My friend, Jenny, and her friend boarded this Hong Kong Airport Express train the other day, enroute to the airport. With them in the same carriage were a young Chinese guy and 2 girls. As Jenny settled down for the journey, she noticed the guy taking out a Subway beef and onion sandwich and a large cup of coke, and he proceeded chomping down on the food. Jenny, being Jenny, told him, “excuse me, do you know that you’re not allowed to eat in the train?” The guy sneered at her, “So? What’s your problem?” “The problem is the onion in your subway sandwich smells!” “Your breath smells worse!” Jenny was livid! Her friend told the guy he should mind his manners, but he continued with his tautings, “you 2 Singaporeans should get the hell back to your country!”
The guy turned to his 2 girlfriends, “who the hell do these idiots think they are? Telling me not to eat in the train?” Just then, the train stopped at Kowloon station and Jenny saw a cop standing in front of the door. She waved him in, and told him of the bad behavior of the young punk. The sniveling idiot tried to dissuade the cop from booking him, saying he’s an American, and that the other passengers also ate and spit in the train. (Hell, saying he’s American will only add to the bad rep of Americans in foreign land! And he thinks that Hong Kongers will back off? Stupid fool!) Anyway Jenny told him to get his story straight, and he told her off for evesdropping on him.
The cop wanted the particulars of Jenny and her friend. Jenny was so pissed with the idiot then that she had difficulty writing it down, cuz her hands were trembling with anger. The cop told the idiot to step to another carriage with him, but he refused. Eventually when the train reached the airport station, the idiot was escorted out by another cop who turned up. Before he left, he took a picture of Jenny, and said to her, “fuck you, bitch!” Jenny was unperturbed and replied back with a smile, quoting a favorite line from our friend, Meiling, “be good and behave!”
Moral of the story: don’t mess with Jenny. And saying you’re an American is not going to get you out of trouble.
C has a cousin who was a beauty in high school, with many guys having crushes on her. But the school beauty was already going out with a swoon-worthy guy from the same school; and they were considered a golden couple.
As expected they got married and led a supposedly happy ever after life. Fast
forward 15 years and 2 kids later, life had other plans for them, and took on an unexpected turn. The handsome husband decided that he wanted something new and cheated on the high school beauty, and basically dumped her and the kids. It was a devastating blow for her when her self-worth was decimated. In her most depressive moment, she committed suicide. Luckily C’s mom found her just in time.
Since her attempted suicide and subsequent divorce, the high school beauty managed to overcome the bad episodes and moved on with life. Four years ago, by chance she met up with a former classmate who had always harbored a crush on her. Being adults, there was no longer any teenage crush or romantic dreams, instead it was something deeper. The former classmate had remained single, holding a torch for her all these years. He isn’t a looker; in fact he has balding hairline and a paunch, the opposite of the ex-husband. But he is a good man who is willing to be the father of 2 step kids.
The high school beauty brought her new beau to family reunions and he also eventually became part of the family. He has always joked that patience paid off for him, and he got the girl of his dream at the end. So I guess there’s truly happy ever after?
Last month, the husband suffered from severe gastric pain, and went to Tan Tock Seng hospital for a check up, and nothing major was detected. The high school beauty felt they should get a second opinion, and insisted he consulted with a private specialist. Upon checks, he was discovered to have stage 3 pancreatic cancer. He had to undergo surgery recently. But pancreatic cancer is something we know which killed Steve Jobs, Pavarotti and Patrick Swayze.
In life, there’ll be times when you’re faced with such hard knocks and falls that you wonder if you’ll ever be able to get back up. But I guess we have to, no matter what happens because life is not just about ourselves. And whatever successes we have in life, bear in mind that we had the help of a lot of people whether we know it or not, and luck plays a big part as well. Know that there’s nothing to feel smug about.
(Update on 9 May)
During a consultation meeting with gynae Loh many moons ago, he suddenly asked me this question, “have I told you about the Indian story before?” As I shook my head, he continued, “there was this Indian lady who came to see me for fertility treatment. We tried the fresh cycle, the frozen cycle, many times, and nothing worked. So I gave up. But the Indian lady was so persistent, refused to give up, kept wanting to talk to me about what to do next, until I got scared of her. When I saw her waiting at the IVF center, I quickly ‘siam’ (avoid) and used another door, like seeing a ghost. Then, she really got pregnant and delivered a baby. Wah! What a relief!”
After Loh finished his story, I stared back at him in silence, wondering what the hell was the moral of the story. (I was partially incapacitated by alcohol then, and so my mind wasn’t functioning well and didn’t ask him outright.) Now thinking back, he probably was trying to use the story as an encouragement; that even if the doctor gives up on you, you shouldn’t give up on yourself. (But I’ll verify with him when I see him soon.)