The Old Man of Bukit Indah

A cute car dragging a trailer with a bill board screaming $70 million dollars could be yours if you take a punt. I couldn't help but recall what Maggie reminded me of a few months back.

It must be at least 5-6 years ago, when we were introduced to this old man by Penny. The "uncle" as Penny addressed him by, lived within the vicinity of Penny's family home in Perling. To be exact, he live right in the middle of Bukit Indah, in one of the houses along the prominent roundabout that connects all roads that leads to other parts of the town. His house faces the big field in the roundabout with an unblock view. According to him, that field was his "phoenix."

You see, the uncle was a big believer of Feng Shui. I met him only twice, each time for a short duration but his obsession with his hobby was enough to leave me deep impression of some Feng Shui fundamentals that he told me about. Uncle was actually a Singaporean. He relocated himself at Bukit Indah because he was following "the dragon," which he claimed, move around every several years. His house, as he proudly declared, was the best house he could find and went on to point out how his Green Dragon (neighboring lot) was superior than his White Tiger (another neighbour). With the blocks of houses build on slightly higher elevation behind him, they served as good Black Turtles. With that peace of mind, it was not difficult to see why Uncle was happily living life in Bukit Indah paying out his dim sum in local morning markets in Ringgit while his fully rented HDB flat in Woodlands supplied him with crispy SGD. We suspected he probably did not even need the cash flow and had already amassed enough cash elsewhere for his retirement.

So that was once we visited the old man with Maggie and Aku while browsing houses around the region for fun. I was seriously contemplating in buying one of the smaller houses there for my future back then because moving to Australia seemed to be a hopeless case back then. That was before Malaysia implemented the minimum RM$500,000 a Singaporean need to spent on a property. So I could have gotten my hands on that 22 x 70 ft double story terrace house with finishing all in for RM$270,000 or so. It was those kind of days when I knew I wouldn't be burnt because the main bulk of Sinaporean investors were not moving in for properties yet. With the SGD strong, I would have paid up the house by now, if I bought it that year. That wouldn't be a bad back up plan really because the plan was not about making money. For that kind of price I would have paid, my losses would be kept to the minimum anyway. No Singaporean today would be able to walk in and get a house for that price today, despite how investments in the Iskandar region have tanked lately. Then surprising news of our Australian PR came about and all plans regarding those were terminated.

Uncle had our fortunes told when we visited. I never believed in this kind of things because I just don't. If I do, I will have to believe in God. You know, one has to be consistent when it comes with bullshit like that. However since the old man was keen, I jumped in with fun in the mind with a pinch of salt in the hand. It wasn't until recently when I was reminded by Maggie what was being told, after I wondered what would be the gender of my second kid.

"Boy!" Maggie insisted throughout the months.

After the birth of my baby boy, Maggie remarked, "See, I told ya. The fortune teller said so!"

"Wah lau, you believe meh?" I replied. It looked like she did. What surprised me was that Maggie actually remembered what was being told.

The old man told me that I would do okay if I were to move near to the "Ring of Fire" since my signs requires the Fire Element to flourish. I remember wondering for a second if I was supposed to work in a kitchen or something to make it better. Next he told me I would have two kids with the woman sitting nearby (Jen). The first would be a girl and the second would be a boy. He got it spot on and that was rather interesting because at that point I thought it was ridiculous. I was reluctant to habour thoughts of having children back then. That was where Maggie got her inspiration and was confident I would be having a boy that time.

The old men also left a few interesting words for Jen. He told her to stick by me no matter what happened because she would not be having a full career and I would be able to provide for her. Back then, that sound ridiculous as well because she was doing very well as an external auditor in one of those fucking Big 4 slavery rings and I was (and still) going nowhere in mine. Provide for her? I could barely afford chocolate milk. Then the old man looked at me and told me not to struggle. "Forget about getting rich before you turn 40," he said. He thought for a while and said, "After 40, buy a little lottery."

All my friends know that I am not the kind who will spare even a penny on lottery tickets. What a ridiculous suggestion. Lest you think that was your everyday fortune teller, he wasn't. He received no payment for having our fortunes told and even gave us some valuable (he took pains to explain why) fish maw for Jen because he thought she needed a nutrition boost. He refused to take any money for it. He told me there was something wrong with my lower abdomen after feeling it around a bit but couldn't really point out what. (the cancer?) Interestingly, he wasn't the only person (a TCM specialist also highlighted it) who told me that but I did not know what I should do about it.

I remember thinking I would be disappointed if I make my fortune that way. I had always hope I could build it up with my own hands. I shrugged it off and never bother to remember the words of the old man until Maggie brought it up. I have a couple of years to go before I hit the dreaded 4. The timing should be right to do something different by then (the younger one nearing Albany's age) Maybe I should sell satay on the streets on something.

Well a part of me hope the fortune telling turns out right. It will mean that I will live past 40. That doesn't sound too bad. I am not afraid of death but I don't want to leave with so many regrets, one not being able to watch my kids grow up. I hope to own another Jack Russell Terrier in my lifetime one day, probably running around in a ranch with me. A part of me suspect my Perth adventure is not the end of my story. I may need several dormant years here before something interesting happens again. So far I have done really well in my opinion, but I have to keep most of the details to myself. Not even my closest friends or family know the extent of my deeds. I only allow a nugget or two to be known. That was already uncomfortable enough. Perhaps in the future, I will share a bit about them