"We're going to the police."
"What?!" said Siew Tat. "We've just been to try and tiu kai (visit prostitutes), and you want us to tell the polis that ah? Won't we be arrested or something?"
"No, they won't lah!" I started the car, gripping the steering wheel.
I sounded way more confident than I felt.
At the Balai (Station)
"Lu orang buat apa?!" ("What did you guys do?!")
The police officer stared at us with incredulity in his eyes, and started shaking his head slowly.
It was a busy Friday night. Someone was sitting in the corner with blood on his head, and someone there wanting to report an accident, and there had been a couple of stabbings that night to boot.
They had just conducted a raid as well, and the station was teeming with about fifteen illegal prostitutes, some from China, some Cambodian and some ang moh looking chicks, don't know from where. They were all squatting with their hands over their heads. I could see Jeremy and Khong Nam checking them out while Vincent and Siew Tat were with me explaining our plight to the police officer.
We felt a little stupid with our problem but the more the story went on, the louder our voices became as more and more we felt wronged.
Another police officer came out.
Apa bising bising ini? (What's all this commotion here?) he demanded.
Oh, sarjan budak semua ni (Oh Sergeant, these kids)... and he explained our plight.
The sergeant turned to us, his face indecipherable.
Hish! Bodoh betullah kamu ni! Kalau mau main pergilah hotel, hah! Cari gadis gadis macam ini lah best! Kenapa pergi Lorong Haji Taib? (Hish! You're a bunch of idiots, you know that? If you're looking for a little fun, go to a hotel, and look for hookers like these lah! Why the hell did you go to Lorong Haji Taib for?) his eyes widened, as he pointed to the prostitutes behind us.
We were initially shocked at his outburst and then looked a little sheepish, and his glare soon softened after his little diatribe.
Okey, apa kamu hilang? (Now, what did you lose?)
Half an Hour Later
We are sitting at the sargeant's office. He had disappeared somewhere 'to make a few phone calls.'
All five of us turn as he walks into the room.
"Handfon yang kamu hilang tu, apa model dia? Warna apa?" (What was the colour and the make of your missing handphones?)
One black Samsung, flip phone. One Silver Nokia.
Like a magician he pulls both the phones out of his pockets. Our jaws dropped as we quickly reached for our phones, thankful beyond words.
Duit kamu hilang berapa? And how much money?
Dua ratus tuan. Two hundred ringgit, sir.
Nah, kita hanya recover seratus. Like a dubious trickster he only hands us a hundred ringgit, but we were just happy to be seeing any of it back, to be honest.
We left his room, our heads bobbing in profuse thanks, as he left us with these parting words.
Ingat, okey, lain kali, pergi hotel cari pelacur. Remember to only use the hotels for prostitutes next time, you hear me?
We smiled weakly as Vincent lead the team to get the hell out of there. We walked past the cowering prostitutes again.
"Jeremy, you hamsup (dirty) bastard! Stop looking at them already lah! You've already got us into trouble once tonight!"
"Okay, who wants to go to mamak?"
"How about Lorong Haji Taib?!"
"Shut up lah, you idiot!" we laughed.