I have returned to Singapore after much journeying. It feels like I have spent as much time in the air in the past few weeks as I have on the ground. I have circumnavigated the globe. There have been highs and lows in my travels as there always are. Especially during aircraft take offs and landings.
I have had several moments of madness. I was temporarily obsessed with the birth of the Royal baby when I was in London and then I found myself pitying the madman who is Jens - my somewhat deranged Danish neighbour.
Jens has been released. I discovered this when I returned to the Island yesterday. In the couple of days that I was back in Singapore following my return from London but before my departure for Australia - I was informed by my building Manager Mr. Tan that Jens had been arrested for peeing in a public place. This revelation did not particularly surprise me. Jens remains the prime suspect in the pooing-in-the-pool incident earlier this year and he is as mad as a cut snake.
Before I departed for Australia I rang the Authorities to enquire about Jens welfare. They would not disclose to me what he was being held for or what would become of him. I gave them my name and telephone number and told them that I was his friend. I am not really - however I suspect that Jens has few friends in this world and he might need one at the moment.
When my taxi dropped me off at my apartment complex yesterday I was greeted by one of the Raj's. We have two Raj's who are the Security guards of the complex in which I live. Despite my protests the one Raj opened my taxi door and then he stood back and snapped to a rigid attention as I alighted. I was given a grandiose salute which I had no other option but to return. My taxi driver looked on with no small degree of bemusement.
"At ease Raj" I said.
"How are you mate?"
"Good be evening to you Mr. Peter" Raj replied
"I am being very well thank you and I am in an astonishment of delightfulness that you have being returned"
"I am in an astonishment of delight to be back Raj"
Whilst I paid the taxi driver his fare Raj removed my bag from the boot of the taxi.
The boot of a taxi is the back bit where luggage and other items are able to be stored. The reason it is referred to as a boot dates back to the early part of eighteenth century in England. These were times when vehicles were drawn by horses as cars had not yet been invented. These horse drawn vehicles were known as coaches and were driven by men called coachmen. The coachmen used to sit on a locker where they could store, amongst other things, their boots. This box was termed a 'boot locker'. Later in the century an additional compartment was situated at the rear of coaches for the same purpose. The term became abbreviated to a 'boot' and when the car was invented the name stuck.
Americans refer to car boots as 'trunks'. Why this is so is of no interest to me whatsoever. Americans very commonly brutalize the English language. To me a trunk is an appendage of an elephant. It is a very large and grey appendage. It is not a boot.
"Where is the other Raj, Raj?" I enquired.
I have only ever before seen the two Raj's together.
"He is being sickly and unwell today Mr. Peter" Raj replied.
"Oh dear" I responded.
"I hope it is nothing too serious"
"He is being coughing and sickening since yesterday Mr. Peter but he is being betterment for tomorrow'
"Then he is OK?" I asked.
Much of what the Raj's say to me is baffling but they deliver it in such a manner that it delights me.
It really does.
"He is OK" Raj replied.
"Is there any news about Jens?"
"The Danlander man has being been released from his imprisonment last weekness and he is arriving here home only a short while ago"
"He is home now then?"
"Yes he is being home now Mr. Peter sir"
"I will take my bag upstairs then and will pop in and see him"
I wrestled my bag from Raj and implored him not to salute me but it was to no avail. The whole saluting thing is becoming embarrassing and awkward for me and I do not know how to stop it.
I took my bag upstairs to my apartment and then caught the lift down to Jens floor. I was curious about what exactly had transpired in the arrest of the Dane and I had some genuine concerns for his welfare. I wanted to see if he was alright. Jens is insane so he will never actually be alright - but you know what I mean.
Jens answered the door in a filthy white singlet and some yellow stained underpants and he still had his normal deranged appearance about him. It was however overshadowed by an air of fatigue. The big Dane had obviously been through a lot in the time that I had been away. I could tell this just by looking at him. I asked Jens whether he was alright and he gave me a passive, "Ya"
Jens grunted a gesture for me to come inside his apartment but I told him that I couldn't stay as I had to go and unpack and I was very hungry. I told Jens that I had a cold roast leg of lamb upstairs in my fridge that had to be eaten or thrown away and I also had an unopened bottle of Old Monk rum that he was welcome to come up and drink. I told him that we could yack while I unpacked and I was interested in hearing all about the shenanigans he had gotten himself into.
Jens eyes lit up at the mention of the Old Monk rum. It is very sweet and strong and is extremely powerful. Old Monk can only be obtained in the State of Maharashtra in India. I use it for cooking but I have also fed it to Jens before. He loves it.
Half an hour later Jens knocked on my door. He was still a little dis-shevelled looking with his wild hair and his untrimmed beard but he had at least put some clothes on. I sat him on my couch and poured him a heavy shot of the Monk and left the bottle on the table. I told him to help himself. He grunted a guttural Scandinavian noise of what I assumed was thanks and he immediately threw the one that I had poured him straight down his gullet. He then poured himself another. Jens likes all his drinks neat. As I pulled the leg of lamb from the fridge I asked Jens was it true that he had been imprisoned for pissing in the park.
"Modderfokkers" he snarled.
I took this to be a yes and Jens soon confirmed this fact. He affirmed that he had indeed been arrested for taking a piddle in the gardens of the Eastcoast park. He indicated that this has also happened once before. Jens was not actually arrested while taking a piddle at the Eastcoast Park. He was caught on film doing it and was arrested later in the day.
I had taken the leg of lamb from the fridge and gave it a sniff to see if it was still edible. It appeared alright. As I was preparing to cut up the lamb the thought occurred to me that perhaps the Dane might prefer to gnaw it straight from the bone. When I offered it up Jens shrugged and grunted an affirmation. He then took the leg from me and started to gnash away. I noticed that I also had a half eaten chicken in my refrigerator so I offered this up to Jens as well. He didn't hesitate and took it from me unsmilingly. He looked even more the part of a modern day Viking as he clutched hunks of meat and chicken with one hand whilst gulping down mouthfuls of Indian rum with the other. His beard was stained with both.
When I asked the crazy Dane how it was that he was released from imprisonment he chuckled with his mouth open and I could see disgusting pieces of chewed up meat amongst a grey-pink tongue and yellow teeth.
It was very unpleasant.
Jens uttered words that sounded like "goovernment" and "Coonsulate" but it was hard to make out much of what he saying as he was speaking with both food and rum in his mouth. This was not an attractive sight at all. I can only assume that there was some sort of political intervention made on Jens behalf. He works for a very big Scandinavian Oil Company that likely has connections with Russian and Singaporean and Indonesian Oil interests. Big Players. Power brokers.
Jens has suggested to me in the past that he feels that his anger and remorse and heavy drinking relate mostly to matters of the heart. He told me that he has a number of ex-wives and children scattered around the globe and falling in love was something he did too readily. When I asked Jens how many ex-wives he had he held up three fingers at me and he roared "four'. So I it is unclear how many he actually has. It could well be six or seven.
As Jens was devouring my leg of lamb and chicken and Old Monk rum I asked him if there was anything that I could do for him in the brief time that I had before I had to fly off to India to do some more work.
He told me that there wasn't.
"Aye hooft to oop to woork teymoro"
It turns out that Jens has to 'hooft to oop" to an oil rig off Malaysia tomorrow where he will work for ten days solid as a Rig Engineer. Then he will return to Singapore for ten days off where he will resume drinking himself into a stupor and riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle around the place. Hopefully without killing himself or anyone else in the process.
After devouring my lamb and chicken and the entire bottle of Old monk Rum I told Jens that he must leave. I told him that I had to go to bed. As he stood up to depart he staggered a bit. He wobbled on his feet. An entire bottle of Old Monk rum is a lot for any one person to drink. I asked Jens a bit cheekily whether he would like to use my toilet before he left. I also asked him whether he knew what a toilet actually was.
He gave me one of his trademark manic grins in response and called me, "modderfokker skeepy the boosh kengeroo".
Then he surprised me by embracing me with a monstrous bear hug.
I was touched by the gesture and was crushed by the embrace but at the same time I was repulsed by the odor of the man. It choked me. I could also feel the matted hair on his back through his sweaty tee shirt.
Which repulsed me further.
As I ushered the big Dane out of my apartment I told Jens that I hoped that he will refrain in the future from peeing in public parks and pooing in the apartment pool. As much for mine and his own sake but as well as for the populace of Singapore.
He cackled manically again at my comments - without uttering a reply - then he reeled his way down the hallway.
I slept with all of my windows open last night in order to rid my apartment of the odor of lamb, chicken, Old Monk rum and the unwashed Dane.