Saturday, April 22, 2006

1 minute and 30 seconds on a traffic island.

And so We were stranded. The signal behind us turned green even as we turned to retreat onto the pavement. And the signal before us was green already. Served us right for braving the wrath of a thoroughfare.

Careful, no. Dont want those superspeedy idiotic double deckers to run over your feet. Retreat a few inches. not too far back. Your ass is vulnerable to a rear guard action.

Looking around. An old american with wrinkled skin, a straw hat, Sun City Bermudas, a loose dirty snot colored Polo and ridiculuous aquamarine flipflops that begged to be stamped on. Well, not me today. A young petite chinese / HongKonginese woman. Actually you can never make out the age on these oriental women. Firstly they dress like its christmas every day. And they never seem to age. It seems like they're 16 till they're 55. And then suddenly they're looking like a 100. And for the life of me, I cannot distinguish between Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Taiwanese, and other Indonesians. Although I am told they are as different as chalk and cheese. Ofcourse it bothers me that if a chink can outsmart another chink, then a japanese or an indian should be easy meat. Me? easy meat? Sure... Well there's Brian. ex-Marine. Married. Businessman. Golfer. Cigar baron. well not quite a cigar "baron". but close enough. and just about 25. Damn. And a bangladeshi suit - middleaged, gleaming balding pate, striped suit, hand in pocket, eyeing the wrinkled American. Bloody darzi. These bangladeshis, pakistanis, sri lankans, sindhis, and filipinos had cornered the secret art of surviving in developed nations en famille.

Reminds me of a conversation I had at a street corner about 25 mins ago. Looking for chinese silk shirts. I ran into an indian subcontinental featured pair of gentlemen. So I asked where I could find Silk Shirts. Turned out one was a Pakistani and one was Bangladeshi. Presently, an Indonesian strolled up to join the discussion about where one could purchase Silk Shirts. Ofcourse, after a protracted argument, tried to hustle me into buying tailored suits. Cheap ones. Only 1000 HK. When I told them my flight was in 5 hours, they lost interest, the argument dissipated, people stomped off, and one of them pointed across the street in the vague direction of a shopping mall before he snorted and took off.

Well, now back to the denizens of the traffic island. One American oldie, One bangladeshi well preserved oldie, One ex-Marine, one Asian looking cute chick, and an overeager overdressed Indian budding entrepreneur accounted for. In the balance were a Caucasian stock broker type, supercilious and spectacled; a companion for the old American, equally wrinkled and attired in flipflops; and a surprise addition to the group - a daschund on a leash, leading a tired looking British dowager.

And I felt we shared a bond - an oasis in the middle of a honking and beeping and traffic laden desert; that we were connecting beyond all stereotypes, and all races and cultures; That this was a tale of passion, togetherness, and human survival; That this was the most momentous humanised occasion of my short trip; and that it showed that humans are capable of loving, and that I could maybe, just maybe get that woman's telephone number just by willing it. Ok, even if she looked at me, I suppose it would be enough for my mind to metamorphose into a short fling we enjoyed together.

But just when I was getting to know everyone, the signal turned and everyone scooted off.



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