Finding Nemo in Pahang

0227171106a.jpg“10 Underrated Places to Go!”

“5 Places Our Editors Say You Need to See Before You Die!”

Bera will never be one of those places. It is undoubtedly lovely, surrounded as it is by oil palm plantations, but besides the elephant preserve an hour north there’s not much to draw in foreigners. Because of this, my roommate and I are still constant sources of gossip for the community. Even at school, where I am the 3rd ETA to be placed here, students will tell me I’m ‘cantik’ (aka beautiful aka white) and ask to touch my hair. Take a selfie. Post that selfie all over social media. Tell me they love me. Demand to come home with me. Touch my butt.



Yes. It was in a Form 4 class. I was walking around, helping students with their assignment, when I feel something brush against me. I look over to see one of my female students, giggling with her friend. I ignore it. Do another round. Feel someone touch my butt. Yup, same student.

Baju Kurung are literally muumuus. There is no shape in them, no hint of what my body looks like  (and even if you could, the patterns and colors can be mighty distracting.) And here we stand, me the boat in that opening scene of Finding Nemo, those girls the little fish, daring each other to touch the butt. I just wish they hadn’t taken it so literally.


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