Saturday, August 24, 2013

Engagement Fever

I come to you this evening perched aloft a high stool at the Witbier Café on Kandahar Street in Singapore. I have my laptop in front of me, illuminating my face, just over a half a pint of chilled Konig Ludwig Weiss beer 45 degrees to my right and a wicker basket of peanuts to my left. It’s a very good way to spend a humid Thursday evening.

Tonight I have a special date with my wonderful girlfriend Huangyi at 8pm, which was six minutes ago to be precise but she is invariably late. Her awesome friend Reema is treating us for dinner tonight as reimbursement for dining like the bourgeois together in London last Christmas. We have a table booked at a place called Bumbu, a Thai / Indonesian fusion restaurant famous for its minimalistic menu, mouth-watering dishes and wallet friendly prices. It’s literally a stone’s throw away from where I’m sitting right now but to be honest I’m rather pleased they are late, I’m pretty content sitting here with my beer typing away my evening.

What is on my mind tonight? Well strangely enough it's marriage. Why? Pull up a seat and pour yourself a drink and I'll tell you.

My roommate Enrique is a social butterfly, he knows people from all walks of life. On one of our bar nights just over a year ago he introduced to me an American guy called Patrick. There was something about Patrick that told me he wasn't just your average Joe, I say this in a completely heterosexual way. He's a confident guy with a peanut butter of an American accent and his own Wikipedia page. Enrique knows Patrick after doing a presentation on the animation industry at a University in Singapore where Patrick was a professor. Patrick actually worked on Beavis and Butthead and directed one of my favourite animated TV shows of my teens, Daria. I won't continue as if I'm accustomed with the animation industry, I know fuck all but what I do know (again completely heterosexually) is that Patrick is an awesome guy and If I could choose my ultimate party night-out he would definitely be on the guest list.

In April this year he took a step into the unknown and proposed to his girlfriend, the aptly nicknamed Japan, Kaori Ishida is a woman I have only actually met once but who made a big impression on me. If she can steal the heart of Mr. Patrick Smith then she must be すごい (sugoi) = Amazing. Patrick proposed to her in Bali and posted this wonderful picture on Facebook to make it official. I have a feeling Patrick will be leaving Singapore in the next year or two but whenever and wherever he goes I wish him and his Nipponjin all the best.

The aptly nicknamed Japan with her rock .

Yesterday, announced to the world via Facebook, my  friend Claude finally proposed to his beautiful girlfriend Amirah. I’m overjoyed for them, they are fantastic together, idiosyncratic but fantastic and I wish them all the best in the next chapter of their lives. Claude was the guy who introduced me to Huangyi and I will be forever in his debt for this. He has just moved back to the states for work. After six years of lolling around Singapore (with a little studying in between) he finally starts his career teaching film in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.  Amirah will join him in a few months time and as long as she enjoys living in America I know this wacky duo will live happily ever after with the stars and stripes blowing in the wind from the top of a flagpole on their lawn.

Claude & Amirah

A few weeks prior to the announcement of Claude and Amirah my good friend Claudio, the guy I lived with in Amsterdam proposed to his girlfriend Grace. On a business trip in Taiwan, he had arranged for Grace to fly over to spend the fleeting days of the trip together. I don’t know what triggered him to decide the time was right to propose but I know he must have been toying with the idea for some time. One evening after work, on a stroll through the city with his boss he bought the ring, he then hired a boat and proposed to her on the famous Sun Moon Lake and she said yes. I’m so excited about their future happiness that I sit here writing, grinning feverously like a Cheshire cat. I love these two people so much, they are two of my favourite people in the world and I cannot wait to see little Claudiosians.

Claudio & Grace

This leads me to the most important pair in this digital journal entry, my Sister and her fiancé Tony. After a couple of years dating he popped the question and she said yes. Tony is an ex-military man from the north east of England with an avid love of Fosters lager and prawn cocktails. Knowing this I doubt the question was delivered with the romantic clout the Italian delivered but in all seriousness and without downgrading the proposition I’m sure it was a beautiful moment for the pair. My sister is a very intelligent woman, more successful than I ever was in academia. She is all grown up now but knowing her I’m pretty confident she can still be a bit of a handful at times so I doth my cap to Tony for his resilience.

My sister and her fiancé Tony

As I sit here and write, my letters form words and my words form sentences. I re-read the text that shines back at me from the LED display and it hits me like a ton of  bricks, my little sister is actually getting married.

A fresh beer has just been delivered to my table by the petit jovial Asian waitress. I nod to her in appreciation as the cost is added to my tab and I immediately fall back into my pensive state. I stare at the bubbles of carbon dioxide ascending in my beer, the laptop screen illuminating my face and think of my little sister and the woman that she has become. Her wedding date is penciled in for September 2014 and her engagement party is scheduled for 6th September this year. Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to make her engagement party and it sucks beyond all belief.

It's hard to comprehend that she has grown up so much, in my mind she is still the little girl I managed to scare to death after watching the 1996 horror film Scream. Sis, if you manage to read this I love you very much and wish you all the best in your future with Tony. 

Maybe it's time for me to grow up now?