This was a really random encounter. I almost never visited Raffles Place area. I was there because I was applying for my Beijing visa for a conference.
It was my second visit to that area. I went there once only to have my application rejected twice by the receptionist and the counter officer. So I came the second time with much prepared form. I had prepared complete material when I went there for the first time, but then they rejected me with reasons that were not stated in the website. The conference committee was also confused when I asked for additional material, because they had never have anything like that before. Was it harder for a foreigner to apply a visa to China in Singapore? Don’t know, maybe it was just my luck that I met a stricter officer.
Anyway, I was even more prepared for my second visit because it was a very far travel from my staying place. I got there at 2.30 pm and successfully submitted my application. yay!
I haven’t had my lunch though, so I strolled down to Lau Pa Sat market and sat there, ordering any random food that came into my sight. Well, I was satisfied with chicken rice ultimately.
The food was so so, not much comment about it. When I finished my chicken rice. Two white men approached me and asked for a way to the nearest MRT. I wanted to show them the way, but this is my second time visiting the area. I had no idea about the road names, but I knew exactly how to go to the MRT. I had a map from street directory which I followed without much trouble.
Since I was going to the MRT too, I said “I’m going there too, let’s go together”
Well, they looked puzzled, but happy, while I was cursing myself for offering them to go together because I obviously had no experience of conversing with a total stranger out of the blue.
They looked like a backpacker, and it was a broad daylight. So it was safe to walk with them, by the way.
So we started by introducing our names. When we walked out from the market, I was about to jump from the higher platform of the market to the pedestrian road because it was a shorter cut, when suddenly I realized that I’m a girl and I was guiding someone… hehehe. (wait, but I think I finally decided to jump… hmm… )
He said he was visiting his brothers in Singapore. He came from New Zealand. I asked him for what occasion. He said, a funeral. His brother was one of the patient who died from a dengue fever in Singapore. There were 5 people who died from dengue fever this year, he said, and one of them was his brother.
He asked me where I worked. I said I am a programmer and a research assistant. They agreed that programmers make a lot of money because one of his family worked as a programmer. Haha.
Anyway, we chatted for a while until we reached the MRT and parted ways. I had to admit I was glad that I offered to walk them to the MRT. it was a pleasant experience. I remembered a white woman showed me a way when I was lost in Melbourne once. The feeling was indeed good and I silently wished that I could encounter and help more random strangers in the future.