Friday, June 11, 2010

New York Invasion Pt 2 - Hello Manhattan

It’s raining in Manhattan and it’s been a familiar sight of busy New Yorkers briskly weaving between the traffic of firmly pressed Hugo suits and Burberry coats. Women in Manolo Blahniks are skipping puddles that should only be possible in Nikes. And right round my hotel, I have a drug peddler who’s been trying to sell me cocaine for the last 3 days.

I’ve been watching so much TV filmed against the backdrop of New York that I feel like I’ve been a local all my life, minus the fact that deciphering the subway is like reading Harry Potter in Sanskrit, looking the wrong way when crossing the road and having spare cash for tips.

It’s true. Being Singaporean meant that my life has been pampered with incredible public transport system that anyone from an autistic Yorkshire Terrier to an inebriated grandparent can find their way around. Not New York.

Being Singaporean also meant that if I need to cross a street, I should generally look right first. Not New York, not unless I want to get hit by monster truck or a fire engine because those beast over here have so much silver on it, I thought they all had a free Pimp My Ride makeover for their diligence in 9/11.

As I am typing this, I’ve heard three fire engines driving by with their siren on. Either they are practicing their drills or New Yorkers are in dire need of learning how to light their stove without blowing up the neighbourhood.

Being Singaporean also means that we don’t need to tip, ever, because it’s incredibly dumb when we are at an open bar, and bartenders expect us to tip. It’s a fucking open bar for crying out loud, I should be able to get drunk without emptying my pockets for change or you frowning.

But being Singaporean in Singapore also means that I will never get to see a guy in briefs and boots, playing a guitar and peddling for hugs, and not get thrown in jail within an hour. Either New York is incredibly tolerant on the margins of performing art, or the police force is just plain lazy.

I also probably will not have people coming up to sell me fake Rolex watches and drugs. Actually, no one has tried peddling me watches yet, but hey, I’m Chinese and we invented fake watches. And drugs that are offered so blatantly is amazing because back home, they have such sophisticated names to mask it, it sometimes sound like a 17 yr old virgin.

I also probably will be able to have the luxury of shitting in my hotel room without closing the toilet door, and this turned out to a bad idea. You see, coming back late most nights usually means that fatigue, alcohol and sometimes a bursting bladder can corrupt my judgement or simple precautionary practices, like latching the door.

And so we all know how dangerous this is because we’re daring consequence – or in this case your dear house keeping – to walk in on you jerking off to Sesame Street or in the shower with a member of the same sex or any other common embarrassing moments.

Or in my case, with my pants down.

For some reason, everything that has happened to me has a lot to do with being in the toilet. I don’t know if it’s God’s way of telling me something because it’s too expensive to SMS me in New York.

But there I was, just doing the routine morning deposit when I hear house keeping outside my door. The toilet is facing the door directly so where I was seated, I could see – to my horror nonetheless, like finding sweet popcorns in a bag of salty – that I had left the door unlatched.

It was a simple decision – of which by now you should realize that by now, I’m not good at making choices – of closing my toilet door or being optimistic about making to the room door in time and hope that shit doesn’t fly out my ass at the same time.


I got up, tried to stumble to the door with my boxers bound around my ankles that allowed me shuffle briefly but anything more and I was going to trip over – sounds like commitment already. I was not going to make it, and the door was already opening.


The door slammed so abruptly, I didn’t know if she had fainted from shock or ran back across the border.


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