One day, I received a Facebook friend request from a German girl. I clicked her profile and saw that Jan, a dear German friend of mine, was...

Let's meet Gabi

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One day, I received a Facebook friend request from a German girl. I clicked her profile and saw that Jan, a dear German friend of mine, was friends with her. I immediately thought this skinny blonde girl was secretly stalking my profile for some reason and she had accidentally clicked 'add friend'.

I didn't think much of it and didn't accept the request.

Days after, I received a message in my inbox:

"Hello Tan Si Hui :)
My name is Gabi, from Germany.
Jan gave me your Facebook contact as I told him that I will fly to New Zealand with a short stopover in Singapore. He told me about you, a good friend from NZ times, living in Singapore :)
I'm wondering if you will have time and like to meet me during my stopover? I will arrive on Saturday 28th February and will stay until next Sunday evening. I'll do a round through the city and would be really happy if we could meet and if you show and tell me some things about your city and you

Cheers ;)
Gabi"


When I read it, part of me went wow!! and awww, Jan says I'm his good friend, sure I'd love to bring you around this country I love, besides it's only a day!

Also, another part of me thought, Jan's friend... I don't know this girl at all man? What if we can't talk or get along well? That would suck. But oh well, it's only a day. What harm would there be eh?


So I replied her with this:

"Hi Gabi!!!!
Oh I'd be so glad to be able to host you!! What time will you be arriving in Singapore???
Also, do you need a place to stay at? Do tell me and I'll graciously host you at my place : )"


I thought about her one day of staycation... wow what a waste of $$$ it'd be for her to stay at some hostel. Such a waste. For a night, why not I just host her? I didn't even ask my parents. I just gave her that option of staying over at my house. I know my parents will be fine with it so, I thought it's ok. What's more, my room has space so why not. I don't even know why I was feeling so spontaneous and gracious, but I guess I understood the pains of travelling and finding a place to stay and travelling on a budget and what's more ONLY ONE NIGHT TO STAY.

And she of course, took that offer.


After a bit of a chat, I found out she'd arrive in Singapore at 2pm. I looked at my schedule and saw that I had an FYP shoot from 10am-2pm. I was like, shucks. And then she was to leave at 8pm the next day. I looked at my schedule again and saw that I had a performance to attend at 6pm. And I was like, shucks shucks. Of all days... when I actually HAD stuff on a weekend, she is coming...

But since I'd already given that option, let's roll with it.


The day soon came. I was caught up with the shoot, it went longer than expected and it finished by 3:05pm. I informed her beforehand that I'd be late. But this was reallyyyyy late and I felt soooo bad for making her wait. And I felt bad for leaving my FYP mates because they had to continue for a while more of shooting. So at that moment, I was not looking forward to meeting Gabi. Plus, I was already tired from my shoot, which I woke up at 7 in the morning for. So tireddd...


Lucky I had my dad to fetch me so he went straight from AMK to Changi in 30 mins. I got out of the car, and went straight to finding this thin blonde girl. We were corresponding via Fb messenger. I saw this tall girl standing awkwardly with her huge backpack and knew it was her. I tapped her shoulder from the back and said, Hey!!!!! She turned around and I thought to myself, ah, she looks normal. Just looks a little older than I expected. She was happy to finally see me and I hugged her to welcome her, then apologised for being so late. I was so afraid that she'd be angry because Germans are known for their efficiency and all but she was so not angry whatsoever. Thankfully, phew.


Went back home and introduced her to my Asian family (warned her that I still live with my parents). Before we were off for dinner, we still had a bit of time so we took off to cycle around Pasir Ris Park.

At that time I still hadn't really thought much about whether I could click with her. Just hoped she'd be impressed with what I'd show her. Well at least she was friendly on the drive back home! So not to worry~


Little did I know... this was to be the beginning of everything. (nono, no horror story is coming up)

Throughout our cycling ride to and back from Pasir Ris Park, we talked about a wide range of topics. Of course, there were the obligatory "What are you doing now?" and "How did you know Jan?" But... we talked about so many other things as well like Race, Religion, Nationality, our countries' way of living - certain policies and stuff, History, etc. And I thought wow, I kinda like where this conversation is going.

It didn't stop there.

When we reached my home, we still had to wait for my parents and bro to get themselves ready before heading out for dinner so we continued our conversation.

We started to talk about more things like what we thought about homosexuality, terrorism and you know what else???  Love, our relationships and... omg, so much personal things.


I realised that we had gotten from small talk, to personal talk really fast! I really liked this conversation and I thought.. hey, I think I can talk to this person. This is great.

For dinner, since it was CNY, I was going to my relative's house to Bai Nian so asked for permission beforehand to bring her along to experience the festivities. After, we walked around Merlion area, and Marina Bay Sands. She was so lucky because the Chingay period just started and we walked through River Hongbao and EVEN CAUGHT FIREWORKS TWICE!!!! How lucky!!!

Not too long later, we were both damn exhausted and lucky my bro was there to fetch us back and we all reached home at 12am. We conked out.

Next morning, my parents and I brought her to eat at my parents' weekly market routine at Whampoa market to see a little bit of the heartland and makan to our hearts' content.

After that, what was left on the itinerary was for me to bring her around Little India and Chinatown. I found out she liked ginger and my dad suggested I bring her to drink some Teh Halia at Little India and then at Chinatown, some icy dessert at my favourite store.

Ya know what? I never guessed that this 5-hour mini-tour would be such an enjoyable experience.


Nabeh, we spent at least 1 hour sipping teh at Little India and definitely two hours eating icy Chendol and icy Sesame.


I HAD NEVER HAD SUCH AN ENGAGING, OPEN, DEEP AND DID I MENTION ENGAGING CONVERSATION WITH A FOREIGNER FOR THAT LONG BEFOREEEEEEE. 

And let me remind you that I had only met her an evening ago. Hours, in fact.

We talked about our thoughts, feelings and ideas about almost everything under the sun..... Our countries' systems, our families, friends, Jan, travel, love.......... It went deep man, so deep. And not once had I felt a tinge of awkwardness. Not a tinge. What's more she was much older than me. Let's just say, early 30s. Our conversations were so open... and she was so not afraid of showing her vulnerabilities and because of that, I reciprocated. After talking so much, I realised we were similar in so many thoughts.

For example, how religion and race should never be interdependent - one shouldn't have a certain religion just because of his cultural background. And how important personal freedom is to the both of us. As well as how important siblings are in life.

She was German, I was Singaporean, and despite our differences in nationality, I saw so much in common at the same time. I almost thought she was the angmoh version of me no kidding. I saw a lot of myself reflected in her. She's way more active in her lifestyle however and there were differences in certain beliefs but we were both the sort of people who found another person's perspective of things in life so interesting and we respected that. I listened, she listened, we both listened as the other talked. So the conversation never stopped.

IT WAS..... So bloody invigorating.

When we took the MRT back, I felt as if I was taking the train back with any other ordinary friend. I forgot she was a foreigner. All the way through, throughout our time out, it never really occurred to me that this person... I had really only JUST MET. Jusssst met.

Kanina siah. It's crazy.

But sadly, she had to leave for the airport for New Zealand soon after. We sent her to Changi and had to rush off for the performance. Couldn't give her a proper send off, which sucked. It was my fault because she and I were out for too long and my family wanted to have dinner with her before we all departed but the both of us returned home too late so nobody could have dinner. Blame it on me.

She requested for a picture with all of us and stood at the door waving at the airport, as our car drove away. I thanked her via Fb messenger for her time with us and that I was so happy to have a newfound friend. She replied thanking my family and my time with her and for our open conversations about so many things. But the last line topped it for me,

"My stay in Singapore was short, but deep!!!"

:'D

Sama-sama..... sama-sama... So deep indeed.




And after talking so much about this German girl, this is her!!



Chinatown!
dude at the back is just -.-

But oh, what an amazing feeling to be able to connect with someone at such an awesome conversational level within such a BLOODY short span of time. It's freakin crazy!!!!!

This has brought me to a conclusion.

I'm trying my very BEST not to stereotype and generalise but I can't help it but say.....


GERMANS ARE AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEEE
THEY ARE THE BESTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT


I can't keep track of how many Germans I consider my friends, but definitely... The most out of any other foreign country on this mother planet. Germans are world-class :')


She kept telling me that I should visit Germany. The question is not whether I should, but a matter of WHEN. What was she talking about?! Of COURSE I'll visit Germany. That's like a definite. I miss Jan a lot and his nonsense. I learnt so much from that dude, so much........ you don't even know.


It is 2:15am right now, just came back from the performance and I decided that I must pen this down because getting such experiences and making connections with friends like her is unbelievable. It's unbelievable because even some of my old friends, I don't even have such deep conversations or enjoy them as much. And because it's unbelievable, it's really quite special.

It could be because it's a novelty - something new, something refreshing, but nah, not really. You really can't feel the same deep way with every single person you meet. So this feels true.

I dunno why but I've been meeting a lot of new people this year... It's quite crazy. But I'm enjoying it so far, it's been a blast knowing them : )


2015 is looking to be quite wonderful...


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