But first, let me talk about Singapore a bit.
SINGAPORE IS INSANE, in the way that it differs from the surrounding countries (Malaysia, and Indonesia in particular). The city is extremely super organized, super clean and super modern.
Here people greet you in Mandarin, and with the same breath, curse you in Tamil.
Raden is 55 yrs old and is an “expert in martial arts and arms”… He seemed to take a particular interest in me, and even offered me the use of his cell phone during my stay. He said he trusted me to give it back to him before I returned to Indonesia. I guess since he’s a expert in arms, he isn’t too worried about anything.
Here is a segment of our conversation:
RADEN: “Miss, where you a go?”
ME: “The name of my hostel, Sir”
RADEN: “Oh a backpackers girl? you a student girl? where you ah come from?”
ME: “My answer, Sir”
RADEN: “Kalimantan! you speak Indonesian? me too ya nah girl! you got it? TCHA! you speak to me in indo lah!”
ME: no response… “I got it?” ok…
RADEN: “Girl, here is my cell phone, you take it and keep it. I feel God will bless you girl, I feel you ah do good things for people lah”
ME: kindly refuse to take cell phone
RADEN: “You like my daughter nah! put your specs on girl! how old miss girl? 19?”
ME: “Ummm… yes! great guess!”
RADEN: “ok, you call me if you need anything in Singa nah girl. You and me are friends, you my daughta nah girl. Anytime you need help, I ah help ya lah! 24 hr nah girl! I’m not lying nah girl. And you dont be frighten cause you girl by yourself. God a bless ya”
Pull up in front of backpackers and I pay and leave a little tip
RADEN: “Girl you think you are rich? You make $2 and spend $10? You keep your money!” gives me his cellphone number
ME: “Thank you Raden, have a great day”.