I had expected last Thursday to be a bad day, because I had to deliver a pack of glyconutrients or eight essential sugars ( Handout – Polly’s Glyconutrient Recipe ) to a long time acquaintance.
You would have thought that since I was making a gift of the glyco to the recipient, not charging the person, the person would at least be sensitive enough to let me choose the place and timing for me to deliver the stuff.
I said I could “deliver to your home”, which is one straight road up from mine. Or I could deliver to your spouse’s office which is even nearer to my home. You just tell me when is a good time.
But no; recipient insisted on giving me a time and place: “Meet me there any time in the morning on Thursday and I’ll buy you a coffee,” adding, “they serve very good coffee.”
I should have said “who cares?’ but I tend to be more civilised with acquaintances, even long time ones.
So I said “Great” even as I mentally thought nasty thoughts, about being invited for coffee and all it implies as I had said in a comment to this blogger’s post.
Then lo and behold, Thursday morning saw the skies open and piss down (just like today, also a Thursday!) as though the heavens were feeling as grumps as moi — just as I was heading out to make that delivery and have that “very good coffee”.
My mood was foul to say the least, especially when glyco’s recipient texted to say recipient would be delayed. Mood got more foul when I saw the first hour parking charge for the place with the very good coffee.
I didn’t need that.
Then a light bulb lit up in my head, like one of those comic strips. Why bother to park? Why bother to have coffee for that matter? Why risk being stranded in the place with very good coffee and expensive parking because of the heavy rain?
So I texted recipient to say I didn’t have time for coffee; meet me at the drop off point and I’d pass you the glyco. Which exchange duly took place and I freed myself from a tiresome meet up.
With no appointments, I was free to check out Orchard Central like I had wanted to do for ever so long. Then moosied to the Kwan Im Hood Cho Temple in Waterloo Street, had a couple of no-brand watches repaired at Win’s (my fav watch shop) at Bencoolen Plaza and then had a leisurely solo lunch at Create Healthy Lifestyle.
I did everything so leisurely that by the time I reached the temple the skies had cleared and no drop of rain fell on my parade.
It felt so good to reassert my agenda rather than let others shape it to suit theirs!
I had almost reached home when I spotted that familiar figure — in ragged clothes carrying a plastic Sheng Shiong bag — stumbling painfully along the unforgiving pavement outside the Shell petrol station near the post office on Bukit Timah Road just be4 Newton Circus.
So, Ashton who had written extensively to me about this old man is right. A said he had been running into the old man, even though I haven’t seen him for so many months that I thought he had gone to a better place than the hard uncaring pavements which he had been tramping up and down so aimlessly and for so long!
I almost did a jig but as I was driving I refrained. I also could not swing over to him, given the heavy traffic going towards Newton Circus and the equally fast flowing traffic zipping up the flyover!
But I was determined to let him have some $ so that he would have at least a couple of good meals.
I did my calculations. Judging by the way he was limping and stumbling, he won’t be making tracks with any speed.
So I made my way up Bukit Timah Road; doubled back to Dunearn Road-Newton Circus/Bukit Timah Road and then a U-turn at the post office to head back north; branched off first into Clemenceau Avenue North and Newton Hawker Centre (on assumption he might have gone there to look for scraps to eat) but no luck; another U-turn to Newton Circus and then into Scotts Road (because that’s where Ashton said he had seen the old tramp). Again nothing.
But instead of heading towards Orchard Road I made yet one more U turn and then tracked back up Bukit Timah Road in the direction of Johor.
And then as they say in old American detective stories such as Perry Mason, I hit pay-dirt!
The old tramp was limping his way determinedly to heavens nowhere — and conveniently he was just outside the construction entrance of something or other to do with the MRT next to Guoccoland’s super luxe development.
So, I stopped, hazard lights flashing, wound down the left-hand side window and handed him enough $ for at least three meals.
The old tramp just mumbled incoherently and stuffed away the note. To the amused gaze of three foreign workers standing right there.
The thought crossed my mind — most likely unfairly — that they might rip the note from the old man. I hope not. But I had to be on my way and couldn’t stop to ensure no harm happened to this very unfortunate soul who pounds SG’s side walk that many outside the island believe is paved with gold!
Thus I ended my day in a very self-satisfied mood. Confirming my belief that what we do seemingly for others’ benefits is really for our own.