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Oriental Masks

Oriental Masks
Photo by Jefferson Solayao, 2016

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I am always fascinated with the behavior of my fellow men inside airport smoking lounges. Everyone is looking at you and not looking at you, everyone is giving you "I am friendly and hope you are also friendly, but if you are not friendly I can also be not friendly" signals. We all have to buy something in order to use the lounge. I usually buy bottled water. My disposable lighter is always being overborrowed.

The flight to Singapore is smooth and uneventful. I have two glasses of tomato juice, a Singapore Sling, and a cup of black coffee. Ezzat and Zi Yan meet me at the arrival area. We dip into a coffee shop and have a Pepsi Max while Ezzat goes over our projected schedule. Ezzat is having nothing because it is Ramadan period. We take him to his grandmother's house, which is near a modern mosque, where he and his relatives and friends are breaking fast in a few minutes.

Zi Yan takes me to Studio M Hotel, which is a building away from the theatre. Much later tonight W. picks me up and takes me to Sembawang, where he lives. Malaysia is but a 20-minute drive from here. Its landscape is visible from W.'s apartment. We have dinner at a hawkers' center, and then W. drives me back to the hotel. I feel guilty because the distance from the hotel to Sembawang seems like the distance from Cubao to Santa Maria, Bulacan. W., therefore, had tp traverse that distance four times: once to pick me up, a second to take me to Sembawang, a third to take me back to the hotel, and a fourth to go back home.