Thursday, July 15, 2004


I had coffee with Victoria last night. I met her at the Language Centre where I teach part-time as she was a student in one of my classes. Though she's no longer in that class. So she called me on Monday night asking me out for drinks, and so we met up last night after my class.

Victoria is 20 as I found out last night. She is tall and lanky with an even tanned skin. Her almond shaped eyes (think: Lucy Liu) gives her that unique oriental, exotic look. She has long, jet black hair hidden under a baseball cap. She wore a loose T-shirt with a pair of denims and trainers.

Victoria dropped out of school at the age of 15 and came to KL from her hometown in Pahang. In the last 5 years, she has been doing odd jobs and is currently hoping to pick up English so that she can get a slightly better job.

As we sat there under the streetlight at a mamak stall for 90 minutes (would have lasted longer if it didn't start drizzling), I learnt so much about her and.. maybe I somewhat symphatise. However, I don't think I should because she's strong and smart and she's doing rather well now.. I think she wouldn't like it if she were to find out that pity is what I have for her. I admire her courage and envy her capabilities in facing and dealing with the challenges that come her way.

It was a funny feeling I got. In a way, being 23 now, I think I've seen, lived, heard and experienced plenty. But in Victoria's 20 years of age, she too has seen, lived, heard and experienced plenty. It's the vast difference in our lives that shocked me. Our experiences are as different as heaven and earth, as black and white, as latte and teh-o-ais-limau.

I don't even know how to put her words into words of my own for fear of sounding like a snob... But it was an eye-opener. I'm going to make sure I call Victoria out for coffee when I have the time.

As we parted last night, I asked her where she parked her car. She said she doesn't own a car, and doesn't drive. It was close to midnight then. The streets were deserted. I offered to give her a lift but she refused and kept laughing as she said, "I'll be fine! Off you go! Call me OK?".. and she briskly walked off into the night.

I sighed, walked to my car and drove off.

Posted by Doreen at 11:44 am