Close Encounters of the Hippie Kind

I had the weirdest encounter with a hippie today. He looked like the artsy type with a goatee, long hair and funky clothes.

I was shopping for decorative stuff at Pasar Seni and all these lovely dreamcatchers caught my eye. I didn’t know if I wanted to get them so I was walking past the shop a couple of times. When I finally went in, said hippie-owner greeted me warmly with a ‘Welcome, sister! I saw you walking past a few times and I really noticed you by the way you dress… so unique! I miss dressing like this… ” (I put in ellipses because he tends to trail off mid sentence)

Me: *taken aback because I wasn’t really dressed up. I was wearing a long sleeved black knit shirt, black tights beneath shorts and boots* Uhm, okay….

Him: When I saw you, I was hoping you’d come in, but then you were gone…. then you came back and I felt “oh, there is hope!”

Soooooo this guy (let’s just call him E) started to tell me his life story out of the blue, and how he came to open his Red Indian themed shop. There we were, standing with hundreds of dreamcatchers over our heads, and E talks to me about how he used to have a Harley which he used to travel all over the country and his adventures in America, how he had friends among royalty and celebrities and random snippets of life advice (My father lived til he was 98… I was never schooled properly, but he told me to always persevere….)

The unnerving thing wasn’t exactly that he was going on about those things, but how he occasionally patted me or held my hand and called me ‘sister’. I’m not touchy-feely and body contact with anyone other than my closest friends and fam makes me uncomfortable. But at the same time, despite his rambling, he seemed like a nice guy and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I mean, I came in expecting to buy a dreamcatcher; Wasn’t expecting a buy one dreamcatcher, get a half-hour talk for free!

He also showed me old newspaper clippings of himself dressed up in traditional Sioux or Indian clothes, and one of him on a Harley. “I was one of the first Harley bikers in the country. Back when I drove to Batu Feringghi (Penang), these Canadian chicks would just come up and try to hitch a ride (then he demonstrated how to sit on a Harley) but then I’d decline them coz it was a one-seater. And if I went there alone, I want to come back alone,”

Then he asked for my number, which I had no way of wriggling out of lol.

“You should come look for me if you’re ever in town or need more dreamcatchers!” he said while shaking my hand. “We can have dinner or a drink at Hard Rock KL. I’m a regular there.”

Me: Uhm, okayyyyyyy. (I was mostly nodding and uhm ah-ing through the whole bizarre I’m-suddenly-your-friend convo)

When I was finally going to leave, he held up his hand again and I thought he was gonna shake it, but instead he pulled me close for a one-armed hug and then kissed my hand (!!!!!!!)

Idk, people have never done that to me before. I was feeling weirded out. Dear hippies, is that hippie language for ‘I’ll see you next time’ or ‘It’s nice meeting you?’ Please enclose warning label before doing because you’d freak people like me out.

He did give me a great discount on the Dreamcatcher, at only RM10 (NP: RM40) so… I’m still trying to make up my mind if he was being friendly in some weird hippie way, if he was trying to hit on me, or if… I don’t even know.

No offense meant against hippies.

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