Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Meaning of Life

"Can you tell me the meaning of life?", said the man seated next to me.

Linda must have caught my "WTF" expression. She interjected, "I told him that the meaning of life was here" and pointed towards her heart. I tried not to look too long where the finger was pointed.

"Hey you. Yeah. Can you tell me where in Singapore I can find the meaning of life?" At this point, I figured out that he was drunk. His speech was slurred and his cheerfulness seemed chemically induced.

Another man was seated opposite him, and he said at this point, "Forgive him. He almost started a few fights in the bar." I made some reassuring noises.

Linda and I exchanged glances again. She looked amused. I must have too.

"You are in the wrong place if you're looking for the meaning of life. Ask me for something else. Want to know a decent bar?" I leaned back. A coherent response might take some time.

It was the other man who responded. I took the time to examine him. Caucasian, slight build, intense look, and spoke English with an accent I couldn't place. "We just came from a bar. Didn't like it. Too..."

Linda poked her nose and lifted it, "Too proud? Too uppity?" I stifled a laugh. "We were just talking about that. I was just asking her for a place where I could get a drink, without loud music and just chill out. Doesn't exist."

The other man sighed. I took the opportunity to lean in to ask Linda if she was offended. No, she didn't mind, and was having fun.

With that, we proceeded along our new playground - the minds of our unsuspecting neighbours.

We found out in time that our friend had 22 beers and was in Singapore by way of San Jose. Our other friend was from Singapore, by way of Ireland. Both had worked in Singapore for years. We talked through the night about absolutely nothing, and everything. Our newfound friends bought us a round of coffee. We talked some more.

Our San Jose friend tried to convince us Singapore was a peaceful wonderful place. Linda and I, veteran Singaporeans, defended our non-existant freedoms. Our friend cited fighting in Cambodia and Vietnam. I cried plurality in US and UK. Linda, who had never lived outside Singapore, had my full support. It was great.

At the end of it all, Irish guy asked for Linda's number. I had a suspicion that was what they were after for a while, if not necessary from the start. Linda playfully deposited only her email, much to Irish guys disappointment. We stalked off with big grins on our faces.

I maintain that Linda needs her own warning label.


-ben said...

A baby seal walks into a bar...

The bartender asks "What can I get you?"

The baby seal says "ANYTHING but a Canadian Club!"

(OK, you may groan now)

Anthony said...