The Taiwanese Backpacker

The biggest mistake I made was forgetting to request for a window seat for my return to Perth. The punishment was being put in the middle of two strangers for 4.5 hours. Immediately I prayed for low fat versions to nobody in particular. No, I don't have a problem with fat people 99% of the time, with the exception of situations where my personal space has a higher probability of being encroached.

My prayers were answered. It was amazing because the hit rate of praying to nobody seems to match up with my friends' prayers to their respective Gods. If the success rate of answered prayers is 50-50%, then 50% x nobody = 50% x God. Take away the constant, we get, nobody = God. We cannot rule out the possibility of everyone praying to the same supreme being under a different name. In this case, nobody is actually God.

A girl in her late twenties appeared and gestured the window seat was hers. I tried giving her space that was almost non existent in a budget carrier. After some awkward lap dancing, she sunk into the coveted window seat and began to make preparations for a good sleep. Much later, a chap in his twenties took the other seat. So the plane took off without crashing (another answered prayer to nobody) and meals were served. Then the hot babe stewardess gave us "white cards" to fill. The lady began to look annoying restless because she didn't have a pen with her. Wah lao, fill at airport counter will die meh? The chap on my left, in contrast, looked like a well prepared boy scout with a pencil case. Pencil case? wtf. He requested for a Chinese white card and I took a glance at his green passport. China or something.

Hmm. I realised I didn't have a pen on me as well. Yes, I am as kiasu as any Singaporean so I MUST fill my white card but I was not ask-the-cabin-crew-for-a-pen-and-get-told-they-didn't-provide-such-service desperate as the girl at the window seat, who appeared nearing a nervous breakdown because she couldn't get a pen. After she finished her meal, she proceeded to do her lap dance on both of us to get out and disappeared for quite a while. She returned with a pen, filled her card and finally relaxed herself enough to get to sleep. Me? I don't need drama to get a pen. Not when I have a guy with a full pencil case sitting beside me.

The chap did not ordered food. Strangely, I was told by Jen she did not order anything for me too but the hot babe stewardess still gave me some. Whatever. I ate creamy pasta and tidied up. Then I dropped the table of the traveler and placed the can of Coke on it with a shift move. He looked surprised and rejected my offer. "Take it," I told him. "And take this as well," I placed my Toblerone bar on his table. He thanked me and introduced himself after he finished the Coke. Sam was a Taiwanese, making a trip to Perth for the first time after a transit in Changi Airport. He lavished praise on the airport and I acknowledged it. I took the opportunity to warn him about his expectations of the notorious Perth International Airport, which currently holds the distinguished honor being voted Top Ten of the Most Hated Airports in the World.

Sam began to ask about me and my life in Perth after he found out I had been working here for 3.5 years. He was making his first trip to Perth on a working-holiday visa, which granted him one year to stay and work in Australia. Needless to say, he was keen to know where to look for jobs or any other advice I could offer him. Here we go again. I asked Sam for a pen and a piece of paper. Then I wrote down the URL of Gumtree and told him the standard rates of renting a single room, which would save him good money compared to staying in a backpacker's inn. Then I wrote the names of a few suburbs that he could find used car dealers who sell cheaper than the others. While he shot his questions, I filled my white card.

1 comment:

  1. Smooth operator 8-)