Home Day 17

From Chanel to Little India
Today is a girly day out with high school friends SM and SP, who have been studying abroad in Australia and Hawaii respectively.

Our first stop is the air-conditioned Gurney Plaza shopping mall, where SM is looking for Chanel’s red lipstick for a friend.

Shopping is my least favourite past-time, but in Malaysia, it is not possible to socialise without being in a mall. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But it is certainly possible to live in Rome, yet not be of Rome.

My mind switches off as we enter Gurney Plaza. I am there, but I am not there. My eyes gloss over the make-up counters; Biotherm, SK-II, Dior, M.A.C., Bobbi Brown… my hand pretends to fiddle with the lipsticks, but they are mindlessly grazing the plastic shells. A strange phenomena, considering I grew up with the most fashionable sisters that ever graced the earth.

I watch SM and SP deliberate their choice of red or dark red, and finally we are done. We move from the air-conditioned Chanel counter, where a red lipstick costs RM98 (£20), to the chaotic, sweaty streets of Little India to get our eyebrows threaded for RM5 (£1) – the real reason for today’s outing.

Waiting on the pavement in Little India

In our world, it seems there is no high life nor low life. It is natural to go from one to the other. We wear our Converses and Birkenstocks, sling our Gucci’s and park our Peugeot cabriolets, but we also sit on the pavement.

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