Oh, no cameras please, thank you!
I feel like a celebrity sometimes.
Especially when I’m all dressed, carrying a pretty little bag, wearing my shades to block out the sun, and walking from my block to the back gate of the condo. You see, if you were walking from my block to the back gate, you’d have to walk past a swimming pool and the clubhouse. I don’t know if it’s the same for every condo, but the swimming pool and the clubhouse is where housewives and/or their maids hang out with the young kids after lunch and before dinner. That probably means nothing to you right now. Let me tell you about the demographics of the place I live in.
90% of the residents here are Chinese, the rest Malay,Indian, Eurasians and foreigners (AngMohs, Japanese). 40% are above 30 and below 60 years of age (the parents), 10% are senior citizens (the grandparents) and 50% below 30, most hovering below 25 (the kids and their Indonesian/Filipino helpers). So you see, it’s a pretty young crowd here. Even most of the mothers are young, I should say, prefering to stay at home and be domestic rather than out there slogging like their husbands. Maybe they don’t slog like my parents, they’re just, like, rich.
So on an average weekday after 4pm, when the sun isn’t so blazing, you can see tiny heads bobbing in the pool and throwing floats at each other, while young, pretty, scantily clad housewives (maids too) gather under big pool umbrellas, gossiping in English, Mandarin, Bahasa and Tagalog. Oh it’s a sight for sore eyes. No doubt they’re all friendly and kind to each other but after all, they’re just gossiping about the mothers who didn’t turn up at today’s ‘gathering’.
Just imagine that another young, pretty (ah hem!) and scantily clad person, who’s not a housewife or a helper, walking by them. That’s me by the way. Like missiles locked on to a target, all eyes and heads turn towards me and conversation stops. Mothers and maids alike let their children run amok while they check out my attire and throw looks at each other with jealous eyes. After all, I’m young, about to go out and party all dressed to the nines, while all they can do is sit by the pool and discuss recipes. And that’s not the end. At the clubhouse, the security guards usually sit indoors where the aircon is, and hope to see a few flight stewardesses swimming in their bikinis on their off days. Well, at least when I walk past the clubhouse there’s no tension in the air, just silent wolf whistles.
Oh I’ve gotten used to all this attention, I’m beginning to understand how stars must feel when they’re on the street and have people staring at them and checking them out. That brief walk from my block to the back gate has become my little runway. So in the lift on my way down to the pool, I’d usually be doublechecking my hair and outfit in the mirror (oh the foresight of the architects) before donning my shades as the life door opens. And then as the glaring lights and the warm breeze bursts through the door, I right my posture and sashay down the long and (sigh!) dreary path past the gossiping women and then the perving men.