Miss Aida
It couldn't have been a better start to a good holiday.

Driving up from Melbourne to Sydney up the scenic coastal route. It was everything I dreamed of. Girlfriends I could chat for hours with, with similar taste in music, girlfriends I could sing along songs with on the long ride up. We camped in caravans and backpackers, making stops in small, random but beautifully scenic towns we found on the map that took our fancy. We took long walks by the beach and grilled fresh fish for dinner on the barbecue. For those couple of days, we were like wanderers, being taken where the wind would take us, and living the unplanned life for those few blessed days.

Then I got to Canberra. A meeting of old friends, and it is true what they say about the theory of old friends - it does seem like nothing has changed even with the passing of time. Meeting Tengku and Nazli again, we fell so easily into conversation it was almost as if we had seen each other the day before instead of the months that we hadn't seen each other for.

It was during my stay that I realised one thing: The era of the gentleman is not yet dead.

I was incredibly pampered during my whole stay. I didn't have to lift a finger during the whole time I was there. Perhaps it was because I was the guest. Perhaps it was because I was the only female around. Perhaps it was because Tengku was merely being really conscious. In any case, I was entirely spoilt. Spoilt without pretense, when all things were taken care of without any overt fuss.

All meals were prepared. Tengku uncomplainingly brought us to the popular tourist spots, executing his status as the unofficial Canberra tourist guide with much aplomb as Nazli and I wandered around taking in the sights and sounds of Canberra's most popular tourist attractions. We were driven to wherever we needed to go. All my needs were taken care of, from my wakeup calls and the guys' indulgence towards my need to have one hour to get ready before going anywhere. Doors were opened, and to my surprise, at one point Nazli even held open the car door for me. Chivalry isn't dead.

It was a drastic change, from being so independent to being pampered like I was. Just little things, just the way I was treated. With care. It was strange.

And I found myself acting differently. More feminine. More carefree. It was like I had a role to fulfil, and it was almost as if it was that of a token feminine presence. The female who would cajole lighthearted conversation from the two more silent males. To be the one who would tease and nag and play and scold, a cross between a mother, a sister and a lover.

The vast different between gender interaction was never more illustrated for me than it was during that week. And I found myself enjoying myself, indulging my feminity in a way that I rarely did anywhere else. It was surprising that it took being away from other female presences to bring out my feminine side. And I loved every second of it.
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