Miso awkward

I went to dinner with Mela today, and we were at this Japanese restaurant in Chinatown. We sat down sort of next to these two guys, but they were the eat eat eat eat leave type, so Mela and I could have a relatively low-voiced conversation and hear each other.

But then these two girls sat down beside us after the guys left, and for some reason they felt the need to loudly describe exactly what they want in their bento, and what they don’t want. Then they proceeded to go through the menu of bentos, saying which ones are closest to what they want, but not quite, and pondering if the waiter could change it for them.

And then when the waiter tried to explain that he couldn’t change it, they sort of did the guilt-trip “oh-oh” kind of thing. In the end they conceded anyway.

And, finally, and here’s the clincher; the waiter first brought their bento to their table, then went back into the kitchen to bring them their miso soup. As the waiter was about to set down the miso soup, one of the girls started praying rapidly. And I’m not meaning like “Dear God, thank you for this food which we are about to enjoy…”, I mean she, I don’t know, in one breathe I think she thanked every person in the Bible for the teriyaki chicken, sushi, and rice. I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but she was saying them.

And the poor waiter just sort of hovered above them with one miso in each hand, unsure whether to set them down and interrupt their prayer, or just stand there waiting for them to finish what seemed to be a marathon session.

And Mela and I just sat there, trying so hard not to laugh.

I mean, I’m all for saying grace before you eat, and if you’re so in tune with God that you feel comfortable praying like that in public, I don’t know, most people just say something short. It was just so ridiculously long and rapid.

Alex.

Advertisements

Pretty, witty, and…bright?

A Sex and the Screen post after a long while!

Just a quick note: in the part where I said “who outside of this topic knows the difference” between “gay” and “queer”, it’s referring to the fact that Queer Theory in many ways completely contradict the (perhaps accidental yet inevitable) ideas of “Gay Pride”.

I think I may have mentioned something similar to this post in a previous post, so forgiveness please if this is a bit of a repeat.

But yesterday I was having lunch with a few friends when one of them left to buy food, leaving behind her mobile phone. As all immature friends do, I found the name of her closest (and therefore, by theory, the most tolerant of strange antics) friend, and wrote something along the immature lines of “hey baby I miss you and your funny laughs”. This other friend is also female, by the way.

So if we’re looking at this scenario in a heteronormative way, we’d see that both of my friends, being straight, would find the sudden flouting of the codes by the first friend (let’s use names because I’m confusing me: First friend whose phone I used is called T, second friend is called B) would put her outside of the heterosexual group, but because B knows that T is straight, it would thus become an amusing and perhaps ironic mess with tradition, calling more attention to that friends are sometimes allowed to break convention with each other, rather than T actually would call B “baby” in a slightly sexual way.

And, I have to say, in any other circumstance with any other pairing of friends, this text may have been milked for all the immature humor it contained, with B replying in a similarly suggestive fashion, T then taking it a bit too far, and B laughing it off and they all giggle later on about how weird they were (and how platonically close and comfortable with each other they felt).

Yet somehow, in this instance, the humor of the breaking of codes seemed to have completely escaped B. B knows that I’m friends with T, therefore she might have been able to guess that T’s phone was used by someone else, but instead of replying with the “lol haha give T her phone back”, B replied with “um WTF what are you talking about?”

And it was in this instance of denying the humor (I’m not saying that being gay is funny or whatever, but it seems that the general idea is if you’re something other than straight, that’s lulz) that suddenly made the text incredibly awkward. Suddenly being suggestively un-straight made things uncomfortable and it took a lot of careful wording for me to inform B that T didn’t write the message but at the same time continued the line of joking.

The really sigh-worthy part of this is, B and T have both on previous occassions professed their “okayness” with gay people (because it’s something you just end up tolerating isn’t it), but on more than one occassion they’ve proven that any activities considered outside of the Charmed Circle (bar the, you know, heterosexual promiscuity and infidelity or whatever), so sexually deviant actions and thought, etc etc, render them very uncomfortable to the point of them saying “ewwww!”

And this very long example brings me back to Warner’s point – that it’s become unfashionable to critique the gay movement or pride. It’s become unfashionable but it’s not not a fashion, much like flare jeans are now looked upon with distaste but everyone still has an old battered pair in the back of the closet (haha closet).

And regardless of whether you actually secretly (or not so secretly) still wear those flare jeans around your house, and maybe to a friend’s, or just when you duck down to the shops where no one you know will see you, or if you actually burned those flare jeans because they’re FLARED FFS, there is still that memory of those flared jeans (btw, in case you lost it, the flared jeans is a metaphor for criticism of gay pride – which is viewed synonymously with queer, because I mean how many people outside of this topic actually know the difference?) being worn and being liked at some point. You just no longer want to admit out loud that you like flared jeans.

B and T wear skinny jeans these days, but I still remember the days when they used to wear flared ones, and not realize that one day they’d have to deny ever liking it. I think they secretly still like it.

Alex.

Since blogging is meant to end on Friday and I have an essay to write today, that will be the last one.

Alex

I Can Count On You Like 4-3-2

[Count On Me – Bruno Mars]

I think I can hit 15 posts a month this month! WOW! It shouldn’t have been so hard but oh boy…

Yesterday I caught up with Cathy and what I’ve come to associate as “Cathy’s Group” for a joint birthday picnic. I went into the city early because my parents offered to drop me off at the station. I took the opportunity to stroll from Flinders to Melb Central – though, with the number of people in the city yesterday, it was a slow walk – and bumped into Mo- and Bon along the way. There was a moment of slight stalkerism when I did a double take to get Mo-‘s attention, but because they responded to my call, I think I was redeemed.

Spent quite a lot of time trying to buy a present. I think, from now on, if I decide to buy feminine jewelery, I’m going to try to dress more appropriately for the store, because I walked into Diva and it felt like I had neon arrows pointing at me with the label “DOES NOT BELONG HERE”.

I did manage to find presents for both Cathy and Anna – a rather cute bracelet for Anna, and a rape whistle for Cathy (it looked really cool and had real leather for the strap and I felt like it could see Cathy through her Europe Trip) – and then walked around Borders trying to find one more overdue birthday gift, only to realize I had no more money on me for such purposes, so I started wandering back to the clock where everyone was meant to meet.

Almost had to use the rape whistle when Pearl tried to hug me from behind to surprise me. Her and Sheina had gotten to the city early, and they’d just arrived at the clock as well. There was a Diet Coke retail therapy sort of area near the clock, with couches, so the three of us did some “free advertising” for them by sitting there and drinking their free hand-outs and looking like we were having a good time. It turned out to be a blessed rest, because Cathy and Carey took over half an hour to finally arrive.

After they’ve arrived, followed shortly by Jalex, it was nearly 4 pm. Cathy mentioned that she wanted to go to the Fitzroy Gardens, and that she “had a general idea” where it was. Unfortunately, her general idea included walking around the entire Parliament house instead of cutting through Parliament Square. It wasn’t that hot yesterday, but the walk was long enough for complaints to be warranted.

So we finally found the park, and a lovely shaded spot to have our picnic (which wouldn’t have been complete without an exploding bottle of coke). Halfway through, Jack mentioned that he needed the bathroom, and completely missed the fact that when we pointed vaguely into the park saying “there, there, there”, we were actually pointing at various trees he could go behind. After a few minutes of him looking aimlessly past the trees, he wandered off in the opposite direction to find an actual toilet building.

Perhaps 5 or 10 minutes later, he came wandering back, and the first words that escaped from his mouth were, “Okay, don’t go to the boys’ bathroom. There was a beat going on in there.”

His twin, Alex, responded immediately, “Oh my god, really? What happened?”

It turned out that there is actually a word for when males solicit sex in the toilets: BEAT, and poor Jack had walked in on one such male waiting for a client. His harrowing experience thus led to a full explanation of glory-holes – I learned something yesterday, and I’m not sure if I wanted to learn it. (Especially certain things about MHS.)

With the time nearing 6pm, and the winds picking up strong enough for us to be cold, we packed up our little picnic and decided to head back for Melb Central to meet up with Angie. On the way back to Parliament station, we passed the Hyatt (which was convenient because I actually was worrying about finding it on Friday but now I know where it is), and Alex said he wanted to use the bathroom (and none of us wanted to use the park bathroom after what we were told). We were worried that we couldn’t just waltz into the freaking Hyatt and use the bathroom, but Alex did anyway, and he came out full of praises about how extravagant the place was. At his words, the girls (Cathy, Sheina, Pearl and I) and Jack decided that we’d go as well – if anything just to see what it’s like inside. (Needless to say, it was obviously very glamorous and high-class, but that’s not my story yet.)

When we were done and about to leave the bathroom, Sheina mentioned that we should do the obligatory bathroom shot, especially since we were in a bathroom in the Hyatt, where there were vases. I was holding the door open, saying that we should just leave, when Jack showed up and saw that we were trying to take photos. I don’t know what he was thinking, or if he was thinking at all, but he stepped into the girls’ bathroom, grabbed the camera, and while just on the threshold of the bathroom, started taking photos of the other girls while I hid behind a door, disbelieving.

In that exact moment, a complete stranger walked into the bathroom, and I could only imagine what she was thinking as she saw Jack standing there with a camera, pointing into the bathroom. Cathy and I hauled ass as fast as we could – I just really didn’t want to get blacklisted before Friday – and managed to hold our laughs in until outside the hotel.

When we made it back to Melb Central, the Diet Coke retail therapy had been cordoned off, but because all the seats around the clock were taken, they decided to sit in there anyway. We caught up with Jackie O (oh I like writing it like that), who I haven’t seen since the first time I met her, and waited there for Angie to show up. When she finally did, she did so in the most fashionable way (late, and incredibly well dressed in her Forever New outfit because she worked there and had to leave her job at Myer and ergh what a successful girl) with Richard (i.e. Exclamation Mark guy from Pearl’s Flare performance). I was surprised to hear that they all knew and wanted to go to Giraffe cafe, and after having Jalex yell at her about how adorable the place is, Angie and Cathy thought they would check it out.

Since the last time I was at Giraffe wasn’t exactly the happiest of times, I was determined to have some fun this time around. It turned out to be pretty damn easy to do it – we started off with a game of Jenga, and my GOD that game is intense! Everyone starts breathing in sync and I’m pretty sure I was telepathically linked to my fellow game-mates Jackie and Pearl for a while there. In the end, it was Jackie’s gusto that led to her demise, as the tower came crashing down on her otherwise fluid extractions.

After Jackie left, the drinks and foods started arriving. When they’ve been adequately consumed (but not wholly), one of the waitresses brought out the birthday brownies for Cathy. Poor girl didn’t light the candles up when she brought it in, instigating some sighs from Alex. And when she tried to light it at the table, her lighter failed on her.

Another round of Jenga ensued, but this time we noticed that a table behind us were creating architecturally radical designs, and that prompted Carey to do the same. Things became ridiculous when pieces were stacked vertically on top, or on a slant. When the tower fell, a piece fell into Cathy’s ice cream. This prompted Jack to say, “Are you still going to eat that now that woody’s been in it?”

The day was finished off with a more than jovial ticket barrier lady at Melb Central. Cathy’s ticket got eaten by the machine, and so the lady stood there and had a chat with us about what we could possibly do to get the ticket back out. When the ticket finally came out, the lady took a look at it and tsked, “well, here’s your problem it’s expired.” Off Cathy’s startled shriek, she broke into a grin, “Just kidding! Have a happy new year!”

I think all staff should be like that. Enjoying their job and not putting other people down.

WELL, over 1500 words! It was a long, eventful and HILARIOUS day! There were many stories I didn’t put down for the sake of Sheina’s privacy (oops?), but maybe that sentence will at least jog my own memory.

Happy New Year, everyone, I won’t be writing in here until after we hit 2011. (I will queue up a post for midnight, though!) Have a safe few days, and may 2011 be better than 2010 if you had a shit 2010, or be better than 2010 even if you had a good 2010.

Alex.

Parking Garage By The Theater

[La La Lie – Jack’s Mannequin]

So here’s a thought: when two people who used to be rather close to each other meet up again after a long hiatus – during which the relationship has been stashed away in a shoebox under the bed, then further covered by new boxes, topped off with a glazing of dust – there is always a winner and a loser (this idea was explored in How I Met Your Mother, with Robin’s Sandcastle in the Sand – yeah, one day I’ll write an original post).

They might not admit to it, but the moment they meet up again they start sizing each other up, to see who fared better in the time apart. They start comparing stories after they went their separate ways, and after mentally compiling a list of pros and cons, as unspoken as it may be, one person goes home that night feeling better about themselves – they’re in a better relationship, better job, better house, or they’re just so much sexier, whatever.

But there’s also this other scenario, where two people who used to be close sort of part ways, but they don’t lose complete contact. Through one way or another, they’re being made aware on a frequent basis the changes in the other person’s life. New friends, new job, haircuts, tans, holidays etc. So when they two of them meet up again, they sort of have a general awareness of what had gone on in the other person’s life, and thus a general awareness of who the winner is.

So I wonder, which scenario would be the better?

Personally, I find that the 2nd scenario – or what I prefer to call the We’re-Still-Friends-On-Facebook scenario – is much more painful. I mean, when I’m constantly aware of changes in the person’s life, I feel the need to constantly be at that level too (because usually I’m the one who’s being left behind. That’s my thing). So, for example, when I read updates about how one of my high-school friends got her Ps already, I was insanely jealous and went on a rampage to get more hours done – even though the situations with our families are different, and she was bound to get her Ps early anyway.

Or jobs. Oh my God I hate it when I read about how everyone’s got jobs and they’re going on road trips and I’m being unfit alone at home, writing blogs about being unfit alone at home.

I think, though, with relationships, it’s even more of a deal. I was just watching this episode of Smallville (you need to be ok with the fact that most of my blog posts are inspired by a TV show I was watching) where Lana told Clark that she’s met someone new (Ian Somerholder’s character) and she wanted him to know first.

I get that her intentions were good – let the ex hear it from her instead of someone else, since they’re “friends” and everything – but I bet there is a measure of smugness when someone does that. I mean, if I had a chance to go to my (non-existent) ex and say, “oh hey, yeah, I met someone, totally tappin’ it, just letting you know cos, I want you to hear it from me…sucker” I would grab it with both hands and try my hardest not to add “sucker” at the end, or in my tone, or on my face. Because being able to say that is like the ultimate Kill-Shot for victory (of course, further on the track if what I was “tapping” ended up being some major loser, the Counter-damage would be ten-fold).

Since I’ve established that I’m usually the one being left behind, I just feel that in this scenario, chances are I’M going to be the one scrolling through my Facebook homepage one night (because that’s what I do when I run out of I Can Has Cheezburger to look at) and seeing my (still non-existent) ex change their relationship status, and post some otherwise-adorable-but-incredibly-saccharine-to-me picture of them and their slice of victory pie. The worst part is, I’m pretty sure the WAITING for such a moment is even worse than actually living out the moment – either you are watching a live commentary of them meeting someone new, getting interested, and finally hooking up, or you run all these possibilities through your situation-exaggerator of a brain, settling on the decision that your ex will end up being together with a person who is pretty much you, but better. The only consolation I can give myself is that MAYBE, when they do finally end up with someone else, that they’re actually TRADING DOWN. Although to trade down from me you’d have to be sexually attracted to a gnat.

Ooh gnats.

So, yeah, to clear up some vagueness and actually give you a taste of my personal life, most of the people I used to like, bar two (one of whom was always in a relationship anyway and is now in another state, and the other guy totally deserves someone smarter than me so I’m not even spewing), haven’t found anyone yet. But I can extrapolate and imagine, so I would say that if I ever find someone, and then break up with them (hence finally gaining myself an ex), I would rather just not see them for ages, and then work my ass off to have some Pros to chalk up, so that when I meet them again I may have a chance to be a winner.

Unless, of course, my ex and I decide to be friends. Then I can be all Lana on their ass, and hook up with Ian Somerholder.

Ha….

In other news (this is becoming a REALLY long blog post), I was watching a few of communitychannel‘s oldest videos, and I realize that she had developed her style over the years, and she’d started off with just a webcam and her talking. I don’t know, maybe after my Project365 ends, and…maybe after a few months after it ends because I need to give the internet a break from me, I might start vlogging. If I ever do take up that idea, I’ll be sure to tell about it here. But yeah, keeping the idea alive – I don’t think I can be as funny or interesting, but I may develop a style and become the next communitychannel or kevjumba.

And THAT would be SUCH a Kill-Shot. Internet fame, woo.

Alex.

Madness? THIS. IS. PLAYSCHOOL!

I wrote a REALLY long post in my Uni blog today. (The title was “There’s a bear in there, and it disapproves”)

Without going into risky waters of likening anything to pedobear, I will clarify that yes, I am making a Playschool reference.

I was on the phone with a friend who is still in Yr 12 this year, and in the process of our conversation I mentioned that I actually used to watch Playschool up until I was 17. You know, when you’re reading a book in the living room and complete silence unnerves you (at least, it unnerves me) so you turn on the TV just for the sound. I used to do this during my school holidays, when my parents weren’t home.

In those days, we only had ABC, Seven, Nine, Ten, SBS and that other channel with the fish swimming back and forth for 5 hours each day. During the day, the only shows on the commercial channels were old-grandma shows, like Days of Our Lives (which I did end up watching during a period of time when I stayed home cos I was feeling a bit feverish and thought I had the Swine Flu but that’s another story), or those boring fishing shows for stay-at-home dads. I was a teenage girl. Those shows not only FAILED to capture my attention, they actively DESTROYED my SOUL.

SBS was usually showing a Russian news anchor firing off rapid speech, and for a while I thought he was recounting a particularly distasteful rampage of a rapist, he sounded that angry, but then the story turned out to be some old lady turning 90. (A bit of racist stereotype there. BY THE WAY, I totally got this off the Simpsons. I searched but can’t find the video clip to show you.)

So I was left with ABC. Remember, I had no amazing new choices like GO! or Seven2, or SevenMate for TV shows I actually like, and there weren’t two other ABC channels where I can watch more Arthur (which, by the way, is still awesome).

So, while reading my book, I would have ABC running in the background. As you would, you start to recognise all the shows, and you start sort of having this guilty pleasure in putting down your book when the familiar “There’s a bear in there” comes on.

I admitted to my friend on the phone, who is Yr 12, about to turn 18 and way too cool, that when I was in Yr 10, and I was watching one of the episodes of Playschool (my favorite playmate was Karen, the only Asian chick. Dude. She clearly was better) I actually learned, from Playschool, that avocadoes grew on trees. I had no idea before that. I didn’t know WHERE they came from but I didn’t think it was trees. So there I was, 16 going on 17, doing a VE&T course at Swineburne outside of my school hours, and I learn from PLAYSCHOOL.

When she heard this, my awesomely-cool friend (who we’ll name Brenda, cos that’s totally not her name or anything) started laughing hysterically. She was actually having difficulties stopping, and so I sat there for about 5 minutes while she wheezed with laughter at the other end. When she finally decided to breathe again, she clarified, “YOU learned from PLAYSCHOOL when you were SIXTEEN!?”

And so, 8 paragraphs in, I finally get to the point of this post.

I have spent the past…hmm let’s see…probably since Yr 6 I have been laboriously building an image of myself. Admittably, in Yr 9 when I changed schools, I threw away most of my work and tried to start anew. Still, the point is that, as a young adolescent, I spent quite a lot of time creating this certain image of myself.

And this included the stuff I bought and consumed. I started caring about my hair a lot more when my parents finally let me go to an actual hairdressers, and I cared about my clothes (though still not as much as most girls my age) near the end of Yr 9. I especially started caring about my media image (and this media I mean by internet and technology gadgets etc) by Yr 10, when it became apparent to me that my goals in life involved the Media heavily.

I deleted my old blog on Xanga (which looked great, but had horrid spelling and grammar and it was full of me bitching), and started one on WordPress after going to a Journalism Convention thing. I deleted that WordPress as well, but not because it was horrible like Xanga. You don’t need to know why. I got a new WordPress in Yr 11, and has kept that since (yes, that’s the WordPress that this appears in as well).

I held of getting Facebook for a while, because it felt like it was giving too much power to other people to mold what I appear to them – they comment, they tag, they like – but, in the end, for communications’ sake (and because everyone else was doing it) I got one.

I didnt hesitate in getting Twitter, because that, I felt, was me in power. On my profile, you only see what I posted. I may not have many followers, but it wasn’t like the follower count was at 0.

Finally, I got Tumblr. I got it on the basis that I felt my WordPress wasn’t pictorial enough, and I wanted more pictures. Tumblr gave me the power to follow people with similar tastes to me, and for me to repost what I like. This action of reposting what I like shows to people who subsequently follow ME what kind of person I am.

Brenda was a friend I’d met on Tumblr through mutual friends. The image she received of me initially was a sarcastic and cynical one I have on my Tumblr account. She told me that she thought I was rather “snarky” on Tumblr, because I wasn’t hesitant in shooting anyone down, and I wrote captions that were borderline rude.

She added me on Facebook, which didn’t change her opinion that much. I linked both my Twitter and Tumblr to Facebook, so whatever public image I create on Tumblr and on Twitter, I have to maintain it on Facebook.

But then she added me on MSN. MSN is definitely much more private than Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter. I am more like my physical presence on MSN. And it was there that she saw I was different.

Still, I kept a certain image of myself on MSN, as I do in every day life. I was vocal about how much I love TV shows like NCIS, Glee, HIMYM etc, and I wasn’t shy to admit I love Pokemon – anywhere. But one thing that I do not admit too vocally was my tendency towards children’s shows (Arthur doesn’t count). I like watching them to see what they consider approrpiriate codes to present to children, and also because it’s kind of funny to see grown adults play with dolls.

So when Brenda regained her regular breathing pattern, I realized that the image that I’d created had been slightly shattered by the fact that I apparently do something that goes AGAINST the ideology I created about myself. No matter what I said to her, I will always have the label of “Playschool lover” on my forehead.

I’m saying this out loud now, not only because it goes with the topic of branding through what we consume, but also because I don’t see how watching Playschool makes me a loser. It’s all subjective, right? I personally don’t get why people watch the Kardashians show, or that show with Snooki in it. I used to love the Idol and X Factor shows, but I have began to see them as contrived and fake. Playschool is purposefully fake, it’s purposefully staged, but I don’t see any underhanded influencing of the audience (yes, they promote mostly a heterosexual nuclear family, but I honestly don’t see any positives in confusing really little kids with the gay-rights thing. Teaching kids about gay-rights can come a bit later in life, and of course is solely dependent on their own parents).

I’m sorry for such a long post, but I really tried to not use big complicated words because I hate reading them too.

Alex.

In other news, and this I swear was not a request…haha okay it was a teeny bit a request but I’m more than glad to do it:

I think I’m a decent singer, but no way I have enough guts to lead sing in a band. My friend JAYMEE, however, has the guts. And, thankfully for her, the skills to back those guts up.

Check out her YouTube account: MyNameIsJaymeeNotAmy, and below is one of her videos. (And, no, I’m not running ads or plugs now, she asked me to and I think she deserves it. If I don’t know you and you randomly ask me to plug you, um, no.)

Check out her wild emotional hand gestures and her soulful eye closing!

Alex.

The Good Ol’ Times

I went to dinner with BRuCE  (an acronym I haven’t used in MONTHS, so for those who aren’t familiar with it, it stands for Bianca, Ruyi (my Chinese name), Carmaine and Eunice. We were like the Awesome Foursome in high school. Alongside with these three, there were the two Danis, Dani and D.P., and Andrew.

It wasn’t that we had more laughs or anything like that – laughs are had with any group of good friends – but it was that familiar feeling. Like when you ride a bike after a long time not riding it and you realize, fuck yeah, bikes are awesome! Or when you discover some food you loved as a kid, and when you eat it you’re worried you won’t like it as much as you did back then, only to realize that the food is still great.

Everyone was as I remembered them – Eunice arrived late and shared enthusiasm over Bones and Glee, Dani was dressed well and had very random references to movies (and dressed well), D.P., ate a lot and was very happy all the time, Andrew made fun of Carmaine and myself but in the end was still the only guy there, Bianca was all smiles and knowledgeable insights and pleasured groans when eating cookies, and Carmaine was tall. Hahaha tall.

After nearly 8 months of not hanging out, I think it was this dinner that sort of re-opened that need for reunions and get-togethers – at least for me it was. I’m looking forward to the next time everyone managed to get some time off.

Anyway, I’m stuffed on carbohydrates – pizza and pasta for dinner – and I have a few more errands to run in anticipation for tomorrow (Steven’s BBQ) so I’ll cut this short.

Alex.

By Day, The Lollipop Man…

…by night…!?

Do you ever walk past someone and, in a fit of complete boredom and perhaps curiosity, you make up a story about them?

See, I walked past a lollipop man last week (the crossing guard, who holds up the stop sign near a school crossing and blows a whistle to let you cross), and to be polite I smiled and said hi. His expression didn’t change, and he didn’t say hi back.

The thing is, a few months back I walked past the same lollipop man, at the same crossing, at the same time of the day, and he would smile warmly and say hi back at me.

Yesterday I walked past that lollipop man, and as he stepped out into the road with his stop sign to blow the whistle, he smiled at a student who goes to the school he guards the crossing for (I’m obviously not in uniform). I assumed he didn’t smile at familiar faces, because he would definitely remember me because recently I’ve been crossing there rather often.

Today, as I stood at the curb waiting for him to step out, I saw my bus come up. The crossing is around 30 meters away from the bus stop, and as I saw the bus draw up and he had to let it pass, I sighed to myself. He said to me with a smile, “is that your bus? You better run for it!”

I made the bus, just. As I sat down on the bus, slightly out of breath (dude, I am so unfit), I thought about his smile and words to me.

He obviously realized that I’m going to be showing up a lot more, so was he trying to make conversation in order to have a good reason to smile and say hi the next time I cross at his crossing? But he should remember me from me crossing a few months back, and even if I didn’t show up for a bit, I smiled at him and said hi when I crossed, so I took the initiative to bridge the hiatus right?

And it wasn’t that he didn’t say hi to anyone anymore; he did to the student.

So I made up a small story about why he didn’t say hi to me at first.

Maybe he has another job, and in that job he had come across Asian kids who wronged him somehow, or gave him an impression of untrustworthy Asian kids – look, I’m not being racist against him or against Asians, but Asians are just as likely to hold up a 7/11 as a white kid or a curry kid or whatever, but I’m Asian so it’s my weird logic – and he was so taken by this impression that he wouldn’t even smile at another Asian. I wouldn’t blame him – if an Asian guy with a, say, mohawk beat me up or something, I would not be able to really look at another Asian guy with a mohawk.

OR he used to smile and say hi to an Asian kid and then that Asian kid got into some accident or something bad, and everytime he sees an Asian kid, he remembers that other Asian kid and feels sad. He was just wary of being attached to another Asian kid, no matter how fleeting their “conversation” are.

But I mean, it’s rather interesting what our mind makes up about another stranger based on ONE action that they do. For another example, I was in the bathroom at the shopping center fixing my hair (oh hush) and as I walked into the bathroom, I immediately went to the sinks and got out my hairwax, and started fixing my hair in the mirror. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a lady who was there already making an action which I immediately knew was her stopping herself from crying and quickly wiping away tears. I decided not to suddenly walk out after obviously noticing she was just crying, because it would make her feel slightly worse that other people are avoiding her and that it was obvious she was upset, but I snuck another look at her through the mirror. She was taking deep breaths to calm herself, and if she’d looked my way I was going to give her a reassuring smile, but she quickly sniffed and wiped her cheeks, then walked out.

As far as my imagination could go, she could have just murdered someone and felt remorse. I could have gone on to imagine something Hollywood like her husband cheated on her, and he has a large trust-fund or something. Or maybe she was actually a spy (HOMG I WAS GONNA SMILE AT A SPY) and her husband doesn’t know, and is going to leave her because he thinks she doesn’t love him anymore (I didn’t notice if she had a ring, but if she was a spy a ring means nothing).

Or maybe she just got told off by her boss. So.

OR MAYBE…

Alex.