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  • Email: nitrogue@gmail.com
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Bibo

 

The rain started to pour as I ran hard to catch the LRT. That’s when I realised I had left my notebook in the bank I was in earlier, so I ran back to get it. Running to the bank in the rain, I cursed my mind for being too forgetful and prayed no one took the notebook as it had everything I’ve written in it. 10 minutes later I was back in the LRT station and I told myself that probably something good would come out of this. Maybe I would meet someone or experience an incident. As I slowly alighted the LRT, I made my way to queue up to take the bus back home, I realised it was a long queue. Cursing my luck and fate, I lighted a ciggie. That’s when she turned around and asked me a question. She was a pretty Vietnamese girl, with a yellow raincoat and had luggage with her. She turned and asked me in her broken Malay and English, "Errr bus.. Seremban?" I said, yes. "You go Seremban?" she asked. I replied, "Yes". You could see that she was worried of taking the wrong bus but I was not in the mood to talk as it was a long day. But she continued on. And for 2 hours, while waiting for the bus, despite the difficulty in communicating, I got to know she’s only been in Malaysia for two months and has been working in a restaurant in KL. She’s 24 years old, from Hanoi and has a younger sister who’s doing medicine. The funny thing was, she had so much to tell but she couldn’t because of the difficulty in language but she never gave up. There came a point where she started communicating in sign language, making hand gestures, making sounds and even drawing on my notebook (the very same I left in the bank) to make me understand things. That’s when I loosened up and spoke to her. I explained I have a good friend who’s from Vietnam too and he studied here before. She asked for his name and I told her. I asked what was her name and she replied, "Truong Thi Thu Tinh" She even wrote it down on my notebook and asked for my name. I wrote my name down and taught her how to pronounce it, just as she taught me to pronounce hers. She laughed at herself alot, saying that she can’t speak Malay or English. "Bibo.. Malay, English.. little." Despite all that, she was really sweet. Even offered me a packet of cookies as she could tell that I was hungry. The bus arrived and we had to stand all the way as it was the last bus, and so many commuters wanted to go home. For another hour and half I stood with her in the bus. There came a point where she was tired and she slept by sitting on the floor of the bus. I asked myself, why did fate make me forget my notebook and meet this girl? My answer came an hour later in the bus when all of a sudden, she tugged on my pants and made gestures and noises. She was feeling dizzy and wanted to vomit. I quickly asked for a bag of plastic and handed it to her. She vomited and I asked a guy sitting nearby to give her a place to sit so that she could rest and feel better. I passed her my water bottle, she took a few sips and felt better. As she sat, she looked at me and smiled. And although she didn’t know how to say thank you, she placed her right hand on her heart and smiled at me. I smiled back, and placed my right hand on my heart. When we arrived in Seremban, she alighted the bus and again, did the same gesture and said, "Bye bye Sukhbeee!!" I laughed and waved back. And then we parted ways. What if I had not forgotten my notebook, or if I did not run back to pick it up, would I have met her? And what if I didn’t? I don’t know. But I think the Universe works in mysterious ways 🙂

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