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A Serendipitous Encounter

This is the first post in 2018!
I couldn't believe it!

Well, where shall we start?

There is this one story I would like to share. It happened just last week. I have not shared about this with anyone yet. But I will to you!

So, last Saturday was the day when I still worried especially about my school stuff, but I decided to go out for a personal photo hunting session. I brought all my school stuff in my phone - in case if I have the mood to prepare for my presentation next week.

But no. I knew I wouldn't.

So I walked from my house to Dhoby Ghaut area. The walking itself took me about one hour, but I had lunch on the way to the destination, so I spent more than an hour to reach there.

I was so happy that on the way to Dhoby Ghaut, I learned some stuff about my camera. Yes, I am unfamiliar with this thing, so...

After I was happy with the pictures I took in Dhoby Ghaut (this area doesn't have many good objects but my purpose is to practice myself with the camera, so it's fine), I headed to the Merlion Park in Marina Bay area, my favourite place in Singapore.

I always took a pic of the Merlion EACH time I went there. So here is a pic of the Merlion I took that day!

It was so cloudy!

Actually, before I reached there, I was asked by a few tourists to take a pic of them. I was happily helping them. I knew that it is because of the Nikon thing hanging around my neck, that is why people were asking me to take a pic of them. Normally, when I go here (Merlion Park), I never brought this camera, and people just throw no attention at me, let alone asking my help to take a pic.

Until suddenly, there is this one Asian lady asking my help to take a pic of her - just like any other tourists that asked my help before. She requested me to take a pic of her back, while she was looking at the scenery across the lake, a majestic building with three separated blocks that are slightly curved in shape. On top of it, there is this lengthy boat-shaped "roof" that filled with infinity pool, restaurants, and bars. You may imagine all the luxurious things, just don't let it be too high!

Left to right: Artscience Museum and Marina Bay Sands.

I helped her to take a good pic of her back and her backpack. "Wow, it is so nice! Thank you," she said. Actually, I don't take only a pic, like what she asked. I took her some. As a good hospitality student, I know it is better to give more than just enough, right? *insert giggling sounds here*

And then I returned her mirrorless camera, and put my focus back on finding objects to snap. I was not thinking about anything else, but a few moments later, the same lady called me again and asked my help for the second time. Of course I don't mind. I was free anyway.

This time, she wanted to take a photo with the Merlion, and then she said, "since you have the skills, I have to take advantage of you! Hahaha," and I was just laughing it out!

Until this second time of her request, I still didn't know that I will spend the rest of the afternoon hanging out with her. We've got a little conversation like,

"Hmm, I think you better stand there"
"Oh, alright!"
"Hmm, but the other people are still there, let's just wait for a moment"
"Hahaha, yep!"

And then I took her some pics again, returned the camera, and went back to my busyness.

Suddenly, I'm wondering about that lady. Is she travelling by herself? But she looks very young. If so, since when did she start to travel herself? Where is she from?

The question list goes on and I can't hold it. So this time, I approached her.

It was my first time approaching a total stranger without any planning beforehand.

I had no idea about how I should entertain her. I just greeted her again and started talking.

"So... Are you travelling alone?"

Damn. I sounded like a creep.

But luckily, she answered positively.

"Yeah, actually my parents are here but they are not going with me today,"

"Oh, I see. You always travel alone?" I asked again, with my thick Singaporean accent and grammar.

"Yeah, I've been to Ecuador, *insert other country names here*, and my signature picture is always me from the back with the landscape. That's why I asked for your help to take my picture from the back," she explained.

"Hahaha, that's great! So you've been to Ecuador alone? How was it?" at this point, I was kinda surprised, remembering the story about Until you change by a photographer named Paola Paredes. You can read about it here (gentle reminder: the article is in Bahasa Indonesia!).

She replied calmly, "yeah, it was great! The people are very nice and welcoming. So, are you also travelling alone here?"

"I see.. Nah, I've been living here for about two years now. I'm from Indonesia but currently finishing my degree here. So where are you actually from?"

"I am from Phillippines, but I work in Belgium."

Mindblown, yeah? I know. I was not expecting it too!

I can feel that this conversation was getting interesting so before we continue the talk, I took her to another photo spots around the Merlion Park which I think are beautiful.

The more surprising thing was, she looked like a kid, but she was a lecturer at a Belgium university. We talked and talked for the whole afternoon. I brought her to the Jubilee bridge, told her that the bridge was built to celebrate Singapore's Golden Jubilee three years ago, in 2015. I also took her on top of the Esplanade building, and we were sitting there, looking at Marina Bay view while introducing ourselves to one another.

What a weird afternoon, but it was fun! We spent about two hours talking there and walked down the street to catch the bus afterward, since our destinations are the same (yes, now I knew where she stayed) and she wanted to try the buses in Singapore too.

But suddenly it rained pretty hard and so we have to take the MRT in the end.

After a few stops and a few good minutes of our last talks, we were about to say goodbyes. However, before we did that, with the loud noises of people walking and talking around the station, I asked her once again, "what is your name again?"

And she said, "No Reason".

"Ah, okay. Goodbye (with softer voice) No Reason! I hope we will meet again someday!"

She waved her hand as I get off from the train.

After making sure that the train which she took on has departed, I opened my bag and grabbed my purse, looking for the name card that she gave me earlier and checked her name. I failed to hear her voice and pretended like I heard.

Her name was around "no reason" indeed. I felt embarrassed yet excited. I was wondering if she can actually heard me calling her No Reason and just let it slide, or she just didn't realise it. However, we were back to our own lives now so I should not be bothered.

This unexpected encounter is so meaningful to me that it made me realise; this world is so huge. We have lots of opportunities every day, lots of decisions to make, and lots of things to be grateful for. She might look like a kid, but I was wrong about my first impression of her. She was a lecturer, she was a researcher. That is why she has the chance to travel too. She understood that there are lots of things in this world we can explore.

I went back to my home and reflected it. Before I met No Reason, I was worried about things in my life. Now I feel that my problems, are just there to make me live. I put too much focus on those worries, forgetting about the opportunities that I still have. This encounter has reminded me to keep the balance. Deep down, I still demanding a life with lesser problems so that I can enjoy life more. But the truth is life doesn't work that way. However big, however small, problems will always be my main focus. I can't enjoy my life while worrying about stuff, right? So I gotta keep the balance between relaxing and doing, not worrying.

I believe that I was meant to meet and talk with No Reason, so that I can reflect on my life and share it here. Share it with you all. I could actually just take the bus from home immediately to the Merlion Park but I chose to walk to Dhoby Ghaut, had lunch, then took the train to reach the Merlion Park which leads me to be in the same spot at the same time with No Reason.

There is no reason to not be happy when you have hundreds of things to be grateful for each day!

See you on the next post! Have a good day!


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