Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Great Eastern Man - Part 2


I saw him today. Up close and personal this time. I was rather surprised to hear his daughter speak to him in Teochew. I had expected his surrounding to be English speaking. He looked sadder that I thought; so did his maid. The only one who looked a little happier was his daughter. He ate well - 3 pieces of toast with scrambled eggs. In saying well I meant he handled his utensils well (fork and knife in hand to handle the toasts and eggs). The bakery is generally a quaint place - patrons spoke in soft volumes, as the lull and lounge music play over the system. I must be looking over my table so much over to the table of three that I finally caught a small piece of interaction between two of them. The daughter said something; the maid looked up and released a small smile.

I realised after a while, the harder I tried to enter his world and that of his family, the more I didn't want to do so - it's like I'm afraid I'd lose my sense of intrigue-ness surrounding this man, like I'm afraid to be disappointed at how uninteresting his life story really is. It's like the mass public's intrigue-ness of a celebrity's life. You want to read about them, you want to adore them from a distance but when the rubber hits the road, you don't want the details. You want to keep your distance and maintain the bubble in which you contain the celebrity. You don't want to ruin the halo above their heads.

As I mused over this, his driver arrived in the usual metallic grey Mercedez. I caught the number plate this time, much to my joy (the number of which I will not divulge for privacy sake). The last thing I noticed was that his driver was a plump bespectacled middle-aged man.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

An hour and a half

An honest, down to earth and easily digestable view on Senator Barack Obama.

The Great Eastern Man

He’s a constant patron of the large, uptown and cosy bakery. Every morning at 8.10 am he arrives in a chauffeured-driven metallic grey Mercedes Benz (which number plate I have not managed to catch, despite my trying a few times). Dressed in a light blue, short-sleeved shirt and grey pants, both of which are neatly pressed, matched with a warm, grey cardigan, he bears a striking pose at 1.8 m. Hunching a little as most elderly men (who are tall) do, he is aided by a walking stick and an attentive maid. As I watch him arrive at the bakery every weekday morning and going about his daily routine of a 20-minute breakfast, flanked on both sides by a helpful maid and a patient daughter (or daughter-in-law?), I’m reminded of how short life is, and how simple it should be.

Life’s simple pleasures: to nourish the body with food, the heart with good relationships, the soul with purpose-driven activities, the mind with knowledge and wisdom. And oh yes, if you are a caffeine-addict like me, coffee too.