presumably about a non-rat related matter. I regarded him closely. Could it have been the same kid who had roused me so early on the train this morning? Fetch me a length of rope, Igor...
The headscarfed Muslim manager apologised to me on the way out. Whether it was because of the rat or because of the quality of Starbuck's coffee, I don't know.
Breaking out to explore Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown, I met a friendly character called Roy. Roy was a Malay, and apparently had a daughter who was just due to start work in London as a nurse. He had her picture in his wallet and all; bless him. He was naturally concerned about her wellbeing, her not knowing anyone there, and wanted to "get to know me" so that I might be a trustworthy contact for her should she need help. In return I'd get to visit his house and even meet his dear old mum over tea.
I'll be honest - Roy was a pro and at first I was taken in; he had performed this scam impeccably on me and it was only when he started frog-marching me towards a taxi to my awfully British protestations of "thank-you, really, but I don't have the time" that I realised what it really was. The penny dropped, and in turn I dropped Roy for dust.
This is a variation on a well-known scam throughout South-East Asia, yet I had never experienced it first-hand before, only through reading and from another traveller's account of it (Peter, the Californian Psychotherapist I met in Hong Kong, had been taken in by it in the Phillipines). A seemingly friendly and innocuous offer of a home visit, usually involving a pretty young girl as bait, leads to a bit of fun, gentle gambling, which of course you always seem to win; then the big guns come out, they fix the game, and you lose... big time. One Japanese girl in the hostel here apparently lost US $1500...
Still, at least the second meeting with a rat today, albeit in human form and called Roy not Roland, passed the time til Noesha's bus arrived that evening.
Day 186: 4th August
Food for Thought
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ah, there's nothing like waking up and heading down the street for a traditional and authentic Cantonese breakfast: a table packed with different varieties of dim sum. It set us up for our first task: Noesha unfortunately had her purse and passport pickpocketed whilst travelling in China, which incidentally caused her