One Simple Day

Saturday is always a headache to me. Time can really be both your best friend, as well as your worst enemy. Planned something to do few days ago and never will I be able to comply. Either I have lost the mood or something unexpected come up. For me, no plan is the best plan.

Walking down the street unshaved under a warm sun. Lovers passing by and ah, I remembered three distinct love stories. Love takes different paths indeed. Not the time to tell them yet, just wait.

Entered a small caf and ordered a cup of coffee. Sat down in front of a Jackpot Machine and started to waste some time. Time just flied by and indeed, I thought a Jackpot Machine is just like a Happiness Machine. I will be surprised that someone can actually derive happiness from keep on pouring the coins into the machine without some great return. Or I shall say, one can derive happiness from hopping that some great return will arrive. Just like our day to day life. Ups and downs. You keep on suffering from pain but to hope that some great reward will come right in front of you. But who can really win from these machines?

Looking through the glass door, right in front of me was a square. Nice little fountain and look out! “Call the police there is a madman around!”, I thought loudly. Some people was feeding the pigeons. The PIGEONS. They eat junks and spread diseases. My friend called them, “The Flying Rats”, in which I totally agree with him. Funny that your emotion seems to erupt so suddenly when you are on your own.

Oh, I have nearly forgotten to mention my three real life love stories. Walked out of the caf with no win and no loss. Kept on walking along the river and thinking about the story of one to-be divorced Frenchman and one Vietnamese girl. Quite a sad story as the wife of the Frenchman walked out of him when she met with another man few weeks after their marriage. On the other hand, the Vietnamese girl’s family strongly against her relationship with another race. Lots of obstacles for them but I am sure they will end up living happily with each other. They are so much in love.

Musicians playing on the street and if they are good, I usually put some loose change as some kind of appreciation. Walked over a small bridge and in the middle sat a rugged dressed man holding a signboard “Cheap joke for a cheap deposit”.

“Good day,” I greeted him, “Do you speak English?” After all, I am not in an English speaking country.

“Are you an idiot? Can you read English?” replied the man pointing at the signboard.

I smiled embarrassing and sat down next to him. I dug into my pocket and pulled out a 5 franc coin. “What kind of joke will I get for this much?” I spoke.

“Cheap joke,” he replied. I tossed the coin into his hat lying on the floor. He looked at me and asked, “What’s your profession?”

“Me? Hmm a computer programmer,” I replied.

He remained silence for a while and asked, “Okay, have you heard of the joke about one businessman, one mechanic and one programmer who were stuck in the car?”

“Don’t think so. What about it?”

“Well, one day, while they were traveling in the car, it broke down. The businessman suggested to call AA and got the car fixed by either the AA guy or had it sent to the garage.”

“Logical,” I nodded my head.

“The mechanic suggested that he should take a look at the engine and see if it could be fixed,” the man continued.


“And the programmer suggested that all three of them should exit the car and enter the car again and see if it worked this time,” the man stopped and drew out a cigarette.

I laughed, stood up and said, “That’s pretty good and it’s pretty cheap.” I must have heard of it somewhere else but could not remember. What the hell, just cheap jokes anyway and they all sound the same.

That is one thing good about cheap jokes; to enlighten your day. I took a look back and wondered what is the aim of that chap siting there and selling cheap jokes. I was used to think that to live is to play the script which has been written by (God). All your fate is determined and you just have to act. But to act it well or bad is entirely up to you. By saying that is just like saying nothing. Therefore I have discarded that idea long ago.

Watching the beautiful scenery in front of me reminded me of my Spanish-African mixed friend and his French girlfriend. Both of them love outdoor activities. Each and every weekend, they organize some outings with their friends or just the two of them. Either skiing or caving out of France. Truly romantic with all the beautiful scenery to feast upon. Of course, they are very much in love and I am sure they will end up living happily with each other.

Round the corner, there was one store called “Habitat”. Further down the road, there was one Burger King. Everywhere you go, the same chain of stores lying in front of your eyes. Some people think that Cyberspace or human unity will eventually destroy human evolution (or advancement). They claim that human beings advance faster if being placed in different isolated islands as compare to putting them together in a big continent. I cannot agree more to this as originality seems to diminish when everyone of us is sharing with the same kind of news and experience.

Lost count of how many miles I walked and magically, I returned to the same bridge. Feeling tired and sat next to that man again. I took out a one franc coin and asked, “What kind of joke will I get for one franc?”

“An even cheaper joke,” replied the man. As before, I deposited the coin into his hat and he began.

“One day, one French and an American was driving in Africa. The French stopped the car, took a picture of a lion from a distance and could not start the car again.”

“What? Again?” I interrupted.

“Just hold on. You wanted a cheaper one,” said the man impatiently.

“Five franc for three men and a car while one franc for two men, a car and a lion,” I thought.

The man continued, “The American suggested that they should remain quiet in the car and wait for the lion to go away. The French agreed and told him that it was indeed a good idea.”

“Did the lion go away?” I asked.

“Of course not! Otherwise, it would have been a story instead of a joke,” he starred at me. The man cleared his throat and spoke, “Half a day went by and the lion just stayed where it was. This time, the French suggested that they should wait until the lion went to sleep and walked away quietly.”

“And the lion didn’t sleep?”

The man shook his head, ignored me and said, “When the lion finally went to sleep, they both got out of the car quietly and walked towards the nearest town. Suddenly, they heard the lion came running after them. The American put down his backpack and searched for his pair of Reebok. The French was surprised and asked, ‘You are crazy! Do you think you can run faster than the lion?’. The American looked at the French and replied, ‘Of course not! But I can run faster than you!'”

I laughed and said, “That’s pretty good for one franc.” We sat quietly for a while and I tried to make conversation (rather than paying again), “Do you know that I write poems? Want to listen to some of them?”

He did not look at me and replied, “Really? But I won’t even pay a single cent for that.”

Felt a little bit offended and stood up, “Maybe next time.”

I felt quite hungry after a whole day’s walk. Bought a sandwich and a can of Coke. Sat down by the river and thought about the last love story. A handsome Jewish with his beautiful French girlfriend, both love at first sight. I was convinced that it only happens in fairy tales but it does happen in real life. They are getting married soon and I am sure they will end up living happily with each other forever and ever.

Felt really tired and returned to my room at dusk. Turned on the TV and watched some shows. TV is just like the best friend of man. Why? As it can never switch off on you. Instead, you are the one who switch it on and off anytime you prefer. It is meant to be entertaining. Also, you don’t really need a company to watch TV.

Violence in TV. Knives, guns and weapons. Why do mankind always invent something to destroy? And surprisingly, man kill each other according to their ‘belief’ while animal kill each other for survival. (Guess where I quote this two ideas from.)

Oh, not a very nice way to wrap up the day. Took out my literature and read my favorite lines again.

R: If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this; my lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
J: Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this; for saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.
R: Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?
J: Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
R: O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do! They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
J: Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.
R: Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take. Thus from my lips, by thine my sin is purged.
[Kisses her.]
J: Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
R: Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again.
[Kisses her.]
J: You kiss by th’ book.

From dust till dawn, sweet dream.

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