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My local is just near the Dragon. I was there the other day, looking for a cheap room. I asked the Indian who took me up to show me the room for the wifi password. “I just want to check how fast it is, but I really love this corner room.”

I’m now surfing on their account, but never checked into the room. They wanted a week’s rent upfront, and I like my current shoe box which has one cockroach that enjoys the air-conditioning too. I don’t have the heart to stomp on it.

The Indian run cafes are built for long sessions. The tables are plenty and there’s an option to sit outside. This place is clean and a bit quiet. The regular nutter said good morning to me, it was already midnight. I’m on his time zone too.

Pak Sukarno, the Indonesian worker, is gay and follows me into the toilet to see how big my willie is. He’s from Jakarta. Mr. Burma doesn’t like him. He tells me in Thai language that he doesn’t like lady boys, as two Indian transvestites walk past. Mr. Burma use to make rotis in Bangkok for ten years. He calls the city Krungthep, it’s Thai name. And Pak Sukarno is picking up on the bad vibes of Mr. Burma, even though he doesn’t understand a word of Thai.

The Indian speaks the best of English and he is in control of the cash register for good reason. He seems the only one not unhinged. Earlier on a crazy guy was talking to himself and making threatening kung fu moves outside the cafe. He was told to move on, and given a free feed.  Mr. India does have compassion. Three hours later Mr. Kungfu does the same moves and is rewarded with another feed.

And Mr. Ben Laden from Pakistan, who prefers I call him Muhammad, is built like a brick shit house and looks like he’s just spent a season shoveling snow in the Himalayas.

“Obama the cock sucker never killed me,” he says, as way of introduction. “Did you ever see the body? No, it wasn’t buried in the sea, it was told to move along to Malaysia and to be quiet.” I comment on his big hairy beard and hairy arms. He smiles, gently; the big giant has softened.

Pak Sukarno gave me a massage the other night. I didn’t tip him so a neck massage tonight is probably out of the question. But that won’t stop me asking.

Mr. Bin Laden keeps on eye on my electronics as I go out the back for a crap. I know that my stuff will be safe.

I really love my local. And Pak Sukarno really loves me. He’s just finished cleaning the toilet. How did he know I needed a crap? After being constipated for a week, my deposit was quite significant. I’d like to say the toilet didn’t flush but it did. Today Pak Sukarno was in luck.

Nevertheless it wasn’t a pretty sight and those dead rats up my ass smelt to high heaven. I suppose a massage will be out of the question. But I’ll put it to him anyway after he re-cleans the dunny.  Outside, I tell Mr. Burma who was   mopping the floor what had just transpired.  He’s laughing his sorry Burmese ass off.

Pak Sukarno is outside now. I ask him for a massage. “Money,” he repeats, and rubs his thumb and fingers. Now I really feel like a local.

A good Indian cafe is one that lures you in, and eight hours later, you say, oh my, where did the time go. Suspended time is a big part of the experience and having loopy and diverse staff always helps.

“I’m glad you like this place,” says Richard the Drunk, the St Paul’s alumni who told me the story of his life in ten minutes the other night. He’s apparently a  regular here too and asks me how my reporting is going. Bastard! 

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