Thursday, November 10, 2005

My second half day

Now I realize all my brothers are reading my blog on and off, even my elder brother! Yikes! Scary!! Haha… Anyway he asked me sometime ago when I would continue my crappy 2nd half day, so here goes…

As mentioned previously, I was waiting for the beloved 411. As I sat there, I saw how interesting it was that almost all the posters in UQ had an Asian in them.

Ahhh... Represented!

Something struck me. When you are a minority, you start to see yourself differently. What is your identity? I see myself as a Singaporean but what sets someone from Singapore apart from others who, externally, look the same?? I found out later that we do have a Singaporean accent. It is not the “lah” and “meh” for I try not to use these in class not because I am not proud to be from Singapore, but because I think most people would not understand what it means. For this very reason, I am highly amused by local productions. Do we hear people speaking in pure English with a slang that is not American, not British in reality; speaking in a way that is not punctuated with “mah” and “hor”? I think the thing that is not common in mainstream media actually might actually be the very thing that binds us together. Anyway, I digress.

So I kept looking out for the bus and was ready to hop on the moment it pulls up at the stop. It was going to be my first bus ride! Complete with my nerdy outfit and torch in the bag. When I board the bus, I did as E instructed:

Me: Hi, how much is it to Hawken Drive please?
Driver: I don’t know.
Me (??? You don’t??? know who?? will??? know?????): Ermmm… Hawken Drive? (pushes specs up my oily bridge)
Driver: Well, it depends.
Me (????? HAR??? HUH??? WHAT??? HMMMM??): It depends?
Driver (getting frustrated): It depends on whether it’s adult or concession!!!
Me (???HAR??HUH???HAR???): Concession?
Driver (louder voice): DO YOU HAVE A CONCESSION CARD??
Me (stammers): erm… I don’t have one… but I am a student here…
Driver (even louder voice): WELL, THAT’S ADULT THEN!!! $2.10!!!
Me (picks up fallen jaw from floor and dug for money): Oh.. thank you... (held out money in my palm)
Driver: DON’T GIVE IT TO ME! (Ed: Yes, at this, I had an even bigger question mark above my head) (taps on a small table-like thing beside him) PUT IT THERE!

WHAT A MOTHERFUCKING SONOFABITCH!!! In case you were wondering, while this excruciating 2 minute conversation was going on, there was a queue behind me, waiting to get onto the bus. If being rude was not enough, he had to shame me in front of the whole bus. Don’t he know we are the customers while he is the driver? I mean where is the respect?! Yes, yes… I know some of you are sniggering now, thinking why I didn’t lash back at him. Look at it this way, if I did, he might throw me off the bus and the last meal I had was like 9 hours ago and it was just a bun! If I didn’t go to the grocer asap, I just might expire there on the ground or have a really bad start with my housemates for stealing their food.

I told myself then that I would never go get grocery again. I was even too tired to be properly angry. I concentrated on remembering E’s instructions. She said I will see this place on my right with the big letters “COLES” written. What the hell is a COLES? I had no frikking idea. If that’s a restaurant, I don’t care if the meal cost me $50, I am going to eat. I want food. I need food!

I settled in for the bus ride and casually glanced around, absorbing the scenery. Like what housemate G said, the sky here is really blue. Suddenly, a flash of red caught my eyes. THE MORONIC COLES! Damn! I so do not need to antagonize the driver now. The bus had stopped but the back door wasn’t opened because no one had pressed the bell. He was only letting people up the bus. I decided to try my luck and press the bell gingerly. –driiiiing-

Ah! Music to my ears! The doors opened and I leapt out as fast as I could. I swore the driver deliberately closed the doors a second earlier, hoping to nick my ankles. Anyway, I didn’t give a damn, the beloved COLES was right across the road!

Village sia! This building is as big as the "village" goes. But kind of reminds me of Holland Village, the part where Cold Storage is.

So I skipped hurriedly into its welcoming doors. Supermarket! Yay!!! I grabbed a trolley (later I realize because they have an aversion to trolleys here; they love to work their arms) and like the nerd I was dressed as, I went berserk. I rushed from aisle to aisle, grabbing whatever caught my fancy. After all, I was NEVER, EVER going to do groceries again. EVER. Here’s a list of what I got:

 Serviettes
 Toilet rolls (We all need to shit don’t we?)
 Tea towels (Mama said must clean the cupboards)
 Container (Don’t know for what)
 Cheese
 Frankfurters
 Pork loin steak
 Eggs
 Cabbage
 Margarine
 Sugar
 Bread
 Rice
 Detergent
 Moisturizer (The air here is horrible. I actually had a minor nosebleed… Even eating chocolates did not do that to me…)
 Shower foam
 Muesli bars (When I get gastric pains, I need my filling food immediately!)
 Milo
 Coffee (They don’t have instant coffee here! *sobs*)
 Canned tuna
 Pepper
 Oyster sauce
 Soy sauce (Don’t try to be a smart alec and save money by using the homebrands. You will kill yourself from the taste.)
 Mineral water

That rang up to a grand total of $79.35. Ka-ching! :( And here’s some of the goods:

Gloves from my friends! I'm not that anal!

My arms nearly broke the first time I tried to carry all the stuff. OH NO! I forgot that I had to travel back! Where is the bus stop?! I asked the very cute cashier where the bus-stop to UQ was. He gave me a weird look. I thought I had really bad accent so I asked again. He told me it was just outside, while continuing to give me the puzzled look. How am I ever going to hook guys if all they are going to give me are looks that say they think I am crazy? Haiz… On the other hand, after I’ve been here awhile, I get weird pick up lines. The most recent one was two guys following me while I was shopping alone in the city yesterday. They were standing behind me on the escalator talking very loudly, but I was just excited about my first city trip in don’t know how long so I didn’t really pay them any attention. I walked into this shop and they trailed behind me. Suddenly, right into my right ear, this voice murmured:

“Excuse me miss, how short is your skirt?”

Wah lao! My skirt not even short lor! I knew I was going out alone and hence wore a longer skirt. Don’t come and harass me lor! I know yoga ok! (Right… That just makes me flexible, not dangerous… Hmmm...) Somemore, I think I looked sick with my red nose and all:

My red shiny nose and orh bak kak

I pretended not to hear and walked around the shop. But they insisted on pestering me, asking me the length of my skirt, in inches, in centimeters, in meters. Still, I did not reply. I just kept on walking as though they were not talking to me. But it was quite fun. Just when I was thinking of replying them in mandarin, they gave up. zzzz…. No kick. Anyway, back to 2nd half day.

I waited and waited at the bus-stop for the bus to take me home. I just want to devour all my food. But sad to say, the frequency of their bus service here is atrocious. Especially on weekends. Besides, I was so nervous about meeting the bus-driver. What if all of them are the same pain in the ass fucked up service PROVIDERS? Luckily for me, this guy was alright, though the exorbitant bus fare still made my jaw dropped again (Actually, if you take any bus within two hours from the first ride you took, you just have to show the driver your previous ticket and you can transfer buses for free. But you cannot take back the original bus. Sounds complicated? You bet! I think they can have a whole degree course on taking buses here.)

I struggled and struggled with the groceries, all the while wishing for the guy who had helped me with my luggage to appear before me again. But no luck. Then I saw the slope I had to take. Oh yes, welcome to the tone-your-arse hill.

Finally I got home. Wait a minute! This isn’t my home! I just arrived! My home is back in Singapore. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!


Nike7 said...

ermm.. random popping.. u got a nice site.. =)

jllt said...

Thanks! :D