The ringing of the phone grated on my nerves. “Hello are you Miss…..” I hung up the phone. Yet another telemarketer going through the directory, mispronouncing my name.
I was sticky and uncomfortable. How I longed for rain. On days like this I wish I could teleport myself. I want to leave this place for three reasons. A better climate, less people and a decent beach. I fantasized about living in a temperate country. The only problem is I would miss my family too much and I don’t have any prized skills.
The funny thing is I often come to the defense of this island when it is mocked by people from the outside. I adore Paul Theroux’s travel writing, but something in me ached when he described Singapore as a sterile police state in which he had wasted three years of his life. Who could blame him. I know from personal experience how a nasty workplace could ruin a country for you. He had a terrible time with his employer which happened to be our National University. I had hoped that he would mention how safe it was to walk the streets at night in Singapore with no chance of getting pulled over at gunpoint or getting old chewing gum stuck on your shoe? Or even a mention of the wonderful food and culture. Nada…zip… But then again that’s the appeal of Paul Theroux, he doesn’t mince words or stoop to flatter if he doesn’t mean it. And I am a fan.
My digital clock showed a boiling temperature of 34 degrees. I turned on the air-conditioner to my perfect 24 degrees. The ceiling fan was already on full spin. I went over to my bookcase and picked up a Murakami novel to re-read. His stories don’t seem to have any conclusion but his writing somehow soothed me. I don’t know what it is exactly about his use of words. His prose is pure poetry. His characters also have unbelievable luck. They start off jobless but always end up with a nice job somehow, or money falls into their lap. Perhaps it’s this fantasy world that appealed to me. I liked reading lying down in bed on my tummy and propping myself up with my elbows against my pillows. After a few pages I became thirsty. I went to the kitchen to fetch a tall glass of cold milk. And I couldn’t resist two caramel biscuits as well.