Steph's Friend

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Different Lives

Life in Singapore is a truly hectic one. One would wake up in the morning, rush to school/work. After that he/she would come back home with a few hours of leisure time, before retiring to sleep. The next day, the cycle would repeat itself. This would be the life of an average Singaporean. The day starts at around 7 am and ends at around 7 pm

However, the life of an Indonesian (in Medan, Sumatra) is truly different. He/she would wake up late in the morning, open his/her shop. Waits for customers...and eventually, closes shop in the evening. Goes back to home and brings the family for an outing or to a restaurant to eat. After that they will come back home and rest. This would be the life of an average Indonesian. The day starts at around 10 am and ends at around 5 pm.

From here we can see that both groups of people have different lives, some may prefer the Singaporean way while others may prefer the Indonesian way. But it is of no doubt that both lives are different. So, what will happen if one from each group were to meet one another......

(Before I begin...this is just an imaginary scenario. So please do not be offended by it.)

A Singaporean was resting in a kopitiam when suddenly a foreigner came and sat at the same table. Not wanting to make enemies, the Singaporean made use of what he had learned in the "Good Courtesy Campaign" held long ago.

Sg: Hi, my name is Jack Tan, hope can be friend friend with you.

Indo: Oh...hi Slack. Me name is Rinsoplast Rusmanto Hartandi.

Sg: Er...Rinso what?

Indo: Aiyah...you can just call me Rinso then. You are Slack right?

Sg: No...it's not Slack. It's Jack, J-A-C-K, Jack.

And that was a somewhat good start between our two friends.

Rinso: Wah...udah benar benar lapar nih. Sorry, what I mean is that me am super hungry.

Jack: I go and take pasta.

Rinso: Aku pergi ambil mie pansit dulu.

After choosing a place to sit, they started to eat.

Rinso: Jack, why you eat so fast? Careful don't get choke and die...haha. We normally eat very slow one. Try to enjoy the food and talk with the people around the table.

Jack: Cannot lah, must rush through the food. Life in Singapore like that one.

Rinso: Relax lah...you must take care of yourself. Later choke or kena indigestion how?

Jack: I get your point. Hey...your noodles and mine very different huh.

Rinso: Oh yah...kayaknya different leh. This one call mie pansit. Something like your wanton mee...only nicer.

Jack: This one here we call pasta. Some french noodle with a lot of tomato sauce. Oh yah...in Singapore arh...you can't take things slowly one. For us, we rush here and there, work hard like crazy if not the bank chase us and we gone case liao. You do things so slow, walk slowly, careful don't let car knock you man. Our car also very fast one. That's why we got speed limit lah...and must wear seat belts in the car.

Rinso: Aduh...really pity your people. For us in kampong, no car one. We use bicycle. So no car accident. Life very easy one. But if we get into trouble we just pay "uang kopi" or bribe them. The police happy, I happy, everybody senang senang.

Jack: Wah...so nice arh? Down here ar if you try to bribe the police, you go jail straight away. The police here super on one. That's why they got award like big plasma TV in their station.

Rinso: Really arh? So good. But I think my system better lah. Oh yah...how come your name so short one?

Jack: Short? More like your name is long loh. Don't know what Rinso...

Rinso: Aduh...our names are like that one...funny funny one. Some got long some got short name. Aku got one friend his name is called "Garpu" which means "Fork". I think the parents want him to provide food for the family. Then ada cewek...I mean girl call "Rumah" which means "House". The parents may want her to be a housewife. Gitulah.

Jack: Haha...same here loh. I got friends who are called "Ah Gu" meaning "Cow" and some call "Ai Swee" meaning "Vain". Sometimes we laugh and make fun of their names...haha...so farny.

Rinso: Waduh...time no more already. I need to go back to farm and help my boss feed the chicken. Nice talking with you...enaknya bisa ngomong lagi.

Jack: Oh yah hor...now that you mentioned it...I also need to go and collect protection money. Ok lah...jin song kak lu kong wa. Bye.

Rinso: Sampai jumpa.

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