25 Feb 2015

The strangest coffee-shop talk ever: is this man in love...with himself or what?

I just got back from lunch. It was my usual fish soup and rice meal, simple, tasty, I'd like to believe health-full too.
Singapore's fish soup version 1 

The routine is pretty usual, I walk up to the stall, smile widely at the Chinese gal who by now recognises me, makes some small talk and repeat my order.

The coffee shop was crowded today with lunch-goers, some seated around those roll wooden table tops tossing their lo-hei on this day of humanity 人日。Maybe after all that zodiac calibration, we figure humanity should have a little affirmation even if the Chinese love to compare ourselves to animals, with sayings such as, slogging like a horse/bull.

So I sit at this table fairly close to the stall, half of it occupied by containers of nearly-finished New Year cookies. I had just begun gingerly stamping the seeds out of the chilli padi with the end of my chopsticks when a baldy skinny man with a cup of tea in his hand asked to occupy the empty chair. I nodded and smiled a little. He began to move the cookie containers to one side giving himself a decent berth; I gathered my bowls closer to myself too, in case he needs that much space!

His food arrived and he asked the server. "where is the dong gua?" The server stared blankly. So being the busybody I am, I said, it's "huang gua" (冬瓜 would be winter melon while 黄瓜 is the cucumber). And this is when he began.

"I eat here all the time. She is not here anymore. She always knows I need cucumber. If it was not ready, she would prepare it for me. She left... July 11th 2014....She's really good..."

Naturally, I smiled and said, wow. Which meant he continued.

"I used to buy her stuff. I come for lunch, I buy her mango. Sometimes I go to Paragon and get her Tiramisu from Gastronomia, I buy the good stuff you know, I think I spend maybe five, six hundred dollars..."

"Why didn't you propose to her since you are fond of her?"
"No la, I just live here, I eat here all the time. I bought her Hagen Daz, those small tubs in a box. She shares it with the others. She knows exactly what I eat and prepares it nicely for me...I will buy her..From Nov when I got to know her, I come nearly everyday. Sometimes more than once..."
 "Sounds like you found a mission"
 "Ya now so boring, don't know what to do... I wanted to give her money but she won't take it. You know she said 'O, my father is sick' or this kind of things...So only during New Year I can give her angpow, she won't take it. See? This kind of person you know. Then I knew she liked chocolates. I know her schedule each day.... "
lone man are often lonely 

So yes, in fifteen or so minutes, I found out enough and, I needed an exit strategy --  because he is pining for someone but he is unaware. He is in need of love but cannot identify it when it comes. He is retired and purposeless but he is not ready to hear any inputs. When I left, he was kinda mid-sentence!

Would you pray for this retired 50+ man who is obviously lonely, lives with his mom and sister, is financially stable, has a father in the aged home, AND really needs a life purpose plus a true friend !

"The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it..."~ Genesis 2v15
"The LORD God said, 'it is not good for the man to be alone...'.." ~ Genesis 2v18

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