19.4.10

the wise and the foolish



...the same fate overtakes them both.

One evening on bus 145, I overheard this conversation. Well, there was no need to strain the ears because the conversation between the two strangers was louder than the bus engine. It was like a performance, and everyone else quickly quietened down to watch -

[The conversation in Mandarin. Old Man in a blue short-sleeved shirt sat near the front door of the bus. Old woman, also bespectacled, was standing beside Old Man's seat. Never once in the conversation did she look at him. They both wore smiles throughout. ]

Old Man: The next time you vote, I hope you vote the opposition party.
Old Woman: I don't need to vote.
Old Man: Why not? Everyone must.
Old Woman: Aiyah, I don't need to. Where I live, always don't need to vote.
Old Man: But next time, if you vote, must vote opposition party.
Old Woman: The next time? I'll be dead by then!
Old Man: You can't say that. The opposition is good. Vote for them.
Old Woman: Aiyah, whatever. Man must work. Man must eat.
Old Man: Yes, that's why you work so hard, you should enjoy -
Old Woman: Man must eat...
Old Man: You listen to me, I tell you -
Old Woman: Man must shit.
Old Man:[...] You work so hard, why must you give the Government all your money? That's why the opposition party -
Old Woman: Aiyah, I don't care what about this party, that party. I only want the Money Party.
Old Man: The opposition party won't take your money. Everything will be free. Like in Canada, Europe...
Old Woman: Why do you bother so much? There's no difference.
Old Man: You can, you can be like me. Next time you see anyone, just tell them to vote the opposition party.
Old Woman: Aiyah. Whatever will be will be. I tell you. It's like this heavy rain. It wants to rain, it rains.

Well friends, that's the latest report on political discussion in Singapore. Most of the time, the stifling humidity feels somewhat oppressive. And once in a while, it pours - though sometimes, the rain simply raises an equally unbearable heat from the ground.

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