I was out yesterday evening, minding my own business and all when a couple of quirky incidences happened.
1) Needing new additions to my sad case of a closet, I went shopping for new clothes. I was very happily picking out some tops at a store in town when the ultra helpful salesperson came over. She was extremely nice and patient – even giving me a special 30% off at the cashier’s after ringing up the sale, though I didn’t even have a member card.
Apparently the sweet little lady recognised me from TV (I’m not sure if it was from Mediacorp Channel 8, Channel News Asia or AXN Asia or Starworld) but she was extremely pleased that I shopped at her outlet. So much so, she asked me very politely if she could take a picture with me on her mobile phone so she could show her friends and family. Apparently her little boy likes magic. When I asked how old he was, she replied “18” 😛
2) Heading upstairs to Kinokuniya bookstore, I was happily going through the various shelves when I heard an unfamiliar voice say my name and describe my job. Baffled, I turned around and say a kindly looking man with his young daughter standing behind me.
“Oh, hello,” I smiled and turned to face them. I was quite sure I hadn’t met him before but he looked like he knew me. The man smiled and confidently said, “You’re Ning, the magician right?” before looking down at his daughter (who stared back at me with lovely big eyes) “She’s very famous, she can transport…”
“Er, teleport, actually…” I laughed, as I shook the quiet little girl’s hand. We made some small talk before splitting. I was quite amused because many Singaporeans always say ‘transportation’ instead of ‘teleportation’ 😛 Hurhurhurhurhur…
Moment after that, I was going to pay at thhe cashier but there was a rather long queue. I almost bumped into the same man again and he smiled kindly at me, his eyes twinkling behind his glasses. “Ning, do you want to cut queue? You can you know.”
He gestured at his daughter, who was standing midway in the queue with a small pile of books pressed to her chest. LOL. What a sweetheart.
“No thanks, but thank you, really. You’re very sweet,” I smiled back, before I walked over to the end of the line.
Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.
3) Before paying at the cashier, I was checking out some magazines at the rack. I saw the current issue of FHM Singapore on display, which as you know, shows yours truly on the cover. A stranger was standing in front of the stretch of it and I was a couple of steps away.
I was kinda grossed out because the man was picking away at his nose and flicking his BLACK GOLD all over the place, with his long fingernails making an irritating flicking sound. Ugh. There was something about him (who wears sunglasses in a mall at night, unless they have an eye infection?!) that made me think of Kanye West, who President Obama recently called a “Jackass”.
To my horror… he glanced over at me, then looked away, stared at the copy of FHM in his hand, then looked back at me again.
I tried to pretend I didn’t notice the guy though he did that many times. I acted very busy and focused, at well, scouring the headlines of National Geographic magazine.
But no such luck. After a few moments, he leaned forward and pointed to the copy in his hands. “Erm, excuse me… are you-”
I found myself staring back at myself, on the magazine’s glossy cover. With a raised eyebrow dripping with disdain, I scoffed. “Yes, that’s my irritating twin sister! Please, excuse me.” I tried exuding an Ooooh how I hate her hate her hate her, she’s the pretty twin and everyone loves her with dramatic flair, and it seemed to work. I curtly made my escape.
4) On the way back home in the cab, the taxi driver didn’t seem to realise I was local. Which was weird. I was being my usual self, so no fake accents or anything… but it struck me that the Chinese uncle didn’t think his passenger was Singaporean!
I was really tickled pink when the kindly uncle started to ask if I’ve tried bakuteh (for non-Singaporean readers, this wonderful local staple is also known as “meat bone tea”). Huh?! I didn’t want to embarrass him, so I honestly answered that yeah I’ve tried the dish. It was hilarious when he followed up with a “Oh, so did you like it?”
“Yes,” I nodded with a straight face, though a smile was about to betray itself on my face. “It was very… peppery.”
I’m starting to wonder if there’s any connection with people always asking me (and J C) if we’re locals. Do I really have to sound like Ris Low, for people to be sure that I’m Singaporean?