52. Going Back to School

Going Back to School: On the long train ride from northeastern Malaysia to Singapore, we befriended a young Anthropology professor who teaches at the National University of Singapore. He invited us to his lecture on magic and spirituality in SEA later that week and we happily attended – it ended up being the highlight of our stop in Singapore. Surrounded by chatty, restless, text-messaging teens, we managed to say awake for the whole thing and we only played two games of Tic Tac Toe. Amy also took copious notes. Here’s an excerpt:

“Orang Bunian (or-an boonyan) is a type of Malaysian village with people who live in another dimension (?)”

Good stuff. After the lecture, Irving (the professor) treated us to a Friday night out in Singapore’s happy, healthy gay scene. Gay men and women in Singapore, of which there are a great many, face a special dilemma – their sexual orientation is illegal. It breaks several laws, actually, though thankfully none of them are enforced. This made for a fabulous night out, lots of giggling, squealing and bouncing up and down, all of which was just Amy celebrating her first real taste of gay culture since leaving Portland. And although Irving guaranteed that, as a white boy (“White Rice”), I’d be hit on by Asian boys (“Brown Rice”) with a preference for westerners, it didn’t happen. To be fair, I didn’t really mingle as much as I could have and maybe the place was just full of Asian boys who are militant about only dating other Asian boys. They’re called “Sticky Rice,” but I’m sure you already worked that out.


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