Ma, does she speak English?

I was the first of sixteen in our group to clear customs at Perth International Airport. Everyone else was directed to join the long queue, but not me. I guess I owe it to my carry-on suitcase and sling bag- I didn’t look like I was trying to migrate!

The air was crisp, and very cold. Save for booths for car rentals, and for buying pre-paid SIM cards, there was little else.

And being the first one out of custom, I didn’t know what to do. I looked around and saw a group of young Malay children playing catch.

Well, they must be my relatives. I approached the lady who kept giving them menacing looks.

Ni Cik Shikin eh?”

“Bukan, ni adik dia.” (No, I am her sister.) Oh betul lah, these are my rellies!

Cik Nojam’s firstborn, Syafiqah, came running.

“Ma, does she speak English?”


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