Singapore Adventure

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hot Dates
by venitha

Jim kisses me good-bye at o'dark thirty, and I roll over and go back to sleep, perchance to dream of the pleasures of the day ahead: limpid brown eyes, thick black hair, and a devilish 4-year-old grin. Jim is off to Taipei, but I'm sticking around Singapore for one more day; I've got a hot date flying in from Shanghai.

The doorbell rings right on schedule, and Rohit swaggers in, mother in tow, even more adorable and, in a sassy disregard of my strict orders back in June, taller. Within minutes, his coy shyness has abated, he's consumed all the orange-mango Fanta in the fridge, and he's ogling with manly interest the construction site across the street.

He teaches me to count to wu in Mandarin, soundly trounces me in a cutthroat game of Dots and Squares, and serenades me on my bamboo flute.

"Do you know Take Me Out To The Ballgame, Rohit?"

"No. What's a ballgame?"

"My God, Deepali, is he serious? You've got to get this child back to Colorado, pronto!"

Rohit peppers me with questions: Why are your fingernails so long? Can I have a cookie? Where are your socks? Do you have a car?

We send giggling ho-ho-ing snorting barking toilet-flushing emoticons to Jim in Taipei. We race my pint-sized Comfort Cab up and down the hallway. We count all the real Comfort Cabs creeping slowly along the CTE, and we ooh and aah at all the snazzy sportscars. The are our favorite.

Deepali chaperoning, we walk hand-in-hand to Newton Hawker Centre, sit side-by-side to share a lemon juice with two straws, and play an uproarious, wildly enthusiastic, side-splittingly hilarious game of . Okay, now you do rock and I do scissors. No, wait.

At last Rohit's Baba, chaperone number two, arrives with, unexpectedly, chaperones three through ten, some of whom turn out to be - horrors! - my competition for Rohit's affection and capable, astoundingly, of eating with chopsticks. No way can I compete with that. Lucky for me, Rohit is a rice man.

Later, alone in my apartment, I admire the messy fingerprints on my mirrored walls and the newest artwork on my cluttered fridge. I scoop the stash of niece/nephew birthday gifts, now given the four-year-old seal of approval, back into their bag, and I scoop my clothes for Taipei off my bed and into my suitcase. I turn out the lights and snuggle under the covers, perchance to dream of the pleasures of the day ahead: soft brown eyes, slightly-graying hair, and a beloved 39-year-old grin.