Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Don't Blame it on the red.
"Aiyoh, Lau Kong, don't blame it on the drinks, say that you lau liau, mah" said my Mrs.
Of course, certain extraordinary events and happenings remain engraved forever on the conscious memory. In my case, I recollect with utter clarity the very day when I left Paya Lebar Airport (Changi was non-existence at that time) with a new suitcase for Brisbane. I flew Qantas ( no choice, ticket paid by Aussie boss.) I also vividly remembered that I had to pay 60 cents for a XXXX served by a Qantas aunty. It was not a freebie in those days. (Btw for the new kakis, XXXX is not what you think, it's a Queenlander's beer.) Yes of course, it is no longer free again. Especially on those budget airlines that offer free seats but whacked you on extras with baggage, meals and refreshments charges.
Ironically, Qantas aunties are getting younger and our Singapore girls are becoming Singapore aunties. (How old is Singapore girl? Didn't they celebrated her big five O birthday bash recently?)
It was row 36 A seat. See, I told you, my long term memory is still functioning. Sat next to me were Cecilia and Edward Otley. More of the Otleys later.
After exchanging pleasantries to the elderly couple( we do speak and acknowledge strangers in those days.) If you do it today. You get a surprised stare and likely to think that you are "chee sin" or "shock shock tei". (Please contribute other Singlish words or expressions. Need to replenish my Singlish vobcabulary.)
Along with the restriction of movement due to the confinement to an economy seat and a whole cabin of high spirited returning tourists, there was an excitement of coming to a new country as a new arrival. I could hardly sleep, and was giving my poor contorted body a new yoga position every so often for the whole duration of the night flight journey to Brisbane.
A question still remains with me and which I wanted to share with new kakis coming to call this country home. Is it possible that every group of new arrivals, there were those who asked themselves that question - what lies beyond?