The second of Michelle Tam’s futuristic cerita dongeng series: Will fantasy and romance fade in an age of instant gratification?

  1. Once upon a time, there was a princess who wanted to marry a prince, but not just any ‘anak sultan’ would do.
  2. Princes of the day tended to run off with internet technicians, needed to merempit, and had a questionable liking for maid-themed cafés.
  3. Being born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth was no crime, but a fetish to be fed with it was one she could do without.
  4. And so, sovereign suitors came and went without much success. Eventually, she took to advertising her search for the perfect prince on  CariJodoh.com.my.
  5. ‘Interested in: Princes. No speed demons, roving eyes, or egomaniacs. Fellow freelancer preferred. Everything else, can negotiate.’
  6. One evening, a violent storm seemed to shake the very foundations of her penthouse condominium, and rain poured down in terrible torrents.
  7. What upset her most, however, was the disruption (and possible destruction) of her most precious possession — her high-speed internet service.
  8. ‘Y U NO LET ME SKYPE?!’ she yelled at her modem.  Not only did she have deadlines to meet, a hot video date was at stake…
  9. …but suddenly, she heard a loud knocking at the door. She peeped through the keyhole, and opened the door to have a better look.
  10. She found a strange sight. Goodness gracious! His glasses were fogged, and water ran down from his hair and out of his ruined leather shoes.
  11. He introduced himself as a real prince who had seen her online dating ad.
  12. ‘How did you find my address? It’s not in the royal database,’ she asked.
  13. ‘I looked up your address through your blog url WHOIS – I hope you don’t mind,’ was his answer.
  14. ‘How do I know you’re not some psycho?’ she persisted.
  15. ‘The only thing mad about me was trying to drive through that traffic. Gave up and walked the rest of the way,’ he said, shivering from the cold.
  16. ‘Fine – but show me your Yellow Pages ID please,’ she asked, which he readily supplied.
  17. She ran a quick check on his name on the royal database and found that his picture and story matched.

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