Monday, June 30, 2008

Back Here

The plane arrived at the HCM City airport from Singapore at around the time my flight was to depart (17:40 in Vietnam Time). At Changi, it touched down almost an hour late (21:30 in Singapore Time). I, carrying three bags, was certainly feeling exhausted on MRT going home.

Other stories from Vietnam:

A group of three ladies was at the next table at Bobby Brewers. One of them was curious why I was using two keyboards. I explained my PC’s condition and why I needed two keyboards. She said, “Cool!” Oh no, there is nothing cool here because it means my PC is breaking down.

On Friday, I started working on a new job. But after 10 or 15 minutes after I began, my PC started acting funny again. It was a familiar condition that the very last page was displayed and the cursor has no effect in moving the pages. Typing was impossible. I rebooted the PC and it went off high-pitched beeps and everybody was looking at me. I decided to give some rest to the PC, and gave up the work. The condition has been recurring very often hampering my progress of work. Time to get a new PC?? Oh no…

Yesterday morning, “I” appeared in dream. Not really “appeared” because it was a short phone conversation. As soon as I heard his voice, I realized it was him. To him through the receiver, I said, “はい (Yes)?” It was a “yes” showing my uncomfortable thoughts. He, a son of a rich family, completely vanished about 15 years ago after borrowing some money from this impecunious man. In return he gave me a “garbage diamond” ring, worth 2000 yen. He had treated me so well. Before then, there was not even an occasion when I had to spend any money. I should be neutral toward him as I don’t know to this day what really happened to him. But I think “Yes?” demonstrated my negative feeling toward him.

At the immigration checkpoint at Changi, I showed a letter from the company and the officer asked another officer in the next booth something. Obviously, it was about how she should treat me, with my EP application was only being processed and I hadn’t got any answer from the ICA. Unsure of what to do, she closed the line temporarily and said to me, “Follow me.”

Yet again, I was taken to the counter where several immigration officers were waiting for people like me. One of the officers at the “Immigration Officers on Duty” counter asked if I could understand English and I said “Yes.” But he was quite friendly and just asked me simple questions like how long I had been out of the country and found the stamp in my passport that I got at the HCM City airport when I departed. “Hmmm… your EP application is now being processed and there’s not been any answer yet… Hmmm.” No further questions, and I was let in.

(Photos from HCM City: a sushi bar called well... "Sushi Bar," sushi set costing me VND170,000, guesthouse room lamp)

This morning, I was laughing. Yes I was. I was not smiling, but laughing, I’m sure. The image I can remember only vaguely was that of a man. I feel it was not a happy scene. But I was laughing. Was it a schadenfreude type of laugh?

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