Alan Constantian

I met this old man at the hostel I stayed, called red dot in Singapore. When you opened the front door there’s a long narrow staircase lead you to second floor which is the main reception and dining area. I waited there for the lady to help us to check in, and he is the one sat aside us and started to have a short chat with him.

我在新加坡的一家青年旅社遇到這位老先生,打開正門時馬上就是一條往上攀升的階梯,引領你到二樓的櫃台、餐桌和交誼廳,我們一型三人在等待的期間,他便是第一個和我說話的人。

So everyday he’s there at the same table, chatting with different people. And everyday I had a little conversation with him over where I visit and see. Until the last day I finally have time to just chill out, relax and stay indoor, I found him at the same seat with his Indian naan in hand. I started to know all about him..

每天晚上回來我發現他都座在同一個位子同一個地方,和不同的人說話,我也偶而會和他閒話兩句,一直到最後一天同行的另外兩人先離開了,我才有時間放慢腳步,輕鬆的呆在旅社內休息,我看到他在吃印度餅,那時候我才真正了解這個人。

He was once profession at water power in Singapore, and traveled all over the world to teach other country how to generate clean water from sea, river or even land. Because singapore is pretty small country, and few generations before they had to buy water from Malaysia. So they tried to developed on creating their own water technology to not totally rely on other countries. It’s a fascinating conversation over this matter that I don’t even think about it.. He is one of local who be arranged to live in hostel from government, waiting to get a council flat. And he was divorced has two, three children whom they don’t have any contact no more.

他以前是在做新加坡的水力發電,還可以到世界各地去教授別的國家的人如何自給自足的水利設施,因為新加坡的領土不大,所以早期需要跟馬來西亞買水來淨化,擔心過於依賴鄰近國家,所以他們才決定要將水利設施改良到最好,可以有不同的來源、不同的淨化方法。是一個我從沒想過的問題..他也是這家旅社裡某幾個待很久的客人,他正在等待政府方放國宅,所以期間被分配到這家旅社來居住,他離過幾次婚,有幾個小孩,但是都沒有再聯絡了。

He told me lots of stuffs happened in this hostel, like drunken woman climbing the wall, police try to catch the escape prisoner who suppose to stay in the range etc. His stories are fun but mix with sadness as well every time I think about it, do anybody  really want to live in hostel everyday? It’s never gonna be ‘home’…

他也跟我說了很多在這家旅社發生的妙事,例如某個女客人喝醉回來以為走錯房子,還施新的想攀牆到隔壁,還有拔掉偵測環的囚犯,引起警察的偵訊等等。他的故事都很有趣,但我現在想想也覺得參扮著悲傷,畢竟天天住在青年旅舍裡難道快樂嗎? 這永遠都不會是家的..

 

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