Rantglass - because that's how things are.

Lies. All lies. All around us.

Lies. All lies. All around us. Never will they leave.

Not too long ago, my friend and I had just settled down in our seats in Burger King, laughing at our own inane conversations and well, telling each other things that have never been said before (which was when she labeled me as weird). While biting into a burger, a young man in blue cruised hurriedly into the table beside us. He was rather clean shaven and had a desperate look on his face.

He asked if could we talk in Mandarin, to which my friend said yes – without giving me so much of a glance – after all, I lack communication skills in that particular language. Fortunately, I understood most of the story he was to tell us – that he had lost his wallet, and he needed to get home, but had no money left, then asked if we could spare him four ringgit. At least that was what I thought he said. My friend and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders – then I said, “Okay, I’ll give out two bucks, you give him another two.” She had a rather odd expression on her face but did as she was told. I passed the money to him, and he wondered aloud if a later reimbursement was needed – to which both my friend and I waved, denoting the negative – we did not feel like meeting up with him again. After giving his thanks, he walked away quickly, as if carried by the wind.

I then found out that he had originally requested ten ringgit – and not four ringgit – thus the odd expression my friend gave me earlier. Bless my Mandarin (or my ears), hah! After all, si kuai (four dollars) and shi kuai (ten dollars) sounded quite similar. Both of us launched into our own discussion, wondering if had he really lost his wallet. She said he looked rather worried and sad, although she mentioned that she was glad I heard wrongly and we gave him only four ringgit, making up for the sudden guilt I felt. Should he haveshady doubtful wanted more, he could have asked for the remaining six ringgit from others, instead of us having to fork out so much for a man whose intentions were quite doubtful, I reasoned.

Barely ten minutes after he left, the young man returned – this time, asking if we could lend him our cellphone so that he could make a phone call back home. Warning bells rang in our heads – and my friend and I spoke up together, that we could only spare him some coins so he could use them on a public phone. I had a sudden vision of this particular guy running away with my trusty ol’ Nokia should I have said yes to his question. In the end, my friend gave him fifty cents and he walked away – for good, we hoped.

He did not return. I think it would be a bit difficult to say no to someone in need, however suspicious it may be. Even if we were to have given our four bucks and fifty cents to some conman, it would still be better if compared to giving him ten bucks as requested from him earlier. I do not understand; why is that particular area of town rampant with cases such as this. My mother and I had been approached by an elderly woman who claimed to have lost her purse also, with no money to get on a bus to head home – both of us did not give her any money though – and that was sometime early this year (I think I have mentioned this once on Rantglass). My friend told me that she has heard of such situations up in Genting Highlands, the gambling haven – whereby people have gambled away their money and could not secure a way back home, thus resorting to begging money from other good Samaritans.

Of all the other patrons in the fast food restaurant, I have no idea why did he choose to pour his predicament to us. Perhaps girls would fall easily for sad stories. Perhaps girls are more generous and ready to listen. Perhaps girls are idiots when it comes to this.

On air now: Darker, Doves (Lost Souls)

Details of this entry.Tuesday, November 26, 2002, filed under Blogger Archives.
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