[April 20, 2007]
It was around 9:00am when I woke up. Honestly, I thought I was just dreaming that I’m here. Though I had a great time since I landed here there is really nothing more depressing than a sober morning in a new country. It took me a quick trip to 7-11 for iced coffee and tuna sandwich to overcome that unhappy morning rise. So I then went on my usual morning rituals like praying and thanking God for a safe trip while having coffee but this time in front of the TV, I usually say my prayers on our front yard waiting for the day’s paper while having hot coffee, well, what the heck a little change in my morning rituals won’t really change anything being in a new country after all.
As we were discussing last night, my new found friends told me that instead of going to Starbucks or McDonalds for free Wi-Fi access, I should just try first if I can detect and connect to any unsecured networks here at home. I did just that and what do you know? Well, they’ve all learned how to secure their networks, that is the wireless networks whose reception are good, all the other that are of low strength signals, well, they’re still unsecure but being poor in reception, they couldn’t serve my purpose anyway.
I prepared myself for my first solo bus trip here. I went to the bus stop and waited there and then came the bus. I was very friendly to everyone and as the bus moved towards our destination, I found myself enjoying the sights and smiling. I’m beginning to get that feeling I usually, well—feel when I was exploring a new found beach or an unfamiliar mountain range when I was back at home and being adventurous. Hmm… I think I’m going to enjoy exploring Singapore.
Starbucks wasn’t hard to locate. I ordered a venti of my favourite espresso frap, whoa! almost 8SGD with whipped cream (almost 250PHP) it wouldn’t have mattered had their Wi-Fi is free turns out no matter I try to ‘get around’ their secure networks, I can’t, well I would have really tried, since every programmer knows that ‘brute force’ to any secure network is the key to victory but there’s this one employee who I think knows I’m ‘brute forcing’ their network. In all disappointment I left my half-done espresso frap and proceeded to McDonalds. At last I’m finally online. My e-mail is packed, my BB’s and forums are full of unanswered posts and I as much as possible would want to YM anyone who appears online in my list.
I had no idea it was already noon had this laptop didn’t drained on me. Instead of catching lunch I decided to shop for groceries and things important for my survival err slight comfort and living in my new house. Now this is hilarious, for me, if you saw me: near the entrance of Fairprice Supermarket I saw a line of grocery carts like those at Shopwise back home, they were all chained together and there was what looked like a key hanging on the first cart for grabs. I approached it slowly and tried to use it but like bullet-speed I realized I was wrong so I immediately entered the store, hoping no one noticed and in the back of my mind I was convinced that those cart are for member-shoppers, kind of like their privilege. But then I thought I might be the only non-member shopping there because everyone had their own carts even the those who looked more of like tourists than me, and in one inquiring peek at their carts I saw an inserted dollar coin. Alas! Now I know! I immediately got my own cart! (Lesson: learn to ask)
Now I have a full cart and made my way to the taxi stand and when I say a full cart, I mean FULL! Luckily there’s a cab waiting, I pointed my cart and he immediately opened the trunk after loading everything I returned the cart, well surprises of surprises, my inserted one dollar was returned to me hehehe! Inosenteng inosente ako dito potah!
Now this is the part where you’ll either pity me or laugh at me, anything will do, learning experience kumbaga hehehe: I closed the door and put on my seatbelts, the cab made its way to the main road. I immediately asked the driver if he understands English. He made a slight nod which I thought was yes so I told him the address then he suddenly shrieked and made noises like that of a menopausal monkey. I showed him the listed address and he shrieked even more but this time he sounded like gorilla in heat with no other gorilla in sight, he gestured like a drunk and hysterical retard. I was no circus trainer so I just motioned him to stop and I’ll just take another cab, good thing he understood and with all the power I could muster I controlled the urge to punch him until there was a gaping hole in that face of his. (woosah) I told myself I’d be famous here but not ala Flor Contemplacion’s fame. Better if I get featured in Forbes magazine (wheh! You wish Don! hehehe)
Another cab came along which was way better driven by that previous stupid idiot. And I finally got home. I cleaned my room and toilet but that episode did remind me what my father told me before I left the Philippines. He said the language barrier was one wall I’ll have a hard time passing thru. He’s right. All along I thought this was like America and I could very well communicate in English. I thought there was truth that ‘SingLish’ was Singapore’s language, I thought wrong again. I now have to ‘barok’ my English because when I talk in straight fluent English with the locals all I get were jaws dropped and eyes telepathically telling me “what the hell are you saying? There is no tower of Babel here fool!” (to be continued…)