I went to Orchard this afternoon because I was craving for Dairy Queen's Mudslide Blizzard but it was out of stock. So I went inside borders and gave in with the compulsion of buying a book instead finishing it inside. I am now S$19.85 poorer but with PAul Theroux' The Great Railway Bazaar in hand. I was looking for a place to crash and cozy up while reading my book and I went to Starbucks.
Somehow I think that there is something seriously wrong when the latest issues against teens are their frequent forays in Starbucks and other Wi-Fi hotspots to STUDY. Well at least in Singapore a lot of establishments have been complaining about them with their laptops and papers scattered all over the table. When I was their age, me and my friends were busy with Eraserheads, love life, rock and roll, street basketball and other important stuffs. The pursuit of academic excellence was left in the school boundaries and totally forgotten when the bell rings. Well, my group of friends still graduated at the top of our class (just in case you were wondering) I mean, these kids are working their asses off in a very early stage, and they will probably carry these habits when they grow old and they will end up as boring citizens who don't know how to party. Their NERDINESS even shows in their sense of fashion. I see a lot of kids wearing thick frame reading glasses WITHOUT the glasses, whatsgoingonhere? No it's not cool. It's nerdy not geeky. There's a big difference.
Anyhoo, because of these kill-joy kiddos the seats and sofas wereall taken and I had nowhere to seat so I went outside and decided to read in alfresco.It's a bout the author's train journey from UK to Singapore then China. I have heard of the place Ceylon, but it turned out it is the present day Sri Lanka. I swear someday I'm gonna travel by train from Singapore to UK! I might need a 3 months leave and savings of 3 years, though.
I was so engrossed I didn't notice it was getting dark ( and I was distracted by the PINK BIKE and Scavenger Pigeons) and was halfway through the book when I realized that I am bathed with artificial lights already. I turn around then, lo and behold! It's Christmas in Orchard! You see, Orchard is the ONLY place in Singapore that you can feel Christmas. The rest of the country doesn't really care. It's just another holiday for them. They even have contests for mall for the most lavish Xmas decorations (which makes me remember COD )
I walked around and saw a humongous throng of people at Ion orchard. At first, I thought there was an event or something, the I realized it was a crowd of Filipino OFW's! They (we?) were everywhere! They were waiting for the musician couple to perform. This tandem is a familiar sight in Orchard, the Singer is a Filipina, and her husband is Indonesian-Chinese, I forgot what they call their band, but last time I heard her singing, she was belting out Lani Misaluchia and Jaya's songs! So now they started with a Salsa, and the crowd started dancing -- in the street. They are no longer confined at the stair steps of
Ion but gradually spilling at the sidewalk. Then they started the Tango, chacha and some danceable tunes. The sidewalk is now an impromptu street party. Which is fine, really as most of the people whose supposed to be irritated they can't pass by, just joined the fray. The rest are just watching, heads bobbing, feet tapping around the revellers. There is something really contagious with the Filipino's Happy Nature. I even saw a couple of white tourists who jumped in, the woman dancing with an Indian guy, and the Man dancing with a Filipina. There was an obliviously Latina girl who showed some moves. This is how OFW's drowns the feeling of loneliness. With the Christmas lights, music and revelry, for a moment all feelings of homesickness are washed away.
So yeah, instead of another boring Sunday, I got my butt of bed, bought a book and in doing so experience something positive for a change instead of my usual grumblings. Advance Merry Christmas!