore dirty paws that’s waiting to maul her. And wipe that lecherous look from your face, pin stripe baldy and go back to your wife and children!

Then suddenly – “Ting Tong! The next destination is Chelmsford. Please ensure that you take all your luggage with you. This train will now stop at Chelmsford”.

Marlena slung her handbag over her shoulders, walked past rogue man and was soon out of my sight even before I could put on my Superwoman cape. Rogue man stood up and walked behind her...aha! At the platform, Marlena flew into the arms of a forty something old woman screaming.......”Mummy! I missed you” and rogue man – (or was he?) sauntered up the overhead bridge and disappeared.

I went back to the newspapers, sipped my cold coffee and made a mental note, never again to use gamat balm. It does things to your tired brain.





38 comments:

MamiJarum said...

It does make it more interesting doesn't it?

Seen a program on telly where this old British guy sells boys to British men in this other country which I can't recall. It was a long time ago but it sure is apalling!

Lydia Teh said...

KT, just curious as to how you intend to save her? Gamat or not, motherly instinct kicking in.

dr in the house said...

So now, besides your hormones, you have the Gamat Balm to blame it on eh? heheh

may said...

kak teh, I'm sure there'll be other girls in need of your rescue, so keep the superwoman cape handy ;)

miniME said...

Still doesn't explain where she got the bruise tho..hmmm...hmmm... can I join your mata-mata gelap squad KT?

atenah said...

ahhh i used to take the train to ....to...Colchester, many many moons ago

(nak gi cari dena nak buat essex revival nite ha ha)

Arena said...

huhuhu,

iye2 jek kak teh ni tau.. kekekke

pu1pu3 said...

Reminds me of murder she wrote la kak teh ni. Spy instinct kicking in, I suppose, apart from the desire to help damsel in distress.

bergen said...

It's a lucrative industry involving people from every level of the society. It's chain impossible to break.

Stay safe, Kak Teh. Good d'ye, ma'am.

Kak Teh said...

mami - ya disgusting that they are making mney off people's back.
lydia..ya - but I think gamat got a lot to do with my wondering thoughts.
doc - hehe- i ;ve got to put the blame on some thing!
may - will keep that in mind and keep cape handy - all ironed and folded ready for use.

Kak Teh said...

minime...hey that bruised tu bukannya apa - boyfriend dia dracula.
tenah - i passed by colchester and sent sms to anedra.
arena - itu di panggil mimpi di siang hari
pu1pu3 - hahaha ...memang perasan hadi ms marple or agatha christie
bergen - am okay - its my tired brains cells that were over active - on account of gamat balm.

RedKebaya said...

heheh, that strong 'i gotta save the world' instinct tu must be a default for us makciks kot KT... not that many would appreciate it these days. instead diorang kata kita ni menyibuk jer... they dont need saving. yea, right!!

still you were marvelous KT, real 'sky high' material lol

AuntyN said...

Isy Kak Teh seriau baca ni sebab anak dara ramai tengah dok membesar ni.

stay safe Kak Teh.

ailin...in aalborg said...

ish KT ni, buat suspense je. Kalau minah cam tu, bersepah2 kat Oprah Winfrey.

Jane Sunshine said...

Hey, it's the intention that matters. You are a true superhero!

d'arkampo said...

ha ha ha kak teh,

what a story.

Macam exploring inside your mind masa tu.

kak teh,

nak naik trainnnnnnnn....

Kak Teh said...

redkebaya - hehe - at our age memang orang ingat dah tahap menyibuk, whatever we do! aaah, it was just wild imaginings to while the journey away! fun tho!
auntyN - yes - nowhere is safe.
ailin, - memang tujuan nak bagi suspense -hehe - did it work?
jane - superhero with knis=ckers in a twist
po- terima kasih menjenguk kak teh. aah ah - memang exploring the depths of my mind...tak jauh pun!

anasalwa said...

kak teh,
that was one powerful gamat balm, huh?

hana_kirana said...

hahahaha... lawak entri ni.. i dah imagined kak teh jadi superwoman sibuk nak save that young girl! hehehe...

Restless said...

I'm back, Kak Teh.

A closely observed writing with a great essence of literariness. I noticed that both; you and Bergen have that competency- jeles I.

Btw, Julia Kristeva - the feminism proponent, suggesting the use of a womanly, bodily fashioned language. I think I am more of a Reader fan, instead of Lacan (psychoanalytical) or Kristeva or the New Historicists. Tak faham la, Kak Teh. We seriously should talk more about this in the future.

JoeBangla@BapakAyam said...

Salam Kak Teh, tak tahu kat mana nak beritahu nih, so kat sini ajelah.

Baru dapat message dari AuntyN nih. Thanks banyak2 dari "kitaorang semua keluarga ayam di sana tuh" :-)

Congrats on passing your Masters :-)

Count Byron said...

Kak Teh

I love train journeys and your characters played their parts stunningly beautiful.

I love every move

Maya said...

KT, You have a very fertile mind there! But I would like to know how you found out that her boyfriend is Count Dracula? LOL

As usual very sharp and excellent entry!

kaezrin said...

congrates kak teh!

zeed said...

kak teh, saye slalu jadi silent reader je.. i really like ur writing la.. saya pon dah tersaspen masa bace tadi..

Kak Teh said...

anasalwa - yes - sure is - it gets to places other balms dont! hehe
nana - dont let yr imagine run riot - imagine me getting my knickers in a twist in the prosess!
anim, a pity we didnt meet up - and lacan..can i give him a miss? have lacan and freud phobia..
joe - thanks and sorry abt that - kak teh terlupa masa tu...dah nyanyok.

Kak Teh said...

count - they are running riot in my head - those characters!
maya - whoever it was - must be quite brutal- hehe
kaezrin - thanks - can i have a cake? :)
zeed - thanks for visiting and boleh kak teh link you? I visited yr site too.

shidah said...

kak teh, we have the same favourite past time :) btw: how's your back in cold winter? Praying that it won't give you trouble....

RojakBuah said...

dok tgh Imagin mcm mana KT pakai suit Superwoman..hehee..

apples4me said...

How are you, Kak Teh?

Kak Teh said...

shidah, my back is fine, Alhamdulillah - but there are other joints - hehe - maklumlah semakin muda...
rojak buah - hehe - mestilah elokkan?? with my tudung flying in the air...
nour - am fine nour. and you?

anedra said...

*All 5ft1in reporting, Puan! Came a few days back but cd never comment! I still will get blogpatrol to visit tho!*

i echo anasalwa..that was one helluva a gamat balm! must of intoxicated you somewhat. haha! u'r so like mama tho, making drama out of nothing!hahaha!

diah said...

Salut!
Mak teh..mak teh
bloghopped all the way to here..n wat a gem!
Can i link u up in my blog...thankies.
btw, im in awe of ur daily rants as a malay living in brit..
..hehe..wat a read.

Kak Teh said...

anedra - whatlah you! memang all drama mama!wait one day u become like that - 5' 1" and all!
diah - thanks for the visit and kind words. sure - pleasure ismine but what is your blog name? kak teh pun nak visit diah jugak.

Ely said...

i think ur coffee was laced hence the imagination?

aneeta said...

"My eyes were darting from rogue man to young bee stung lip girl to randy pandy in pin stripes!"

Wah! What words? Where to find this gamat blam thing?

Maybe I too can use ...

CikNi said...

wah kak teh bila naik ketapi macam-macam boleh pikiag no.... banyak inspirasi

Kak Teh said...

ely - yes - too much caffeine!
aneeta - get gamat from pekan rabu!!it'll reach parts other balms cant!
makhariz - tu lah - nak buang masa - kalau tidak boring, kan?