In the past, there was an old Dutch house located in the coco forests by the ocean shore. This house was converted into a hotel where a woman was seen every morning in the courtyard. She would sit in a reed armchair under the shade of the building. A tall, yellow-faced Malay man, dressed in white canvas attire, would serve her golden tea and then retreat.
The woman would then continue to sit in silence, rhythmically waving her straw fan. The woman had a small, strong body with a coffee-coloured complexion. Her attire consisted of a bright green cloth that covered her torso and hips, while the rest of her body was bare. She wore yellow-wood sandals and had tar-black hair piled up high. Her ears were adorned with hollow gold rings and her black eyelashes were strikingly large and beautiful. She was an enigmatic figure, seemingly from another planet, and her silence was her most defining characteristic.
To what species of earthly creations could she be assigned?
Beauty, intelligence, stupidity – none of those words went with her at all, nor did anything human: she truly was as if from some other planet.
One morning, as the usual rickshaw arrived at the hotel courtyard, the Malay man met the narrator on the veranda steps. He quietly said in English, "One hundred rupees, sir." The date was 24th May 1944.