‘Mrs Putu will come and get you,’ Natasha says.
‘And lock you in a cage,’ I add. ‘And make you clean her toenails,’
‘With your tongues,’ Jay completes the image.
The three fall silent. Their faces in the candlelight are struck with horror. A lip quivers. I hear a wimper.
Maybe we went too far. Particularly the tongue part. But they wouldn’t behave. And we are at a five star hotel on the beach. Honeymooners are trying to have a moonlit romantic time of it and the children are running screaming between the tables, getting stuck up trees over the heads of dining couples and hitting each other with sticks.
Mrs Putu is our landlady. The Putu we have started calling her. The evil, nasty witch the children have started calling her – with no prompting on my part whatsoever, at all. The Putu has tattooed on eyebrows one inch higher than where eyebrows should normally reside. She barks. And today she came avisiting wearing a vest top with NO BRA. Ok, i do this a lot, but I’m an A cup. I can get away with it. She’s in her 50s and definitely a D cup. It wasn’t pleasant.
Mrs Putu plays Gamalan and when she does it’s like she’s calling the forces of hell to come and do her bidding. Mrs Putu also doesn’t respond well to complaints about the rats that are infesting the house. She actually asks what we expect for the money we are paying.
‘No rats.’ John answers before telling her of our imminent departure date and a little thing called Trip Advisor.
That night, the children wake up screaming.
I blame it on the Putu.